There are tradeoffs, with elementary school teachers taking on lower caseloads and more planning; the opposite is generally true in middle schools. A middle school sorts students by relative ability which creates an atmosphere of competition. Kids who already know how to dress themselves and pack a lunch will naturally be “better” at art projects or math. Elementary School. Teaching isn't as lucrative or as widely respected as the practice of law or medicine, but the societal impact of teachers is significant. Part of it is just the nature of middle school, but students get segregated by their relative ability. The most obvious distinction between elementary education and early childhood education is the ages of children you will teach. FAQ#1 Given a choice, would you rather teach high school or middle school? Typically, each teacher is responsible for one subject at one or two grade levels. Some may teach early childhood and face kindergartners everyday, while others might teach preteens in the fifth grade. Students have 30 or so minutes of homework each evening. 8: They want to be high schoolers but can’t quite hack it yet. In an elementary class, a teacher often organizes students into reading groups within her class. While this structure decreases the volume of planning they have to do for their classes, it will increase the amount of grading they do. As students progress through their grade levels, so will their grade scale. While they share some characteristics, because middle school after all is intended to be a bridge between elementary and high school, there are some significant differences that impact the day-to-day life of the teachers there. There is a reality that all middle school teachers have to contend with whether they teach sixth, seventh, or eighth grade: puberty. For middle school, it's just fun to teach … In some elementary schools, teachers who teach grades 2-5 may work in teams where each teacher is responsible for two subjects each day. 1. The way you personally approach your students and how you present yourself can play a huge role in how much students will respect and admire you. Not only are students going from one grade to the next — they are also learning more about themselves. Learn more about the … Secondary School Administrator. In high school, a teacher has to look up. Taken to its most extreme interpretation, teachers are the main authority figure in a teacher-centered instruction model. While teachers still differentiate within their classroom in both types of schools, middles schools take differentiation to the level of segregation of sorts. Teachers of middle school students are working with a wide variety of students and typically, a wide variety of disruptions, as students try and adjust, with various degrees of success, to all the comings and goings of a typical sixth, seventh or eighth grade classroom. Elementary schools, on the other hand, emphasize task mastery, maintaining a single classroom with multiple abilities. However, private schools typically seek middle school teachers who have a bachelor’s degree and a major in elementary education or a content area. I’d describe it as a base of BO and nachos, with bright, nostril-burning top notes of AXE body spray, finished with a haze of sixteen different Bath and Body Works scents. Both have their rewards. My reply is based on teaching in a small high school for eight years and in a large junior high for twenty years. Shorter planning sessions but lots more grading. Elementary vs. When working with elementary students, you may have to put more emphasis on engagement and fundamentals. In elementary school, one or two core teachers typically oversee a child's education. You may be able to develop a better connection with each individual, as you will be able to relate with them more due to their being exposed to multiple social styles versus staying in one group or room. The high school kids understand things a little better, so it is easier to push them with in-depth projects. There are variations on this that are similar to the departmentalization of middle school. For example, a child in kindergarten may prefer a teacher-led activity, while by the fourth or fifth grade, the same child may enjoy developing their independence with a creative personal project. A middle school girl may become obsessed with certain aspects of her body, such as clothing and hair, while an elementary school girl may tend to be more free-spirited. Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations All states require teachers in public schools to be licensed or certified in the specific grade level that they will teach. Elementary school children, on the other hand, may not even yet be aware of hormones in their system. TCI has created an extensive science program for teachers looking to provide their students the most engaging education anywhere in the area. Students have recess. in the clothes they wear to school. At the end of the day, it’s easy to lump students into categories based on their grade (elementary and middle school), but it’s very important to be able to tailor our education based on the actual needs of our students. From kindergarten to elementary school, elementary to middle school, and then to high school: You're not afraid to get on their level. As students go from elementary to middle school, their individual responsibilities rise, workloads increase, subjects get harder, social interactions (both to their peers and to teachers) change, and more. For a teacher, that means on any given day you don't know if your request to put the cell phone away will be greeted with a 'Yes ma'am' or an eye roll and a refusal to obey. Middle school supporters resist junior high school’s autonomous, challenging structure and instead stress the need for 6th through 8th graders to experience a more gradual and group-focused transition from elementary to high school. While both groups need to be engaged, each group will be engaged in different ways. 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Most of the time, middle school teachers are quite literally the … However, the approaches to differentiation are unique. Today, we want to explore how the shift between elementary school and middle school will require a shift in how we teach each group. Assistant Professor Martin West remembers the "shock" of the new environment he encountered at the larger, all-boys school when he entered the seventh grade.. Mimi: I congratulate you on your decision to teach middle school science, it is very important that they get … With that expectation, it becomes just as important for teachers to study and understand how students are evolving between elementary and middle school in order to provide a better and more effective learning experience. Earn Transferable Credit & Get your Degree, Biological and Biomedical I think my best age is high school but I love the staff at the middle school. Elementary vs. High School Teachers: Who has the tougher job? I was successful because I’m at the same emotional level as a 12-year-old! She can vary the text based on the ability and interest of each group without drawing attention to the differences in relative ability the way class labels do on a middle school schedule. Middle school is definately not for everyone, and that is OK. Having taught elementary school, there are very heavy demands on them, too. Another difference is that in general, elementary school classes are self-contained. I like having a smaller number of students to work with and I try really hard to make my math, reading, writing, science and social studies connect with one another. A typical elementary teacher may have a caseload of 30-60 students while a middle school teacher can easily teach over a hundred students a day. Ha! When I taught elementary it was only for one year. When working with elementary students, you may have to put more … While teachers still differentiate within their classroom in both types of schools, middles schools take differentiation to the level of segregation of sorts. My district's policy is for elementary school teachers to have a conference with every one of their students' parents after the 1st six weeks. I smile every time I remember the sheer delight and amazement of my Kindergarteners as they made color mixing discoveries in … Average Salary: $56,380 Expected Lifetime Earnings: $2,354,000. Each year, teachers expect students to retain some idea of the building blocks of a subject so that they can begin the important work of expanding concepts and ideas outward for future lessons. Prepping for those conferences as well as having to sit down with each parent was stressful and emotionally exhausting! Take reading groups for example. Peer groups are particularly important during puberty as well because those groups can strongly influence behavior in both positive and negative ways. This is not the case in middle school, where the students typically have a different teacher for each subject. If we think about our elementary and middle school experiences as students, we know there are huge differences. Elementary students, for example, may naturally be more inclined to admire you and find excitement in most of your classes and activities, since a majority of these lessons happen in the same room. You're adorable. Obviously high-schoolers are much more independent than elementary-schoolers. And this is no nine-to-five (or 7:30AM to 3:30PM) job either. Going to art was a thing to celebrate for the little ones, and it was a wonderful feeling to know that my class was such a treat. Elementary vs. TEACHING ELEMENTARY VS MIDDLE SCHOOL & HIGH SCHOOL + NEW LESSONSThanks for watching! The position they offered me was full-time in a middle school. Students have one or two teachers that teach every subject. […] Salary Difference for Elementary Teachers Vs. Over the years they will also grow from being more teacher dependent to more independent. Since middle school is between elementary school and high school, middle school teachers lead a review of concepts learned in elementary school and build on these with more in-depth information, preparing students for the high school years ahead. Finally, the differentiated instruction approach that runs through middle school and elementary schools is very different. This past school year I switched to working full-time for a new, wonderful district. Elementary classes may focus more on participation with the class and interaction with the lessons in order to promote more excitement and impetus to learn. First I taught high school. That means that those teachers are responsible for teaching all the core subjects within their classroom and have to structure several hours at a time with the same group of students. You’ll have to work with a completely different set of behaviors that can be radically different between the two extremes of each school group. That is where the pupils are, and when I didn't look down, I kept tripping over them. In middle school, there are NO scheduled parent-teacher conferences!!! To help students be successful crossing that bridge, middle schools still follow the team approach. 6: Leaders at the elementary level, overwhelmed in middle school 7: Spent 14 years teaching this grade level. ... As a middle school teacher, it was easy for me to think of my students simply as middle school students, since that was the only age I’d taught or known them. This leads to a number of development differences between middle school and elementary school students. All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners. If you’re looking for science curriculum for elementary or middle school, TCI is here to help. Elementary schools hand this over to the teacher in the self-contained classroom while middle schools often create teacher teams to achieve the same goal. I knew early on that level wasn't for me. TEACHER VLOG! I did not want to work in a middle school, but really wanted to work in this district so I took it, hoping an elementary position would open up soon. © copyright 2003-2020 Study.com. This approach enables teachers to work together as a team to manage student workloads, plan testing schedules, and even organize cross-curricular projects. Elementary kids are sweet. However, there are some big changes that new middle school students should be aware of. Middle school is a bridge between high school and elementary school. 5 Things I Learned Going From Teaching Middle School to Elementary. The hormones start pumping and bodies start changing, sometimes rapidly over the course of the year. If you've been ordered to go to the principal's office, you're in for a different experience if you're in elementary or secondary schools. I loved getting hugs and being treated like a celebrity in my days of teaching people shorter than me. In either case, though, students should be doing the majority of the work in any classroom. Students typically stay in one or two classrooms all day long. Services, Working Scholars® Bringing Tuition-Free College to the Community. I think I have trouble settling down! You should only be talking a small percentage of th… Again, middle school is transitioning students to be more high school prepared. For those of us who are well past adolescence, it’s … Elementary teachers can teach a wide age range of students. One of the biggest differences between elementary school teachers and high school teachers is the kind of subjects they teach and how many they focus on at a time. In this style, teaching and assessment are viewed as two separate entities; student learning is measured through objectively scored tests and assessments. The problem is the stuff students use to cover it up. Like, puberty is the worst. So it makes sense that as children become more aware of their intellect, their academic challenges progress as well. Elementary school classrooms may be arranged in ways that cultivate social interactions among classmates and showcase more visually stimulating educational decoration. About Elementary or Middle School Teaching In elementary school, students are very young, will be adjusting to their new surroundings, and will want to take play breaks in between learning. So your day-to-day life will be quite a bit different depending on whether you teach middle or elementary school. A veteran teacher discusses the pros and cons of teaching at high school versus middle school. All rights reserved. For example, both emphasize that someone needs to be in charge to help control student workloads. wig. Students are going to change in multiple ways, and you’ll have to be ready to embrace it when teaching different groups. As a teacher, it is crucial to show students that they are important and you do care about them. On the other hand, middle schoolers might be less “excited” about you and your teaching methods due to the many changes that may be happening within that age group, such as attending an entirely new school, a new schedule where different subjects are taught by multiple teachers, social changes, etc. For example, students get split into three levels of math with students being grouped as on-level, advanced, or even into courses like algebra or geometry that most of us didn't take until high school. When it comes to teaching, it's hard to compare jobs with other teachers because each level is unique. Sciences, Culinary Arts and Personal The fact is that most teachers are so poorly paid by their school district that they need to teach summer school or take another job for some supplementary income during that time anyway. As children progress through school, their overall knowledge and intellect grows. Elementary vs Middle vs High School Students After I switched from my two elementary schools to my middle and high school, I found myself in a unique situation. Middle school lessons may be more structured to provide more in-depth information or more challenging lessons. A day in the life of a middle school teacher and an elementary school teacher shares striking similarities and distinct differences. They are horrified by what their bodies are doing. Elementary education implies teaching children in kindergarten through fifth … In spite of the differences, they both share the same goal: to educate students. Middle schools tend to emphasize relative ability far more than elementary schools. Elementary and high school students both want to feel important and cared for. For the most part, their higher order thinking skills are developed further than middle school, so you can challenge them more easily! Middle schoolers may prefer more intellectual challenges, like classroom discussions, whereas elementary students may need more visually, audibly, or kinesthetically stimulating activities to help understand the fundamentals. Transitioning from elementary school to middle school can be tough. Glade doesn’t produce enough Pl… Middle schools often choose to mimic this by assigning groups of students to a team so that they have the same four core teachers. But now that my perspective is widened, I have a better sense of who they are as humans. I know that more elementary schools are beginning to incorporate different teachers that students visit in the day for subjects like Music and Computer Skills. Elementary schools, on the other hand, emphasize task mastery. Middle school classrooms may end up more organized and “structured” to help accommodate efficiency or effectiveness with classroom lessons. In elementary school, students usually stay in the same classroom with one teacher for most of the day. While teaching in elementary school, a teacher has to always look down. Right now I am at the middle school, 6-8. Most students were excited about art making, too. Still, his transition was pretty mild, he says. Secondary Teachers. Younger children will require more structure and teacher attention, while students in the fifth grade will be capable of working on independent tasks for longer periods of time. To get from my desk to the door, I have to wade through a miasma of teen-product vapors that make me want to shower in bleach. The result is that students and even parents can be highly competitive striving to reach the upper tier courses. While there are aspects of both that are as different as night and day, they both strive to educate our youth to the best of their ability. Even though in reality the students within the class operate on different levels, the teacher can just differentiate within the classroom without emphasizing the differences in ability as much as middle school course design tends to do. Part of it is just the nature of middle school, but students get segregated by their relative ability. Middle school grading systems may still place an emphasis on class participation, but will require a heavier grading weight on tests and homework to ensure that there is a clear understanding of the subject. Middle school lessons may be more structured to provide more in-depth information or more challenging lessons. For elementary school teachers, it is common to teach students six or more subjects on any given day. Early Childhood Education: Ages Taught. Outside of math, other courses may just split students into two levels. It is simple to show elementary aged students that you care about them; hugs, handshakes, and high fives all … Elementary: 28-30 students, teach everything. Okay, so you do get paid some money to teach at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels. Elementary School Teachers: Focus on Multiple Subjects.
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