Almost everyone acknowledges that school teachers have one of the hardest jobs around. Being a good teacher, after all, is a lot more than just showing up for classes.
It involves trying to motivate and inspire children into becoming lifelong learners and independent thinkers. Many would say middle school teachers have a particularly tough time of it, as teenagers are notoriously difficult to rouse. However, if you’re looking to enroll in a teacher certification program, consider all the benefits of being a middle school teacher.
One good thing about being a teacher, the work schedule is extremely consistent. A teacher will usually arrive one hour early to plan daily classes or attend faculty meetings. After teaching their designated classes, teachers typically stay after one hour to grade papers, plan, or write tests. There’s always something.
When school is not in session in the summer, however, you are free to relax, vacation, or travel. If you go through a teacher certification program and become a middle school teacher, you will benefit from this predictable schedule as well as the built-in flexibility of several months of vacation.
As you might expect, a middle school teacher’s average day is spent predominantly in class. Depending on the school and particular district, class periods range from 40 to 90 minutes. During that time, you are expected to get through state-issued and district-assigned curriculum. Of course, it varies from state to state and school to school, but there are generally strict guidelines about what needs to be covered in any given class. In many cases, though, your classroom is yours, and you can teach the set curriculum however you deem most effective.
When you’re not teaching, most schools ensure a lunch break for all teachers as well as one period not spent in front of the classroom. This is typically known as a planning period, and you can spend it planning for your next lessons, grading papers, writing tests, or having one-on-one meetings with students.
After you go through your teacher certification program and secure a job, you’ll learn teaching goes far beyond the classroom. Many extra hours can be spent grading and tutoring kids before or after school.
There is no doubt that teaching is a challenging job, and there’s even less doubt that teaching middle school students is particularly difficult. However, the benefits are proportionate. Teens and preteens might be surly and uncooperative at times, but it is an impressionable time in their lives. If you can teach with passion, insight, and creativity, you have a great chance at making a concrete difference in students’ lives and inspiring them for the rest of their lives.