Why do you teach middle school?

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by reneeinms, Nov 20, 2013.

  1. reneeinms

    reneeinms Rookie

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    Nov 20, 2013

    I am trying to decide what age I want to teach. I only know elementary teachers and high school teachers, so they tell my why they do not want to teach middle school. I think I really like this age the best. What do you think? Why do you teach middle school and not high school or elementary?
     
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  3. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I am a high school teacher turned middle school teacher.

    I don't like young children. I never babysat. I don't have my own kids. I don't have siblings. I like older kids. I am certified to teach high school, and I worked with 11/12 grades for two years.

    My job was eliminated after two years, and I was transferred to the middle school. I had heard middle school was awful. The teachers were weird, the school wasn't welcoming, and the kids were a crazy mess of hormones and attitude.

    I hadn't found the school bad when I had subbed, and I found that I grew to love middle school, crazy and all.

    I have been strictly middle school since 1995. Love it!
     
  4. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Nov 20, 2013

    They don't seem as jaded as high school students. They still have that childhood curiosity and wonder. That I find refreshing. Yesterday, I was reading a new version of Cinderella, and there were ooh's and aah's / their eyes just lit up when we got to the gory part.
     
  5. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    I like how they're just starting to discover who they want to be and how they want the world to see them. They're on the cusp of understanding how the world really works, and they have tons of opinions to share. We can have an in-depth, deep conversation about life one minute...and the next they're making me crack up with a silly song or dance. I loooooove middle school!
     
  6. BookReader813

    BookReader813 Companion

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    To me, middle school students are more interesting than elementary and high school students. It may seem pretty challenging to accommodate for the vast differences in emotional, social, and academic development among students (even students in the same grade!), but I think that's what makes middle school fun to teach. Every day is new and exciting because you never know what you're going to get! Plus, most middle school kids are still excited about learning, especially in the fifth and sixth grades.

    I didn't have any fantastic teacher role models in middle school. My teachers were intelligent people. Don't get me wrong! But, I didn't feel any special connection with any of them. I had high school teachers that cared about me not only as a student, but as a human being. They showed me they cared by asking about my day, showing interest in my opinions, etc. I hope I can be that teacher for the kid that may not have any positivity in his/her life or who may be struggling through the major changes that occur during middle school.

    I know that teaching elementary school is not for me because I do not know how to relate to small children, and I could not deal with the constant demands of small children ("Can you tie my shoe?," "So-and-so hit me," etc.). I think I could teach high school at some point in my life, but I think I need to mature more and go back to school. :)
     
  7. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

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    I love that they are still kids in some ways, and yet they have those moments of deeper understanding. They can still enjoy some silly activities, and yet there are other times when they can settle down for a longer span to do some serious work. Are there days that are frustrating? Sure - and today was one of them. Will I still go back planning to enjoy tomorrow? Absolutely!
     
  8. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    They are hilarious! I love that I can be real with them...but still impress with "little kid" things sometimes. (Like sparkly stickers.) They are becoming people...which is a very interesting and crazy process.
     
  9. teacherguy111

    teacherguy111 Cohort

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    I just love this age. I do not like teaching younger kids how to line up etc. I also do not like some of the attitudes that come with high school age. Middle school can do a lot of things but they also for the most part (at least at my school) are respectful. I teach 6th and 8th. I think I like 6th a little better.
     
  10. rookieABC123

    rookieABC123 Comrade

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    I taught elem. for the past 5 years. I always considered being an elem. teacher my dream job. I was transferred to our middle school last year and I absolutely LOVE working there!!!! I don't dread going to work anymore like I did before. The atmosphere is very laid back!!!
     
  11. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    90% of the kids are wonderful, 10% are trying to be terrible. Protecting the 90 from the 10 is why I do what I do. They are still kids who need and want help and few people (including their parents) truly see that.
     
  12. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Because that's what I was assigned to teach. ;)

    But really, I'm liking middle school more and more. I'm a trained high school teacher and that's what I taught in the USA. But I'm really loving middle school. Kids are still malleable and the content isn't brain-numbingly dull like in elementary. I've had a lot of fun with middle school and plan to add middle school certification when I get back to the USA.
     
  13. mazzystar

    mazzystar Rookie

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    Now that I think about it, most of my favorite teachers were from my middle school.

    However, when I interviewed for an elementary position, the principal told me she saw me in a middle school versus elementary school. I think its because I like to challenge students and get them to think critically. It's not that elementary students can't do this, but I like the level/thinking ability of middle school students.

    But not their attitudes. They can keep their attitudes.
     
  14. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    I'm pretty much with the majority here. I love how they are kids one minute and more adult the next. I never have a boring day (except when we have to give benchmark and state exams). My main reason though, was because I felt like too many kids fell through the cracks in middle school. I wanted to be the one that made a difference in some kid's educational career. It doesn't happen every year, but in 8 yrs of teaching there have been a few.
     
  15. idiotprogrammer

    idiotprogrammer Rookie

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    Very amusingly, I was proctoring a state exam, and during a 20 minute free time, I asked my 6th graders whether they wanted to play any games during the meantime. They all chimed in with enthusiasm about the game "Heads Down, Seven Up" which I remember playing in elementary school. I was amazed that these generally smart and maturing kids could still want to play a game which seemed so childish.
     
  16. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    If I taught High School, all the kids would be bigger than me. lol. Some of them already are in 8th grade.

    Anyway, I teach middle school because the content allows me to teach for engagement and enjoyment rather than to spend hours on calculations and such. Students get to experience the fun of science, explosions, getting their hands dirty, etc.

    Middle school kids are also still learning where they belong. With High School kids, there's probably very little chance to turn them around to enjoying school. It's easier when they're in middle school.

    Middle school is a horrible time for almost everyone. I try to make their middle school years more enjoyable than I remember mine.
     
  17. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I didn't know about this game until my 8th graders taught me. One of my lessons went to poop because the internet connection just went kaput. As I scrambled to find a replacement activity, one of the kids offered heads up seven up. I had her lead the entire activity. This is near the end of the year, when many of the kids are the size of High Schoolers already. It was pretty funny to watch.
     
  18. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    My 8th graders love this game too!
     
  19. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    You were SO close to making a good post, Milsey. So close.
     
  20. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    They're just so flippin' much fun! They have great senses of humour, are full of curiousity, and, every so often, you are able to get glimpses of the adults they will become.
     
  21. platypusok

    platypusok Companion

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    I've taught 6 through 12. I think middle schoolers are full of drama, freshmen and sophomores are full of drama and attitude and the juniors and seniors have mellowed out.

    I prefer juniors and seniors. But I teach at a small school so I teach a lot of different grades.

    Even though I prefer juniors and seniors I do genuinely like the middle school kids as human beings. And they will sniff out if you don't like them super quickly.

    Also, someone upthread mentioned they still love things like stickers. So, do high school kids. I found some star stickers in my desk from some geography project years ago and I decided to put them on papers with a 100 on it. Then I ran out and didn't think anything of it. They next week when I was handing out papers the juniors and seniors wanted to know where their stickers were.
     

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