Middle school teachers are the trained professionals who teach sixth, seventh and eighth grade students. They not only help students retain what they learned in elementary school, but also help prepare them for the difficult classes they’re required to take in high school. Successful middle school teachers are an asset to the educational system because of their unique and meaningful characteristics.
1. Desire to Work With This Age Group
When individuals pursue an education degree with an emphasis on middle school education, they know what grades they’ll be teaching and desire to work with students of this age. Based on the premise that a happy employee is a successful employee, a teacher who chooses middle school students is going to find his or her work rewarding, which will make learning exciting and fulfilling for the student. Through much research, the Association for Middle Level Education has determined that middle schools are extremely beneficial to young students at a time in their lives when they are changing physically, mentally and hormonally.
2. Ability to Accommodate Students
Despite the fact that the teacher is in charge of the students, a good teacher has the ability to connect with his or her students not only as a group but also as individuals. In a classroom full of students, teachers find that each student is different, and each has different needs. When asked what they want most in a middle school teacher, the National Middle School Association listed the teacher willing to accommodate students with different needs and educational levels, according to the Houston Chronicle. Failure to do so can often allow a troubled student to “fall through the cracks” and not reach his or her academic potential.
3. An Effective Teaching Style
In order to be an effective middle school teacher, the students must be not only motivated but well disciplined. If even one student is behaving inappropriately and disrupting the classroom, the other students are not going to reap the benefits of what the teacher is offering. Middle school students are at an age where they’re exploring the options as young adults and may misbehave. Middle school students taught by a great teacher know their boundaries as well as what is expected and what will not be tolerated. The good teacher also develops a teaching style to match his or her own personality.
4. Willing and Able to Put in Required Time
Being a good middle school teacher often requires going the extra mile for the students. Students often have needs that go beyond the school hours. Teaching involves more than just time spent in the classrooms. Parent/teacher meetings typically take place outside of school hours. Middle school teachers often meet with parents to discuss the student’s academic achievements as well as any difficulties that student may be having. Teachers also attend meetings with other teachers, join teaching groups and complete any teaching courses. In essence, the teacher never stops learning.
5. Psychological Skills Required
Middle school students may be dealing with psychological or emotional issues, so the teacher must have the psychological and sociological skills to not only help the student but also recognize that the student may need additional help. Parents often look to the teacher for advice and possible recommendations. The correct training helps the middle teacher learn the different traits each student possesses and the best way to keep them motivated.
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Surprisingly enough, not all school districts have middle schools. Of the more than 98,000 public schools in the nation, there are only about 13,000 middle schools, according to a 2016 National Center for Education Statistics report. Many would like to change this not only because middle school teachers help with the elementary-to-high school transition but also because they help students during what can be a difficult period as they advance into puberty and young adults.