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Advice needed, changing grades...
Old 05-08-2019, 08:52 PM
 
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I am having a rough year. I am a 21 year veteran teacher who has taught 3 and 5. I taught 3rd for 11 years (with one year in 1st in the middle of those) and am in my 9th year of teaching 5th. I loved 3rd and never thought I would want to teach another grade until I was moved to 5th. And until this year it has been wonderful. Now I am burnt out. I teach all subjects and in FL that means I am responsible for writing, ELA, math and science standardized tests. Thatís always been fine until this year when the kids have become so unmotivated and downright disrespectful.

I have decided I need a break from the testing. I have two choices. One is a 6th grade science position at a local middle school. Plus side-one prep, 50 minute classes and no 6th grade science test. Con-I would have these kids AGAIN next year, plus all the ones from the other elementary schools (who sound like they are not any better behaved).

My second choice is 2nd grade at a different elementary school with completely different demographics. Kids struggle academically, but they try really hard and are respectful. Plus side-no standardized tests!! Con-standard based report card, have kids all day, they are young and immature. I havenít taught a younger grade in a long time!
What are your thoughts? Has anyone ever moved down to 2nd from an upper grade? How was it? Or up to a middle school from elementary?


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Old 05-09-2019, 04:58 AM
 
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Are you burned out on the planning or the behaviors? Think hard about that. You sound like you are pretty flexible so either level might work for you.

With the 2nd there is going to be a LOT of time put into learning the curriculum and standards and teaching resources. You will probably have demands for interventions, taking kids to SAT, teaching small groups, planning for at least 4-5 subjects and the grading that goes with. Making resources to use to enrich the curriculum, games, etc.

Never having taught middle school, teaching one subject (is it really one subject?) or will you get a last minute switch and have to do "health?" Having a plan once a day sounds awesome, but I imagine a lot of grading either way. Same class can mean same plans, but if one class is an advanced science class then planning would be different. Our middle school has an intervention time that all teachers and students do where teachers do things like study skills, problem solving and things like that. Our school also isn't big enough for a teacher to teach the same subject all day, so most have at least 2 things to prep.

You are going to deal with behaviors in each one. Personally, I don't find 2nd too needy. They are between the needy and independent level. You can coddle them (can't wait to see the kids from our coddly teacher) or you don't. I think there is a fine line to walk there. Tattling, being left out, not working well with others - those should be the biggest behaviors. Middle school - maybe some of the same on a larger scale, plus the hormones and the attitude. Which will be easier?

Good luck with your decision.
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