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Has anyone taught 1st and 2nd grade?

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Has anyone taught 1st and 2nd grade?
Old 04-29-2017, 11:25 PM
 
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I'll try to give the scenario as briefly as I can:

I'm a first year teacher currently teaching 1st grade. For a while, it was looking like they would be cutting my job but adding a K position, and I was going to pursue that even though I would have prederred to stay in 1st. They ended up keeping my position and a 2nd grade teacher took the open Kindergarten slot. The rest of the 2nd grade team asked me if I would consider moving to 2nd grade. I vibe very well with them and we've all become friends this year despite im separate wings. I do like the 1st grade team, one of them is an amazing mentor and the other is nice but we have different styles and personalities so we aren't that close.

If I want to change grades I need to talk to my P Monday. I know he prefers to keep new teachers at the same grade but I feel this may give me another experience to see what grade I love best. I love the 2nd grade team but know my mentor for this year would be sad to see me go.

My reasonfor posting here... how different is 2nd grade than 1st? Why do you prefer 2nd grade? Is there anything that makes 2nd grade easier or harder than 1st? How different is curriculum? Anything else about 2nd I should know?

Thank you!


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Old 04-30-2017, 01:44 AM
 
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Take my opinion lightly, as I've only subbed in both of those grades, but I'll try since I see no one else has answered yet.

Basically, kids grow so fast that the first graders you have now are like the second graders you'd start with in the fall. Kids change a lot from the beginning to the end of the year in both grades.

Both grades kind of tire me out socially. They want to be right next to you a lot, tattling can be an issue, etc. I find first is harder in the spring and second in the fall.

Second graders are really developing their sense of reason. Some of them will start to ask much "bigger" questions - which is really cool to see, but will also keep you you on your toes.

The biggest difference academically is that most of your second graders will come in reading. This means there will be a more "follow the directions, then we'll check it" and less one-question-at-time work where you read everything and they all do each one at the same pace.

I personally like the math in second. There are some great concepts like place value, measurement, and the foundations of geometry that I see them using when I work with the older grades. If you love math and science, second is a good time to pass that love on to kids.

But some teachers miss watching them learn to read in first (though so much of that happens in kindergarten now anyway, there isn't as much to miss as there used to be). So it all depends on which subject you favor.

One other thing to consider, in your particular case, is that it could mean looping with your class or just randomly having some of them again. That could sell the move or hurt your chances depending on whether it's something the principal is interested in trying.
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I've had both
Old 04-30-2017, 03:08 AM
 
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I actually taught both in the same room for many years- I had a multi age class of half first and half second.

Think of your first graders now, at the end of the year. You would pick up right where you left off. They are reading and writing. You would be building on the foundation you built in first. I consider second an easier grade to teach. They have their school smarts, and are still so eager to please. IMHO it's the perfect grade for a new teacher. I've had straight first for a few years now, and I love it. The growth is amazing, but I think it's more challenging than second because of the beginning of the year when they are still babies. Now they are so independent it's wonderful.

If you think you'd be a good fit with the second grade team, then why not at least have a discussion with your P? I think its a win win, both are great if primary is for you. Getting experience in as many grades as possible will serve you well if you ever go into administration down the road. Good luck!
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Old 04-30-2017, 03:51 AM
 
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I taught a first and second combo, just first, and then just second grade. I stayed in second grade the longest. Part of the reason was the second grade team. Clicking well with your team is very important. It may not just be that your teaching styles are similar ( because ours were vastly different!), but we just had fun with each other. I preferred teaching second because they were more independent and I felt that we could go deeper into books. They didn't just want to listen to or read a book because it was entertaining. They would provide insights into the author's message that would amaze me. I don't know that one grade is any harder or easier to teach than another. They all have their challenges. I just personally enjoyed 7 and 8 year olds!

The suggestion to loop with your first graders is worth proposing. I did that several times also. I loved it because right from the start of second grade we were off and running. They knew my expectations and I knew their strengths and needs. The first days of school were like a family reunion.
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Go for it
Old 04-30-2017, 05:00 AM
 
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I have taught both for most of my teaching life. Have also taught many split 1's and 2's. Last year I looped with half my 1's into 2's. Loved the year. Could continue with how they had finished the year so already knew the kids. Sounds like you like the people in that year group so have a go. Goodluck


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1st and 2nd
Old 04-30-2017, 05:15 AM
 
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I have taught K, 1st and currently in 2nd. Loved K but I felt I was getting too short tempered and wanted a change. Taught 1st for two years and didn't love it. They are still kinders for the first 6 weeks. Felt the curriculum was all over the place.

Got the chance to move to second 8 years ago and fell in love. This grade level has skills and experience. They have a terrific and goofy sense of humor.the curriculum makes more sense. And by March, they seem more like "kids" than "babies". You can have a conversation with them.

I say go for it.
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Go for it!
Old 04-30-2017, 07:08 AM
 
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I've taught both. I enjoy first, but prefer second. They are a bit less needy, and are still excited to learn.
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Go for it
Old 04-30-2017, 01:46 PM
 
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Like another poster said, new second graders are the first graders you see now. They become much more independent as the year progresses. You get to see second graders flourish as readers. I would definitely take the chance to move to second (my favorite grade). If you have been happy with the students you have (and their parents) ask to loop with them. Knowing your kids at the beginning of the year gives you a real jump on learning. Plus they already know you teaching/management style. This is a huge advantage for them and you. Also, don't underestimate the power of working with a team you really mesh with. This opportunity sounds golden.
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1st vs 2nd
Old 05-09-2017, 10:46 AM
 
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I taught 2nd for 10 years and then was asked to move to 1st, which I taught for 3 years. IMO, 1st grade is MUCH more tiring. I thought I was a pro but 1st grade wore me out. I was exhausted every night. Now, I'm back to 2nd and I am realizing how fun teaching can be again. The kids are independent, fun, and funny. I can devote much more energy to teaching and planning because I'm not spending all my time helping kids make good decisions, solving arguments, teaching/reteaching routines, not to mention tying/retying shoes. .

BUT, first graders sure are cute and make SO much growth, which is so rewarding professionally. It DEFINITELY made me a better teacher overall.

With all that said, I would go for 2nd, especially if you love the team! It's much easier.
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Yes
Old 05-12-2017, 07:20 PM
 
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I taught first for many years. Switched to second 4 years ago. Love it! It is still early learning and building the foundation, however, the students are much less needy. Go for it!


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