Switching from middle school to high school

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Iheartmath, May 16, 2012.

  1. Iheartmath

    Iheartmath Rookie

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    May 16, 2012

    Has anyone recently made the switch from teaching middle school to high school? Currently I teach 8th graders - prealgebra and geometry (the geom class is for high school credit.) There is an opening in my district at the high school, and I'm really considering it! I've taught middle school for over 12 years, and haven't taught HS since my student teaching!

    Anything I should be aware of? Tips? Advice?

    Thanks!
     
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  3. KateL

    KateL Habitué

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    May 16, 2012

    I did this last year. I like high school better. The super disruptive students have been moved to the continuation school, so classroom management is easier. The students are much more independent, and I almost never have to deal with parents. And I've noticed that the administration tends to treat teachers more like adults, with less micromanagement.

    Your experience might be different in a different state, but that's what I've found in CA.
     
  4. elateacher4life

    elateacher4life Cohort

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    May 16, 2012

    I agree with KateL
     
  5. Math

    Math Cohort

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    May 16, 2012

    My math teacher did this last year from 8th to High. My teacher loves the transition. :)
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    May 17, 2012

    I only taught one year of middle school-- I taught 180 of our current Seniors as 7th graders.

    While each of us is different, I much prefer high school. For starters, the work is so much more interesting. The older kids have a better ability to grasp difficult topics, so you can do so much more with them. High school material simply has so much more uumph than middle school math!

    Personally, I also prefer the older kids in general.
     
  7. platypusok

    platypusok Companion

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    May 17, 2012

    I teach both middle school and high school. I love the middle schoolers and their often insane craziness.

    But the high schoolers are more settled in class. The kids who were disruptions in middle school aren't so much in high school (at least in my experience). Most of the kids are fed up with the disruptive kids by that time and they don't feed into those kids.

    I deal less with high school parents than with middle school parents. However, my worst interaction with a parent was with the parent of a high schooler this year.

    I personally think it's a lot easier to get the kids to care in high school because it "counts." They have to have the credits to graduate. They have to fulfill the reading requirements to graduate. They have to pass the end of the year tests to graduate. More of them try.

    When the 8th graders ask what happens to them if they don't pass the history test. The honest answer is absolutely nothing. When the sophomores ask what happens if they don't pass the English II test, the answer is "you don't graduate."

    My high schoolers can be left to their own devices a lot. We ended the year in English II with a rewrite of a scene from Julius Caesar. They had the last two weeks to prepare it. I gave them the guidelines and left them to it. Every once in a while they would ask a question but most of the time in class they spent with their groups. I had two good scenes and three awesome ones performed. The groups did their own costumes, props and rewrites. I just supervised.

    I love my middle schoolers but if I had a choice. I'd move up and teach nothing but high school.
     
  8. JetShack

    JetShack Rookie

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    May 17, 2012

    I found this super interesting.

    I taught 9th graders in a junior high setting in TX.
    I now teach 9th graders in a high school setting in OK.

    I'm teaching the same subject. We even use the same book.

    I enjoy teaching at the high school much much much more.
     
  9. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    May 17, 2012

    I've only taught high school and I love it. I don't think I would like middle school.

    In high school, the material is much more interesting. You don't have to worry about binder checks or organization. Also, they are much more responsible in general.
     
  10. DallasLady

    DallasLady Rookie

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    May 18, 2012

    I taught middle school (8th grade science) for 5 years. I wanted to like it, but I didn't. I was really reconsidering whether teaching was the career for me.

    I decided to make the move to High School. I teach 11th grade Physics and it's a world of difference. I actually like being a teacher now. I am so happy I made the switch.
     
  11. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    May 18, 2012

    I have taught both middle and high school. I much perfer the older kids! Give it a shot and see what happens.
     
  12. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    May 19, 2012

    I've taught both. Originally I taught high school and planned to go back as soon as a position opened up. It took TEN YEARS for a position to become available, and when they offered it to me I turned it down. I had learned to love those crazy middle school kids.

    At middle school I deal with more student issues. While my subject is important, it still takes a backseat to classroom management and developing the students as people. At the high school level, the focus was on the subject, and I rarely had an issue with the students themselves. The faculty was different, too. I very rarely interacted with people outside of my department, and even that was limited. At the middle school I'm working closely with a team of grade-level teachers as well as my department.

    You never know until you try. Give it a shot.
     
  13. Hitchcock fan

    Hitchcock fan Companion

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    May 21, 2012

    I began my career teaching high school, and after a 13-year stint at the middle school I am returning to high school next year. I did not want to leave my sixth graders but I didn't really have a choice. Trying to keep a positive attitude, though. All age groups have their challenges; they're just different challenges.
     
  14. Iheartmath

    Iheartmath Rookie

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    May 28, 2012

    Thank you for all your responses! I've given this a lot of thought and finally made a decision. I'm going to stay at the middle school level for a few more years, and this is why: I was home with my children for 7 years, and this is my 3rd year since returning to work. I've finally reached the point where my workload is more manageable. The first year, it was a new job, then the school system changed the math curriculum the 2nd year. Now, at year 3, I finally feel like I can get lesson planning under control and try some more creative things with my students this year.

    More importantly, my own kids need their mom after school and weekends. They are only 7 and 9 years old...the time goes too fast!

    I will probably revisit this again in 3 years, when another HS teacher is planning to retire.

    Thanks again :)
     

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