Friday, August 27, 2010

Differences Between Elementary and Middle School

I have noticed three obvious differences between life as a teacher in middle school versus elementary school.

There is a different relationship between the teacher and the students caused by the students' age. That relationship seems to be based on respect rather than affection and love, and that is because of the age difference. They are still kids, but they are older.

The length of time a teacher has with the students is inflexible. That difference is going to play a huge factor in the instruction. I cannot adjust my schedule to increase or decrease the amount of attention I give a concept or subject when necessary.

I have time to prepare. I am sure that as time goes on, it will be spent furiously grading papers. I believe strongly in feedback to the students, and returning quizzes promptly graded is important, especially to those interested in learning from their mistakes. However, I will have that "prep" time to do it. Elementary teachers, at least in my school district, have very little "prep" time (free time) to grade , plan, or prepare.

It is going splendidly, and I have no qualms about my decision to move to middle school. However, I would like to pass official judgement later, once the honeymoon is over.

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