If you were to compare a middle school student and a squirrel, you might see that there are many startling similarities. They both are small and quick, they both have difficult staying still, and they both are uniquely charming in their own ways. Also, while they for a few moments look like a rather cute creature you'd like to take home, you realize very quickly that they can be rather ravenous and dangerous in the wrong environment. But middle school students, unlike squirrels, are destined to grow out of their rodent-like frenzy and take on the responsibilities of adulthood. Therefore, it is our task to take children at this unique stage of their development and show them right paths to develop down. Middle school educators have the ability to share with students the knowledge and skills necessary to develop their burgeoning minds. An Associate's Degree in middle school education and teaching provides you with the knowledge and skills necessary to take on this challenging, rewarding position.
Middle school teachers are commonly certified to instruct a narrow range of grades and ages: grades 6, 7, and 8, spanning ages 10-14. Even though this range seems small, there is an incredible amount of social, intellectual, and psychological development for children at these ages, which means that teachers need to become experts in each of these areas to be effective instructors for each grade. Much of middle school education programs focus on developing teachers to be proficient at understanding all three of these areas of middle schoolers' development.
The responsibilities of a middle school educator are broader than many people realize. A majority of the day is spent preparing materials and designing lesson plans to teach students from a variety of backgrounds. Students in any given classroom also features different skill aptitudes and learning styles, which means that lessons must be designed with differentiation in mind. When middle school teachers are not preparing or executing lessons, they are often grading assignments or developing assessments. Assessments are a critical portion of the educational process in that they help instructors evaluate where student learning is at and how it has growth over time.
Middle school educators commonly find employment at both public and private junior highs. Like their secondary education counterparts, middle school teachers frequently develop competency without a limited range of subjects. They often have educational backgrounds in English, science, social studies, world language, or mathematics. Although middle school teachers might be able to teach multiple areas, they are not like elementary teachers in that they could teach all of them.
Aside from working at a public or private junior high school, those with an Associate's Degree in middle school education and teaching can find employment as a teaching assistant, tutor, and educational consultant. Teaching assistants work under the direction of teachers and serve students on a more one-on-one basis. Tutors are in high demand for private tutoring centers, school programs, and even on an individual basis. Parents who want their junior high student to get ahead or even catch up might desire the services of a certified teacher in a more relational setting. And instead of working directly in the classroom, many educators find it beneficial to take their knowledge about teaching and help schools and teachers from a broader planning and implementation perspective.
So sure, we joke about middle school students being like squirrels, but the reality is that these young minds are ultimately capable of absorbing a great deal of information. When you earn your Associate's Degree in middle school education and teaching, you'll possess the broad range of fundaments that enable you to work with, understand, and mold these incredible young people.
Meet with Parents – Middle school can be a hard time for students as they are going through so many changes. It is common to meet with the parents regularly to go over grades, progress and even any social issues that might come up during grades 6-8.
Create Lesson Plans – Like all middle school teachers you’ll need to plan your day and create lesson plans. The biggest difference between middle school teachers and elementary teachers is typically you’ll be teaching just a few subjects (math, English, history, science, etc.).
Grade Papers – A lot of time is spent as a teacher grading papers not only during breaks in school but at home. Unfortunately middle school teachers don’t typically have assistant teachers that can help them.
Coaching – It is not uncommon to find that many middle school teachers also coach some type of sports. Often you’ll teach a main subject matter and might volunteer to be a football, basketball or volleyball coach. You will get paid extra to be a coach as well.
It’s required that for all public schools that middle school teachers be fully licensed in the state they are teaching in. Check your state board for any additional requirements. Teacher’s degrees are typically 4 years and have to be taught from an accredited school.
The median salary for middle school teachers is $51,575 however those with the highest salaries made $81,775. The Eastern US made up the highest paid teachers in the country. It is expected that salary as well as job growth continue for middle school teachers for the next 10 years. The demand is even higher for private schools who give bonuses and even more pay to attract and retain good teachers. Unlike the public school system the private system can pay their teachers as much as they want however you’ll not be eligible for any retirement funds after 20 years like in the public school system. Middle school teachers make up over 650,000 jobs in the US at over 95,000 public schools.