If you are considering becoming a teacher, you might be wondering what the best grade to teach is. While this is a valid concern, especially finding teaching will likely be your lifelong career, there, unfortunately, is no straightforward answer. Each grade level has its own sets of objectives that students need to learn, and different teachers enjoy teaching different things. The good news is there is a “best grade” to teach for each individual teacher.
If you’re wondering which grade level is the right fit for you, only experience will allow you to find it. Still, you will have a few things to consider. Some love the little ones, other teachers prefer kids who are a little more independent, and some love the older students. Here are some things to keep in mind for each grade level as you work to find your “perfect grade”.
What is the Best Grade to Teach?
If early-childhood education is your forte, you might want to focus on teaching preschool or kindergarten. Either role allows you to help children integrate into the world. Being a child’s first teacher is an extremely important job. A job that comes along with teaching skills and lessons, both life and academic. Tying shoes, making friends, counting to 20, and learning nursery rhymes. Being a preschool or kindergarten teacher is a ton of fun.
Many teachers love teaching first grade because they get to watch their kids learn how to read and write for the very first time. These basic skills set the pace for the learning they will receive all the way through graduation. First-grade teachers can also expect to introduce children to basic math facts, as well. First graders are new to the elementary school game and enjoy being with their teachers and classmates each day. Teachers who enjoy interacting with young, curious children would be an excellent fit for any first-grade classroom.
Second-grade teachers focus on further developing offspring’s literacy skills in their classrooms. They also continue to build fundamental math skills by teaching about double-digit addition and subtraction. This grade level thrives on lessons that are rich in experiments, exercises, and hands-on approaches accompanying them.
Second graders are kind and considerate people who care about their classmates and teachers. They are beginning to learn morals and the difference between right and wrong, which means teachers can look forward to a significant change in their students’ communication skills as the year goes on, which can be very rewarding.
Third-grade students are a highly-loved group of students to teach because they are still young enough to be excited about learning. However, they are old enough to display a higher level of independence and understanding in school. The curricula for third grade are similar to that of first and second, except it is a bit more complicated in its subject matter. Third graders, though, are a joy to teach and are generally eager to learn new things in class.
Teachers who want to help students start developing decision-making and social awareness would be well-suited to teach a fourth-grade class. Fourth graders also tend to be very motivated by being social, so if you enjoy group assignments and projects, you would have a lot of fun teaching a fourth-grade class. Fourth graders are highly adept at participating in class discussions, as well, as a result of their socially-geared brains. If you enjoy a good class discussion, this could be the perfect fit for you.
Many teachers argue that fifth graders have the perfect balance of independence and dependence in the classroom. If it’s important to you that your students rely on you for help, but you still like them to work independently, the fifth grade might be an excellent fit for you. Fifth graders are also often capable of producing profound thoughts and having more in-depth conversations, so that’s a big plus for many teachers, as well!
Sixth grade marks the entrance into middle school for kids. It’s a new age where students are learning more about themselves, the relationships they keep, and the work that they do. Teaching sixth grade can be very rewarding because sixth graders are very resilient and ready to learn. Sixth-grade teachers can look forward to showing students their first glimpses of algebra, learning more complicated works of literature, and much, much more.
Seventh-grade teachers agree that teaching seventh grade is a great choice. Kids are already acquainted with the requirements of middle school and are old enough to know right from wrong. By this time, they are usually well-established in their social circles and have more time to focus on their academics as a result. If you’re looking for a grade level made up of kids who understand what it takes to be successful, seventh grade is an excellent option for you.
The oldest of the middle school group, eighth-graders are a joy to teach for the right teacher. These students are bright and generally enjoy coming to school each day. They have likely been in the same classes as their classmates for a couple of years now, so they understand teamwork and working together toward a common goal. This is also the final year of middle school, so eight graders need supportive teachers who can adequately prepare them for the high school years to follow.
The freshman year of high school is an exciting and different year for everyone. Not only are kids a year older, but they now have the responsibility of earning the grades that help them get into college since the ninth grade is usually the first one that shows up on high school transcripts. If you are interested in assisting students to reach academic achievement specifically for college entrance, ninth grade is a great place to start, since the habits taught here will make a difference in each year to come.
Tenth grade is an integral part of any high schooler’s career. In between intermediate and senior high school levels, these students need exceptional support and guidance to grow. Usually, between the ages of fifteen and sixteen, tenth graders are learning what it’s like to experience more independence since they might be starting their first jobs or driving cars for the first time. Tenth-grade teachers should be committed to helping students balance that independence with being responsible in school. If that’s something you’re interested in doing, tenth-grade teaching is probably a good choice for you to go with.
One year shy of seniors, eleventh graders are independent, hard-working students who understand their impact on society. They are well-developed socially and understand what it takes to be successful in school. These students have excellent time-management and organizational skills and can handle a good amount of stress without breaking down. If you’re looking for independent students who are motivated to learn and have the tools they need to succeed, you should consider teaching eleventh grade.
Seniors are some of the most enjoyable students to teach out of them all. Excited to graduate, these students are interested in enjoying their time at school. They also have college admissions in their sight, so the academic achievement is at the top of their list of priorities. They are the most experienced school attendees, so they know what to expect in class, and they know how to hold themselves accountable for completing assignments and rocking out tests.
Choosing the Right Grade to Teach for You
Selecting the best grade to teach for you is a highly personal and important decision. Making the right choice means gathering information about each class and what you can expect to teach. Then, you can decide which grade level or levels are the best fit for you. At the end of the day, the choice is yours to make, and there really is no wrong decision when it comes to selecting a grade level. If you try one grade and it doesn’t work for you, nothing is stopping you from trying something else. So, don’t feel like you have to make the right decision the first time around – there is always time for you to make a change.