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And so my career change saga continues. I've just been offered the possibility of teaching at the elementary level, which I've never done before, for a school that will be built this year and will open in the fall of 2011. Now, aside from having tutored learning-challenged kids of 7 or 8 years of age, I've never taught elementary. My b.ed. was geared towards teaching English and moral education at the secondary level. Through my tutoring and teaching experience, I've taught history, catholicism, French, and even Spanish, so I know I'm able to adapt but I'm a bit concerned I don't have what it takes to do elementary.<br><br>
For those mamas who have experience at this level, can you tell me:<br>
a) What do you love about teaching elementary?<br>
b) What do you hate?<br>
c) What are your days like, in terms of scheduling?<br>
d) What sort of training do you have?<br><br>
TIA!
 

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I taught fifth grade for 6 years and second grade for 3. I love that you can get to know the kids in elem school b/c they aren't shuffled out of your room every 45 min. I also like a bit more freedom in my scheduling of the day and a little more creativity b/c I control the blocks of time to a degree.<br><br>
It is less boring to teach elem b/c you have so many subject areas to teach.<br><br>
BUT, on the flip side... I think teaching elem is incredibly difficult b/c you have so many subjects to learn and plan. This is especially difficult, in my opinion, when you get to the higher levels, like fifth when you need to go a bit more in depth with things like Science and Social Studies. Plus their writing pieces are longer and more involved.<br><br>
There are many good things about teaching elem, but I am personally trying to get back into middle school, which I've taught before. Now that I have a child, I do not have the time to do all that planning and grading. It is easier to plan one or two classes (1 or 2 preps.) Plus, I'd rather grade 150 of the same test or paper then try to figure out how to grade 5 different sets of 30 papers... less of a learning curve.<br><br>
That's just my take on it. Good luck. It's fulfilling, but exhausting.<br><br>
Oh, days were 8:30 - 4 and my training was undergrad in English and graduate certification in Elem ED (Grades 1-8)
 

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I agree with Chipper. The best part is that you have the kids all day and you can really get to know them and their parents. In elementary, they LOVE the teacher and it is really easy to get them excited about the material.<br><br>
The difficult part is having to plan 9ish lessons/day! That is draining! It takes a lot more prep work. And if you have a difficult group then you're stuck with them all day. I worked in middle school for a while and it was a relief when a challenging class left <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Although elementary is hard work, it is a lot easier (for me) to build rapport and once I have the relationship then it is easy to manage the class. Even the planning gets easier after the first month, or so...<br><br>
With my school, we get a prep period each day, which REALLY helps. I work 8:30 - 3:10 and I have a B. Ed. I teach grade 3.<br><br>
You for sure have what it takes to do elementary! You just need to give yourself time to adjust. It takes a good month or two to get into the swing of things.<br><br>
Good luck!!
 

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I have taught kindergarten for three years and I taught first grade for four years. I agree with chipper that it is so fulfilling to teach younger children, however, it is totally and completely exhausting (particularly once I am home, I crash, which is unfortunate for my LO at home). I work about 8:30-4:00 (school is 8:50-3:05) and the day is non-stop jam packed with very little down time. My only down time (1/2 hour prep plus 1/2 hour lunch) is spent pumping. I have a BA in early childhood and an MEd in special education. I would say that as long as you have the energy, you will love being with young children!
 

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I used to work in a Secondary school for seven years as an English teacher, and than moved to elementary ages 6-14. Personally, I prefer older kids, they are more challenging (in a good way), and the curriculum is more interesting, however, younger pupils really love you, and although preparing lessons is really exhausting, the love they give you really compensates!<br>
So, in my mind, it's a tie!<br>
Good luck!<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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I've taught at the middle school level for 12 years and have been back at elementary for the last 4.<br><br>
Just echoing what a lot of the other moms have posted. Secondary is easier. It's easier to plan for one or two subjects, although sometimes it got a little boring. The schedule was easier for me, too. (Our middle school started at 7:50 and ended at 2:45.)<br><br>
I love being at elementary now. I get to know the kids very well. With respect to teaching all subjects, I don't. I have a teaching partner and we team teach, each taking the subjects we like best or with which we have the most experience. So I teach Reading, Spelling, Grammar, Writing, and Science to my homeroom and Grammar, Writing and Science to my partner's homeroom. (She teaches the Math and Social Studies to my kids.) It helps a lot in terms of planning, but you have to have a partner willing to do it, and you have to have a good relationship.<br><br>
I get to school at 7:20 and leave around 3:45. My official school day is from 8:25-3:35. I have a 40 minute prep. period and a 30 minute lunch. I have a Bachelor's in Education and a Master's in Ed. too.
 
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