Which Grade?

Discussion in 'New Teachers Archives' started by turboteach, Jul 6, 2002.

  1. turboteach

    turboteach Companion

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    Jul 6, 2002

    Hi to all:

    I know this is an extremely difficult question to answer...and there are many variables to include, but how did you know what grade you wanted to teach? I have done extensive volunteering - both in primary and intermediate elementary grades. But still undecided about where I should focus? I enjoyed the upper grades for much different reasons than the primary grades...but when I try to weigh the pros and cons, it seems to come out about the same. Has anyone else had this problem? Can you suggest anything?
    Thanks :rolleyes:
     
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  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Jul 7, 2002

    suggestion

    I have taught most of the upper elem. grades. The fourth grade was the most enjoyable.
     
  4. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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    Jul 7, 2002

    grade level

    It really depends greatly on your own self. I would suspect that the grades k-3 require more of a nurturing role versus 4-6 which demand more of academic role. I also switched grade levels once i had my own children. I think the older grades have more opportunity of departmentalizing so you can focus on a specific subject area such as math and sciences or the language and social studies. good luck.
     
  5. Shawnmarie

    Shawnmarie Rookie

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    Jul 7, 2002

    Hi, this is a difficult question to answer! I had subbed in all grades, then I was a Teacher Aide for a child in 2nd and then 3rd grade. I tutor in every age group, so I was able to experience all of the grades available to me. However, when I was looking for part-time work, I decided to attempt PreK. I just fell in love! I love working with preK and K kids, the curiousity they bring, the newness of everything, it's just wonderful. I would definitely go back into elementary grades, but really enjoy the younger grades. I think you just have to see what ages interest you, what areas of curriculum you enjoy teaching. It takes a different type of personality to teach early childhood, another type to teach K-2, another to teach 3-5, you get my drift. It all depends on what you enjoy, good luck making your decision! Oh, and just because you settle on one age level doesn't mean you can't teach another age at another time.
     
  6. teacherkasey

    teacherkasey Cohort

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    Jul 7, 2002

    go with your heart

    hi! i have always known that i wanted to be an elementary school teacher. i thought i wanted to teach second grade because that was my favorite grade when i was in school. then i thought the younger grades (1 and 2). however, i then did my student teaching in fourth grade (which i thought i would hate) and i loved it so much!!! i love being able to focus more on what the children think through journal writing and reading response journals. i feel it allows you to get to know them more as people and know what their thought processes are. i am currently teaching kindergarten and love the expressions on their faces when they remeber something you have taught them weeks before and they wonder on their faces when you teach them new things. it's wonderful, but my heart tells me i want to go back to the upper grades... go with what your heart tells you!!! good luck!!!
     
  7. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Jul 7, 2002

    I will have my own class for the first time this fall, fourth grade. I have subbed for three years. That gave me the experience to be able to tell what age group I liked working with best. I knew that k-2 were a bit young for me. I love science and social studies, and I wanted to be able to get more in depth than I would if I had students that young. I also noticed that fifth and sixth grade is when they start getting difficult, for me at least. So, that left third and fourth grade.

    ANYWAYS! I recommend subbing to everyone who is considering teaching. It is a very important experience that will help you out tremendously.

    Good Luck!
     
  8. lindalou

    lindalou Guest

    Jul 7, 2002

    :D

    I also felt I could love teaching any grade level and this is how I decided. They offered me a teaching position! I took it first and asked what grade level later, I was just so darned glad to get a job!
     
  9. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Jul 9, 2002

    I just finished my first year teaching first grade. I loved it. IT is so much fun to be able to see so much growth in children within the year. They come to you knowing so little about reading, writing and math and they leave reading chapter books, writing stories and inquiring about multiplication! I was offered the opportunity to teach 2nd grade in the same school, so I'll move up with some of my students, which I'm very excited about. However, I've also gone on an interview for a job that is much closer to my home. That school district has kindergarten and 4th grade available. I'm not sure what they are going to offer me (if anything) but I told them I preferred kindergarten. I am so confused as well, I can see the postitive and negatives about both grades. I can say that I took great pride and pleasure in being so instrumental in teaching my first graders how to read and write!!!
     
  10. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Jul 22, 2002

    You need to evaluate your own talents and gifts. I had the same question when I was still in college. Some people are just better at dealing with younger children. Others are better at coming up with ideas for the classroom of upper grades. I suggest writting down your gifts and talents and evaluating which grade level they would be best used in.
     
  11. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Jul 22, 2002

    I always wanted the preschool special education class in my county. When I was in college I would go by and visit on my off days if they were in school. I had a brother in the MR class at the school and I would visit him too. I loved the preschool class. I thought I would never get it because the teacher that had it was too young and I thought she would be there til she retired. But she got a first grade job that she always wanted and it worked out for me to get my dream class. In the past I taught jr. high BD, LD, and MR. I didn't like it. I also taught at a mental hospital on the child unit. NOW that was an experience! I didn't feel like a real teacher there though. I felt like a baby sitter. Kids came in and out. You couldn't plan anything. You may come in to work and find out 3 kids were discharged and 5 more came in over night. You wouldn't know what level they were on until you tested them. One year I was a TITLE 1 assistant. That job I loved, too, but it was pitiful pay... not enough to even get by each month.

    You'll know what grade you want. It's a gut feeling.

    Lori
     
  12. AngelaS

    AngelaS Cohort

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    Jul 22, 2002

    You can always change later

    I always thought I would teach in early childhood because the kids are so cute, love to learn, are easy to manage, and are affectionate. I did HeadStart for three years and burnt out. The parents (and other public school teachers) didn't take it seriously and thought we played all day, and over the years I became frusterated by the children's limitations. I love to let kids make decisions about how the classroom is run, what and how we learn, and discuss real issues like respect. The kids really benfited from my efforts, but they could only take it so far.

    That's when I knew I needed older kids. I was offered a kindergarten and a third grade, and was so tempted to do K, but I knew I'd be sick of the shoe tying and interupting of my lessons to talk about what color their new socks were that I needed a big, scary change. I took third grade and all of my enthusiasm, creativity, and love for teaching has returned. My kids are capable of the things that I could never get in early childhood.

    My advice is follow your heart. Think about what you really love in teaching and find a grade level where the students can meet your expectations. My little ones did this at first; when my interests changed, so did my grade level.
     
  13. emccoy

    emccoy Companion

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    Jul 26, 2002

    It was never really a question for me. I found teaching quite by accident. I was put into a classroom with no experience when the teacher unexpectedly had to go on maternity leave early. I was facing high schoolers who really had zero interest in math. Turned out I enjoyed it.

    Personally, I could never deal with elementary or middle schoolers. So I stayed at the high school level and that is where I have been teaching ever since (8 years now).
     
  14. musicbug

    musicbug Rookie

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    Jul 30, 2002

    What a difficult question. As noted every grade has its own rewards. However I'll jump into the fray with my own favorite grade, grade 5. They are able to do something on their own, they have an inate sense of justice,and I love the topics taught in the fifth grade.
     
  15. pmts02

    pmts02 Guest

    Aug 10, 2002

    I had to answer that question myself. I chose kindergarten. I started out subbing for all grades K-3 up through the 12th grade but I had more to talk about after coming home from the K-3 thru Kindergarten classrooms. They kept me laughing from the time I got there until the time I left. I had so much fun. Things aren't so structured for them as they are with the older children. We experiment with all kinds of things and learning is fun for them not just something they have to do becuase they are at school. That is why I chose in my book the very best grade Kindergarten.
     

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