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mrteacherguy mrteacherguy is offline
 
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4th/5th vs middle school
Old 04-07-2020, 08:16 PM
 
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This question is less about the discipline side of classroom management and more about the relationships.


During my 7 years as a teacher, I have always been at the middle school level; 6th and above. We've always followed the middle school model where students rotate classes throughout the day, either remaining with their homerooms or popcorned and leveled. I've a couple of years where I was able to bond or connect with the majority of my students well, but most years building relationships with my students has been a struggle. I've always had students that I connect well with, but the last three years has been especially difficult.


During this last year, the possibility of moving down to 4th or 5th grade has occurred to me, and then was brought up by my principal. I haven't worked with 5th grade since my student teaching, and hadn't really given it much thought before now, as my wife and other friends/family have kept telling me that they think I would be great at the secondary level.


For those of you have worked with middle school and elementary level students, do you think it would be easier to build relationships with younger students, like those in 4th or 5th grade?


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Old 04-23-2020, 11:20 AM
 
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Can you be more specific what you mean "building relationships"?
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Old 04-23-2020, 12:02 PM
 
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My 20 years experience is about half 4th grade and half middle school. I think it may be easier to build relationships in 4th because you have the same kids all day, but the while the relationships in middle may be fewer, they can also be deeper and stronger because of the developmental stage kids are in.

I know this may not answer your question. There are times Iím ready to go back to elementary because the relationships can be easier and the last few years in middle have been harder. But, I donít know if itís me or the kids!
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Old 04-23-2020, 02:41 PM
 
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I've taught 8 years in 4/5 and 5 years in 6-8. I much prefer the middle schoolers for "building relationships" but that's my personality. I get more annoyed by how immature and needy 5th graders are, while the middle schoolers are more independent, sarcastic, andinterested in the world around them.
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maryteach maryteach is offline
 
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I've taught both and I'll take middle
Old 06-27-2020, 02:00 PM
 
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any day of the week. I went back to a 4/5 split a few years ago. I had student taught 5th 15 years earlier and really liked it, so I was excited.

I found that I really, really didn't like having the same kids all day. In fact, I almost really hated that part. I like being able to say goodbye to a PITA after 45 minutes. Now, there is no doubt another one of those coming next period too, maybe even a worse one, or maybe a group, but it also is only 45 minutes. In elementary, you get those kids all day long except for the times they're out of the room in specials and stuff.

Fifth graders are a lot like sixth graders but I was surprised what behavior problems there were in the elementary. I had a couple of fourth graders that could give any eighth grader a run for their money in the crappy behavior department.

Another thing that's nice about middle is that I can say a kid is a PITA. In elementary, that sort of thing can be pretty frowned upon. In middle you say that and the other teachers laugh and say I know!

As far as relationships go, like I said, fifth graders and sixth graders aren't all that different. Fifth graders can be needy, but so can sixth graders. Fifth grade boys have this really annoying competition all year long about who is at the front of the line, so you'll probably have to assign line positions.

The best relationships with kids, IMO, come in eighth grade, probably above that even more so, but eighth is the highest I've taught.


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