Reflections on Teaching Middle School

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Contributed by Julie S., Teacher, Minneapolis, MN

When I was hired as the sixth grade teacher for the school that I currently work at, I couldn’t believe it! I had worked in the preschool setting for the past five years prior to being hired. It was completely overwhelming to think that I would be working as a 6th and 7th grade teacher for the upcoming year, and moving on from the preschool job that I had grown to call my “home away from home.”  I never in a million years thought I would be teaching 6th and 7th graders.

Once the dust settled, I jumped head first into the class and began teaching. I loved it from the second day on! I wouldn’t change it! As with any new teacher, there have been many challenges that have come along my way as the year progresses.


Planning assemblies was new to me. At our school the children are rewarded for their good behavior at the end of every month. Trying to reward the children with “goodies” that they liked became a challenge early on. I started out with random toys that I thought they would enjoy. Well, turns out 6th and 7th graders are not interested in children’s games/puzzles.  I have come to realize that certificates, key chains, visual material that the children can see and wear are much more beneficial.

Another challenge became planning programs/rewards on a very strict budget. Putting the money where it counts, and trying not to waste much has become a goal of mine. This is still a challenge that I encounter when planning activities for the children to the date. Currently we are planning a track and field day for the spring. I received an email from Anderson’s which has many resources related to track and field events that I am looking into. I especially like that the items are reasonably priced.

In conclusion, I have to say I wouldn’t change my job for the world. I love teaching, and I embrace every challenge with a smile, knowing that every problem I encounter helps me be the best teacher that I can be.