Middle School Blues

Discussion in 'Secondary Education Archives' started by Raeni, May 31, 2007.

  1. Raeni

    Raeni Rookie

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    May 31, 2007

    Is teaching Middle School as bad as everyone says it is? Are the kids really that bad? Is keeping them under control something that just comes with experience?

    I'm certified to teach 6-12 English, and I'm scared. I'm passionate about teaching English, but on the other hand, I don't want to deal with disrespectful kids 90% of the time. I'm wondering if elementary school is the way to go.
     
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  3. GatorGal

    GatorGal Cohort

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    May 31, 2007

    I'm not a teacher yet, but I subbed a lot in middle school. I heard the same horror stories, and frankly, I loved the middle schoolers!
    6th grade was a little immature at times for my taste (I'd prefer teaching high school), but they were overall very fun and entertaining.

    If you have time to wait until the fall, try subbing or volunteering in a M.S. classroom to see how you like it.
     
  4. Anyalee

    Anyalee Companion

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    May 31, 2007

    I teach junior high. The kids are very difficult to deal with. If I had the choice to take this job again or not have a job then I would still take this job- but I wish I had tried A LOT harder to get a high school job. I applied for 80 jobs and only got 2. One was a high school job but was in an undesirable town. Some people love it. The 7th graders are a lot easier to control than the 8th graders.
     
  5. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    May 31, 2007

    Kids this age are certainly in a "class" by themselves! Most problems arise when they feel like they are being treated like "little kids"--cutesy behaviour charts, etc. just don't work with them; they want to be treated with respect. They are very aware of the perceptions of others, and must "save face" at all costs. It is cooler to be a "bad a**" than it is to be embarassed in front of their peers. They also aren't afraid to speak their mind and must be taught the appropriate time, place, and way of doing this.

    They are also at an exciting time in their lives--they are ready to leave childhood behind and are looking forward to their future. They have concrete hopes and dreams that they will share with you if they trust you. They still can (and will) love you enough to write you notes, draw you a picture, sing you a song, or clean up your room at the end of the day without being asked.

    A few years ago I was terrified at the prospect of teaching grade 6-8 students, now I am sad that I won't be teaching with them daily. (Now, kindergarten students scare me!)
     
  6. Anyalee

    Anyalee Companion

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    May 31, 2007

    I totally agree with you! Kindergartners are scary!
     
  7. hernandoreading

    hernandoreading Comrade

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    May 31, 2007

    I LOVE middle schoolers! They are at that important stage where they are trying to act like adults, but they still love to do "kid stuff." I've taught middle & high school, and see little difference in behavior between the two ages. Both level have behavior issues, and neither is really any worse than the other. But middle schoolers seem to still have a little more awe/fear of teachers than high schoolers.
     
  8. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I've grown to love middle school kids. I have a secondary English degree, and I taught high school for two years. I took a middle school job that was sort of a "by the way" thing, as they had ONE class too many at the middle school and the new part-time high school English teacher--ME--got that job, too.

    They did take some getting used to, but I found that I really like them. I still get to teach my favorite subject, English, and I like the kids a lot.
     
  9. apple25

    apple25 Comrade

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    May 31, 2007

    I teach grade 7/8, and they are great. Of course, there are certainly days when things aren't rosey, but overall they are quick to see the humour in things. This is only my second year, so I am learning to go with the flow. I have noticed one day they'll hang to your every word, and the next you are pulling every trick out of the book to keep their focus . . . it can be maddening, but at the same time, seeing them mature and grow into responsible, respectful adults is wonderful (haha - that, of course, is a generalization . . . there are some that haven't gone through that metamorphis yet!!!)
     
  10. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    If it was that bad, there wouldn't be so many middle school teachers. I love it! :)
     
  11. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    I personally love teaching 7th grade. I wouldn't trade it for anything. Many of the reasons I feel this way have already been mentioned above, but another is that at this age, the kids are beginning to think for themselves. They no longer just parrot what Mom and Dad say at the dinner table. Also they get jokes and are passionate about the things they believe in.
    There are many days that I hate all of the garbage that comes with my job, but when I walk in my classroom and close that door, I know that I am right where I belong.
     
  12. FSUalum

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    I started out teaching High School for 3 years, and I really liked it. Then, I was given an opportunity to switch and teach at a brand new Middle School. I was hesitant because of the horror stories, especially about 8th graders. However, the lure of a/c that actually worked was just too much to pass up, so I took the job.

    Let me just say that I've finished my 3rd year teaching 8th Grade U.S. History, and I wouldn't trade it for the world. I love middle schoolers.

    They're funny, spunky, and will give you the world if they know you really care about them--be firm with them, though, especially in the beginning. In the end, you'll be rewarded tenfold (at least).

    They really are at a turning point in their lives, and, I think this is when you can really reason with them and reach them before they head off to high school.
     
  13. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    This says it so well!
     
  14. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

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    I agree with all of the above. Middle schoolers have a bad rap, but they really aren't that scary. Just remember yourself at that age, put yourself in their shoes and it becomes much easier to deal with whatever comes along. Nothing worthwhile ever comes easy. The challenges are many but the rewards are great!
     
  15. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 4, 2007

    This was my first year ever teaching kids as young as 7th grade, and it's been a complete delight!

    Their enthusiasm is incredible. They're honest with their emotions and have a huge sense of fairness.
     
  16. michelleann27

    michelleann27 Cohort

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    Jun 6, 2007


    I agree with this statement all so well. I love the middle school children. They are different than the little ones and high schoolers but they love you no matter what if you show them the respect that is due to them. I am firm and i expect nothing but the best and the rewards are astounding. :)
     
  17. ~~Pam~~

    ~~Pam~~ Companion

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    Jun 7, 2007

    I couldn't agree more! I love my 7th graders whether it's a day when they are :angel: or whether it is one of those days where they make me :eek: (crazy)!
     

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