Switching grade levels?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by kstar03, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. kstar03

    kstar03 Companion

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    Oct 21, 2008

    How difficult can it be to switch from the middle school level to the high school level? I'm a first year teacher and although I love my students, my fellow staff members, and the administration, a part of me misses teaching at the high school level (where I did my student teaching). Is it better for me to put in a few years at this level and then hope a high school will give me a chance or should I switch at the end of the year so I don't get "pigeon holed"? Any advice would be appreciated!
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Oct 21, 2008

    I know that here it is exceptionally difficult to get into the high schools, particularly from the elementary panel. My sense, though, is that it is not as difficult elsewhere.
     
  4. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    I moved from MS to HS through a series of improbable events, and I'm much happier. I loved my admin and my colleagues at the MS, but the fact it you spend almost your entire day with your students, and I much prefer my seniors. They're almost people!
     
  5. wunderwhy

    wunderwhy Comrade

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    Oct 21, 2008

    I moved from middle to high school after my first year. The atmosphere was undesirable in my first school, so I wasn't willing to return no matter what. I was given special permission to skip the three year waiting period to transfer.

    If I were you, I'd look into moving up to high school: send out resumes, attend job fairs, apply to transfer (if possible), etc. If it works out, great. If you don't get an offer that you'd prefer to your current position, then put in a few more years with middle school (imagine how nice it would be to use the same lesson plans next year!).

    Middle school was not for me, undesirable atmosphere aside. I much prefer the higher level thinking and maturity of high school students.
     
  6. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    I moved from MS to HS in the sme district, but we have the same department chairs for middle schoola nd high school so that helped.
     
  7. dovian

    dovian Comrade

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    Oct 21, 2008

    At least one person I know had problems getting HS interviews after 3 years in middle school jobs - your potential employers may feel you don't have enough HS experience. However, if you are still in your first year of MS, it might not be as difficult because you haven't been there very long. It is to your advantage that you student taught HS.

    If you decide to do HS interviews, make sure you know the HS terminology. For example, if you currently teach MS Language Arts, be aware that in HS it might be "English" instead, and if you refer to LA in your interview it might sound like you aren't prepared for HS (you still have a "MS mindset", as it were.) At my HS interview (after a year and a half in MS) I was asked how I would prepare students to write a research paper. NOT a MS skill at all. You get the idea.

    Wow, sorry about all those abbreviations, that's kind of a pain to read! Hope it helps some though.
     
  8. kstar03

    kstar03 Companion

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    Oct 22, 2008

    Makes perfect sense, Dovian.


    Thanks everyone for all the great advice! I'm feeling a lot more confident that it might work out!
     
  9. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Oct 23, 2008

    I went the other direction. I have a secondary English degree and ended up in middle school after my job at the high school was eliminated.

    Getting a high school English job was next to impossible around here. You pretty much had to wait for a teacher to retire. I got in as part time because they had some large classes go through. Numbers went down, and I was let go.

    I took the middle school job and asked them to let me know when a high school job came open. It was 12 years! By then I had fallen in love with middle school kids --- as weird as they are. I also loved the climate at the middle school.
     
  10. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    Oct 23, 2008

    I think it all depends on your specialty and your location. I teach French Immersion and could likely teach any grade level I like, if there was an openning.
     
  11. Sheba

    Sheba Companion

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    Oct 23, 2008

    There are a lot of differences but nothing like the differences between elementary and secondary. Obviously it's a graduated curve. 14-year-olds aren't that terribly different from 15-year-olds but 12-year-olds are sure a lot different from 18-year-olds. On the lower end of the spectrum there's more spontaneity, ability to generate enthusiasm, potential for a good class dynamic to bring all the students' attitudes up, a much higher rate of implicit learning, and kids who are easier to manipulate into learning. At the higher end there's more cognitive awareness, understanding of the applicability of what they're learning, ability to reason with them, and ability for them to empathise with you. So there are advantages to each.
     

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