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Haley23 Haley23 is online now
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 7,813
Senior Member

Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 7,813
Senior Member

Old 03-07-2019, 08:49 PM
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I've done K-6 and did enjoy the personalities of my older students. I also really felt like I could build a better relationship with them and they'd reached a point where my classroom was truly their "safe space" in the building. I enjoyed being able to provide that.

However, when we split the position into two, I chose K-3 simply because I feel like I'm better at it. Skills based instruction is a huge strength of mine. My teammates even joke that I "could teach a rock to read." I really enjoy giving my students the skills that I think are so important for real life- none of the stuff I teach is just "school stuff" that you don't really use or need in the real world like intermediate content can be. I also strongly believe in early intervention and kids that start with me in K are significantly more successful long term than kids who are identified much later in their school careers.

At least IME, primary teachers are also more in tune with helping kids with disabilities and a little easier to work with. In intermediate, you run into teachers who really know their content but aren't too keen on the pedagogical side. They were more likely to think my students didn't belong in their class or think it was just their responsibility to present the content (the same way for everyone) and kids responsibility to learn it, and I was more likely to get push back on things like accommodations or differentiation.

My teammate who does 4-6 loves that she can go into all of the higher level thinking/deeper content stuff with her students. She doesn't enjoy teaching "how to read."

I do agree with the pp that the young ones can be quite challenging. Every year I get kids who eventually get moved to center based programs- generally by the older grades kids that need that have already been moved. On the other hand, some kids who start out REALLY rough make huge turnarounds with early intervention, and it's amazing to be a part of that.

I think you should consider:
-The teachers you'd be working with- do you have a preference?
-Is the model of instruction the same, or does one offer more pull out or push in? Which one would you like to do more?
-Are you comfortable with the content for both positions? We had someone transfer from our middle school to an elementary position and she flat out told me she didn't know how to teach kids how to read. I'm not sure how she's doing (not my school) but that is simply not okay, IMO. Lots of people assume primary content is "easy" but they have NO idea about all of the phonemic awareness and systematic phonics instruction that is necessary.
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