Still undecided what grade I want to teach

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Blackberry_Girl, May 1, 2012.

  1. Blackberry_Girl

    Blackberry_Girl Rookie

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    May 1, 2012

    I started out studying in a second ed program but due to some family issues, I needed a lighter course load so I changed to elementary ed thinking someday if I truly wanted to be a secondary ed teacher I could go back to school then. In the meantime, I've nearly completed my degree and have been doing my practicum in elementary school. The teachers I meet keep asking what grade I want to teach and truly, I have no idea. I love the classroom I'm in but have done lessons in some of the other grades as well and like those just as much. I also keep having this nagging feeling that I may still prefer secondary or middle even though I really am enjoying elementary. Everyone I talk to tells me things like "I always knew I wanted to teach 3rd grade" or 6th grade or whatever...why is it that I'm approaching student teaching and still don't know what grade I really want.

    Was anyone else in the same boat and just didn't know exactly where they wanted to be? How did you come to discover where you were meant to be? I'm also really stressed out right now with my course load so maybe that's gotten me all worried about making my mind up.
     
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  3. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    May 1, 2012

    I would not recommend high school unless your undergraduate degree (at least) is in your discipline. Others here disagree though, I know.

    I find high schoolers fascinating; other, younger, I find...well, should I say it?... annoying. (eek!) I knew I wanted to teach high school from the first time I taught them. Plus, you get more intellectual satisfaction, I think, teaching these older kids.
     
  4. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    May 1, 2012

    I ever knew what grade I wanted to teach either-I'm happy wherever they put me. With the way the economy is, I wouldn't get too attached to a certain grade anyway. Most likely you'll just have to accept whatever grade they offer you for the first year. I would just tell them that you'll be happy teaching any grade.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    May 1, 2012

    If you're unsure, then I think you should find a way to become licensed to teach both elementary and secondary. With that in mind, you'll need to decide on what subject you'd want to teach at the secondary level and make sure that you take all the required coursework. A degree in "Secondary Ed" won't get you a job as easily (or at all?) as a degree in English or Math or Spanish or Science.

    Good luck to you in whatever you decide.
     
  6. sizzla_222

    sizzla_222 Companion

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    May 1, 2012

    i was never really sure what grade i wanted to teach. I found out this year that i think i like no lower than 3rd grade (what i will be teaching next year) and no higher than probably 6th grade. I like the innocence and willingness to learn, but I don't want to teach skills like how to line up quietly etc.
     
  7. teachart

    teachart Comrade

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    May 1, 2012

    Me too, I'll be certified to teach art K-12. People ask me constantly what level I want to teach, and I really can't say. I've taught preschool through college and all ages are different, but great. What grade is your practicum in?
     
  8. Blackberry_Girl

    Blackberry_Girl Rookie

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    May 1, 2012

    TeachOn - I couldn't just transition to secondary without taking a few more content classes anyway.

    FarFromHome - precisely! I know that I will need to take whatever I can to start!

    Caesar753 - fortunately, I am only a few classes away from meeting the state requirements for Secondary Math - I have enough for middle math right now. So if I do realize that's what I want to do, at least it's not something that will take years to achieve.

    Teachart - I'm with a 2nd grade class right now and enjoy it.

    Thank you all for your responses. I'm sure I'm just second guessing my decision since I'm getting so close to the end - maybe like getting cold feet...lol!
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 1, 2012

    You generally don't get to 'choose' a grade level...schools like to have teachers who could flexibly fit in multiple grades. In my district, teachers get shifted between grade levels due to numbers of students...not teacher preference.

    Be careful how you categorize elementary...while the course load may have seemed easier to you, the job isn't.
     
  10. Blackberry_Girl

    Blackberry_Girl Rookie

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    Yes, I ABSOLUTELY agree, which is perhaps one of the reasons I worry about this decision. While I had never intended to teach elementary and made the decision to change major based solely on the fact that the course load was easier at the time, I am not disillusioned in thinking it will be easier to be an elementary school teacher than a secondary math teacher. I feel fortunate that I have been truly enjoying working in an elementary school for my practicum because I know this change in path could have totally backfired on me. I know that the things I enjoy about being in the classroom won't always be fun IRL in one's own classroom too so while I have been planning what I think are fun and interesting lesson plans I know that is oftentimes not what really happens on a day to day basis in a teachers regular work week.

    I just get asked so frequently what grade I want that I wondered why I didn't feel passionate about getting a certain grade. I always feel silly telling other teachers that I don't mind which grade I get after they've told me that they always knew they only wanted a certain grade.

    I have enough math under my belt now that I think when I graduate I can apply for k-8 certification and middle math. If I discover that my heart is truly set on secondary, I'd have to take some more classes, which is fine.
     
  11. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    May 1, 2012

    If the job market is a concern for you, I think it's much easier to get a math job than it is to get an elementary job.
     

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