Middle School vs Elementary

I have completed 2 weeks of being a 7th grade reading teacher.

And I conquered my first Open House last week. (Which by the way was super exhausting.)

I feel like I have enough knowledge to break apart working in a secondary school and working in an elementary school. We’ll start with elementary.

The Pros

  • The kids are adorable.
  • Everything is cuter! The rooms, the work, all of it!
  • Everything is more structured, which I like because that is my personality.
  • It’s more fun! They have a Field Day, there’s always cool things going on at the assemblies, the Scholastic Book Fair, they let the kids come to school in their Halloween costumes (usually), they do cute little programs, etc.
  • The kids put me in a good mood every day because they’re still so sweet and eager to please.
  • You get done earlier because the day starts earlier.

The Cons

  • You usually have to stay late to get things ready for lesson plans for the next day BECAUSE everything has to be more regimented and cute at the same time.
  • The kiddos aren’t responsible yet because they’re so young.
  • Less planning time.
  • Planning for more subjects if you are self-contained.
  • The school day usually starts earlier so you have to be there at the crack of dawn.
  • Duties. Whomp.

Now middle school…

The Pros

  • The kids are WAAAAAAAY more independent because the expectations are higher.
  • There are advanced classes and it makes it easier to teach (some of the time) because the G&T kids are usually in there so it’s easier to reach all the students and no one seems like they’re left behind in advanced and in the general education classes.
  • The day begins a little later so you can sleep in a little bit.
  • You don’t waste as much time making everything “cutsie”. We just stick to the facts!
  • The day goes by quickly because the periods are shorter.
  • We get to read really awesome novels like Wonder by R. J. Palacio.
  • No one stays late, you can get your stuff done at home. (Unlike elementary)
  • You can kid around with the kids more.
  • You have more planning time with your conference and PLC/CLC planning times.
  • Less duties.

The Cons

  • I seem to have had more parents contacting me constantly. In some ways that can be good, in other ways it’s stressful and tedious.
  • You have to stay later (kinda but not really)
  • Grades :/ I was teaching 2nd grade before and they didn’t have grades.
  • Most of the kids are way taller than me and it makes me feel little.

These are my observations from teaching at both elementary and secondary levels. I can’t decide which I enjoy more. I love them both for such different reasons.


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