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1st or 2nd.....WHICH GRADE WOULD YOU CHOOSE?

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1st or 2nd.....WHICH GRADE WOULD YOU CHOOSE?
Old 07-18-2011, 12:41 PM
 
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I have the opportunity to switch grade levels this coming fall. Obviously, I am on a real time crunch as the principal needs an answer. Any thoughts on which grade you would choose to teach, and why? I am currently teaching 3rd and love it! I am thinking I am ready for a switch.

Thanks!!


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First or Second
Old 07-18-2011, 12:49 PM
 
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Hello,

I have taught Pre-K through 3rd. I also taught a first/second combination class. If I were you I would check the standards and see, according to the expectations, which you like to teach better. In first grade there is a great deal of emphasis on reading, phonics, decoding and writing - as well as basic math concepts. Some teachers find it difficult to sit through the guided readings -cat sat on the mat. Others find it stimulating to teaching beginning reading, writing and math.

My second grade students, most of them, had the basic down and we had to work more on fluency, understanding, comprehension, etc. My second grade students were better able to focus too.

I enjoyed teaching either-or. Good luck.
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definitely 2nd!!
Old 07-18-2011, 12:54 PM
 
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2nd is a great grade. Yes, they will be "young" at first compared to your end of the year 3rd graders. They are still capable of doing A lot!! It will be more of a review from what they learned in 1st, but at least you will have extra insight on what's expected in 3rd!! Good luck on your decision
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Second grade is the best!
Old 07-18-2011, 01:22 PM
 
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I like 2nd because the students are more independent, still thrilled with learning, always love their teacher and are not so "babyish". I've taught K and 1 but like 2nd the best. I had the opportunity to change to 3rd but wanted to stay where I was. Good luck with your decision!
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Second without a doubt!
Old 07-18-2011, 01:25 PM
 
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Students are much more independent than first graders, still love to "impress" the teacher and love school! I am bias though, I am a second grade teacher.


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Old 07-18-2011, 01:33 PM
 
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I've taught both 1st and 2nd and both are wonderful. Personally, I would only want to move one grade level at a time--either one up or one down, so 2nd grade might be your best move.
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2nd Grade
Old 07-18-2011, 01:36 PM
 
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I've taught 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. Second has always been one of my favorite grades.
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Old 07-18-2011, 02:03 PM
 
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My first year teaching was first grade, and I loved... or I thought I did. My second year I got moved to second grade and it's so much better than first. They're more independent but they still think their teacher is the coolest person EVER. The independence part is the one that makes this choice easier.
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2nd and 3rd
Old 07-18-2011, 02:12 PM
 
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I've taught both, but primarily 3rd. I agree with the previous posters about the fact that 2nd graders can do more. My favorite age is end of 2nd and beginning of 3rd.
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1st 2nd
Old 07-18-2011, 02:30 PM
 
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I currently teach a combo class of both 1st and 2nd graders. They are equally fun. 1st grade is great because they make HUGE jumps in growth. So cool to see. and they are so darn cute. 2nd is fun because they are more independent. If I had to choose one I would say 1st. Or 2nd.


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2nd grade is Splendid!
Old 07-18-2011, 02:32 PM
 
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I've taught K, 1 and now 2 and can say that 2nd is by far my favorite! Students are more mature, independent learners, but still have that fun "I love to be here" attitude.

Last year I had looped from 1st to 2nd and I was amazed at the difference in my students - the very ones who in 1st struggled with grouchiness, being sleepy (probably due to growth spurts), and generally still not comfortable with school - they were excelling!

The only real down-side to 2nd grade over 1st that I found was the bullying, especially among girls. By 2nd grade, they start to set social standards which often leads to gossip and just plain ugliness while in 1st the students seemed to play together with little thought to if someone was "cool."

Overall, I'd choose 2nd!
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I think I am going to go with...
Old 07-18-2011, 02:33 PM
 
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2nd! I have until Wednesday to let my principal know. I'll keep you all posted!
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I taught both
Old 07-18-2011, 02:46 PM
 
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1st & 2nd. I LOVE teaching 2nd grade. For me, it is the best grade.
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Old 07-18-2011, 03:19 PM
 
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I'll have to agree with BettySpeller. I've taught...

Quote:
1st & 2nd. I LOVE teaching 2nd grade. For me, it is the best grade.
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Old 07-18-2011, 03:22 PM
 
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I really enjoy the 'learning to read' phase. I enjoy phonics. This year, 1st graders won't have letter grades and that's a huge reason to like it!

But 2nd grade is usually easier to teach than 1st...independence, reading already, etc. What I don't like about 2nd is getting kids from other schools and trying to teach them to read. All of our transfer students in 2nd had problems in other schools, which is a big reason I won't choose it next year, I think.
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Old 07-18-2011, 03:39 PM
 
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I've taught 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 7th, and 8th grades. Second is my favorite! Of course, I always have some who still can't read at the beginning of second, so that's not really a factor for me in favoring 2nd grade. I like that second graders are more independent, so much fun, and they love their teacher!
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Old 07-18-2011, 03:52 PM
 
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I've taught 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. Second is my favorite!! I am in 1st now, and if I wasn't so close to retirement ( 3-4 years) I would switch back to second in an instant!!!!!
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Old 07-18-2011, 04:32 PM
 
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I have taught K - 3. I teach second now. I looped up with a second grade class and taught third. I ended up staying in third for a few years. I went back to second - easier to plan for me. I love both second and third!
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Old 07-18-2011, 04:51 PM
 
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It really just depends on your preference. I have taught second grade for two years and first grade for one. I would not trade either experience for anything in this world. I love how second graders are more independent and can do more.

On the other hand, I love teaching the foundation, which you can do in grades K and 1. There is so much growth in first grade, and it's wonderful to see. It's amazing and so fulfilling.
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Hands down...
Old 07-18-2011, 05:04 PM
 
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2nd Grade is the best! I have taught both and first is very difficult. There is so much curriculum to get through and many kids are just not ready for it. I love second! I teach it now and hope to stay for a long time!
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SECOND!! In a heartbeat!!!!
Old 07-18-2011, 06:31 PM
 
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Taught 1st for 16 years and enjoyed it, but moved to 2nd last year and I LOVE IT!!! I also agree with PP who said moving down two grade levels might be tougher. Going from 3rd where they are so much more independent to 1st where they are so NOT - would be a huge leap. You will love 2nd grade!!
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Hands down....
Old 07-18-2011, 06:34 PM
 
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Second Grade!!! I'm about to begin my 5th year of teaching 2nd grade and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.
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Love my Firsties!
Old 07-18-2011, 07:26 PM
 
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Going on my 10th year in first! I love it. 2nd is a great grade too, I've taught it as well. I agree with previous poster's thoughts: It would be easier for you to move down one grade level vs. 2.
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It looks like you're going with Second
Old 07-18-2011, 08:41 PM
 
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which is what I teach, but I have to say that I LOVE first graders. They are still so loving and at that stage where they want to please the teacher still. Plus, they make such huge growth. Also, in CA the testing pressure is not there.

Last year was my first year in Second grade and it was challenging! Before that I taught K and 1st. I had a very challenging class and a LOT of strong personalities so I felt like I spent the whole year trying to teach them how to get along with each other. It just felt like they were just getting to an age where they cared more about the social aspect of school than the learning part. On the other hand, they were much more capable than first graders.

Good luck with your decision! Both grades are fun!
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:26 PM
 
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I love Firsties!
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Go for Second!
Old 07-19-2011, 07:34 AM
 
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Sound like you've decided on second. After 20 years of teaching fourth grade I moved to second. I loved fourth graders, but when asked to switch I thought that it was time for a change. After teaching this past year in second grade I found that I loved the teaching and the kids even more than fourth. Good luck!
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Without a doubt -- second grade is the best!
Old 07-19-2011, 07:42 AM
 
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I usually do a first / second grade loop, and I always love second grade so much more. The students are already students but they still have the primary enthusiasm.
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Like both
Old 07-19-2011, 09:53 AM
 
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Hmmmm...I can't tell you which to pick, but I'll tell you what I might try to do if it was me:

But first, some background info: I student taught 4th and did 3 LTS (very long -- two of them were half the year) in 3rd. THOSE were my favorite grades. Then, when I sought a full-time position, I was hired to teach first. It was an adjustment at first, because there is a BIG difference in the independence, understanding, listening et al of a 1st grader compared to a 3rd grader, but I FELL IN LOVE with first. Most first graders learn TONS no matter WHAT you do (just kidding, but still somewhat true.) So eager, so cute, and their brains are like sponges. I was going to teach first grade forever!!! Well, four years later, I switched districts and the need was a second grade position. Well, I liked that just as much, no...even more. So, when they needed someone to drop from 2nd to 1st, I hesitated, because I LOVED 2nd. BUT, I'm a team player and they needed a first grade teacher and I was the one with the experience and love of first graders. So, I changed (in October.)

But here's what I did that I think you might look into:

I asked if I could then loop my kids into 2nd grade the next year and the princ agreed. That was the best of all.

A couple of years ago, they needed one 2nd grade teacher to become a 1/2 split and the other to become a 2/3 split. I guessed that my colleague would want the 2/3, but she didn't. (The 2nd graders that previous year were a challenging group and 70% boys.) So, she took the 1/2 and I took the 2/3. She later said I got the better deal. So, this year when one of us had to switch to 1st she said she would because she had the experience from last year's split. She missed teaching 2nd grade, but she's planning on looping them and teaching them 2nd grade next year. For you, looping in a year would mean changing grades 3 times in 3 years, so that might be a bit much, but there's a lot to be said for having kids you already had. You save a LOT of time on classroom management, getting to know students/parents, et al. Maybe you should go for first and then see what group of kids you get and suggest looping down the road if you decide it's a group you want to try it with?

Oh, I see you already wrote that you're probably giong with 2nd. Oops! Sorry for being so long-winded on a moot point. The advantage of teaching 2nd when you've been teaching 3rd is that you know what they working towards skill-wise. Good luck!

Last edited by GdHrtdTchr; 07-19-2011 at 09:59 AM.. Reason: Add on after reading your follow up post
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I've taught 1st and 2nd....
Old 07-19-2011, 11:53 AM
 
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I would pick 2nd grade, hands down.... :-)
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taught both
Old 07-19-2011, 01:24 PM
 
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I started off teaching 2 years in second only to be switched to first. Taught first for 7 years and did love it but it was a LOT of work. I learned a ton and am a good teacher because of it. When I heard of an opening in second I JUMPED at the chance to go back. Just finished my third year back in second and I have loved every minute! I definitely vote second.
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2nd Grade!
Old 07-19-2011, 03:41 PM
 
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I loop 1st and 2nd grade and love it...but second grade is so much more fun!
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Hands down the winner is....
Old 07-19-2011, 04:40 PM
 
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second grade. It is the best grade. The kids are more independent and they adore you. I can't imagine teaching any other grade level.
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2nd!!!
Old 07-19-2011, 04:41 PM
 
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ALL THE WAY!

I love their independence!
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Without a doubt...
Old 07-19-2011, 07:57 PM
 
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2nd grade!!!!!
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:17 PM
 
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I think that 2nd would be an easier/smoother transition from third. You also have a great idea of where they need to be at the end of the year!
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I told my principal today....
Old 07-19-2011, 09:05 PM
 
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That I would move to 2nd. I am very excited for the change and I am feeling like it was the best choice for now. Thanks so much everyone!!
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:54 AM
 
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I think you made a good decision!!!! Hope you have a great year!!!!
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Congrats
Old 07-21-2011, 08:00 AM
 
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I agree with many of the other posters in that with out a doubt I would choose 2nd grade!!!!!!

Congratulations on your choice I think you will like it. Just remember when they start and like for the first month they are old first graders. That was the thing I needed to remember when I moved down to 2nd 5 years ago from 3rd.

Good Luck
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2nd
Old 07-21-2011, 12:54 PM
 
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I have to agree 2nd is the best! I could not imagine teaching a better grade!
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my grade
Old 07-23-2011, 05:02 PM
 
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First First First First. I love Firsties!
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2nd Grade
Old 07-24-2011, 08:51 PM
 
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I have taught in both the second and the first grade. I loved the first grade, but when I was assigned to second I never looked back. In second grade they can do more things without to much difficulty. If I had to choose, it would be the second grade. If you have been teaching the third grade, then the students in the first grade will seem very very young, and not able to do many things on their own. I hope this helps. Good Luck in your choice. I hope you have a great year!

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Old 07-25-2011, 10:12 AM
 
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HANDS DOWN 1ST GRADE!!!! This will be my fourth year teaching 1st. I taught 2nd grade for 1year and they were a bunch of babies. I had so many behavior issues.
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