When people first start thinking about teaching as a career, there may be a natural draw towards a particular grade level. This may stem from a positive experience with a former teacher, or the individual may just have a sense of where they would like to be. For others, the path may not be as clear and certain education students may debate between different grade levels. Granted, teachers can change their educational pursuits over the course of their career, but it is often wise to take coursework that is focused on a certain level so that candidates can be properly prepared for their situation. Teaching middle school can be a definitive challenge, which is why education students should consider a number of factors before pursuing a career at this educational level.
Do you actually like these kids?
It may seem obvious to state this idea, but to teach middle school students it is often helpful for potential teachers to enjoy this age group. Unfortunately, people either enjoy middle school students or they do not. Individuals can certainly decide to have a particular attitude in life as it pertains to work, but middle school students can be very polarizing. It is not unusual for teachers to either love middle school students or find them to be a bit irritating. If people know that they are not drawn to middle school students, they may want to pursue teaching a different age group.
Energy and calm
To teach middle school, it often helps teachers to have a particular temperment. Some teachers excel in the middle school setting if they have an abundance of energy that can mesh well with the personalities of the students. Other teachers succeed because they are generally calm and do not get easily agitated by the hectic environment of middle school. These are not necessarily the only two temperments that can succeed, and many individuals are a blend of these personalities. However, professionals that teach middle school must be adaptable to the students so that they can deal with the high-energy atmosphere.
Drama, hormones, and confusion
Ultimately, teaching middle school includes dealing with a wide variety of issues that are often present with this age group. This can include different types of relationship drama, hormonal changes, and general confusion about personal identity. Dealing with these various issues can be a challenge for teachers who must handle the mood swings and behavioral patterns of unpredictable middle schoolers. In other words, teaching middle school is more than just delivering subject matter to an audience.
A key decision
Teaching in the middle school setting can be very rewarding, and many teachers enjoy what they are doing. However, the middle school level can also be very taxing for some teachers, which is why professionals should consider carefully before they enter this scholastic area. Before entering middle school, it may be beneficial for potential teachers to spend some quality time in a school setting. If teacher candidates do this, chances are that they will quickly know if this is a place that they will be happy.