Middle schooling refers to the educational phase sandwiched in-between elementary school and high school. The primary responsibility of a middle school teacher is to instruct and educate students who have completed their primary education in readiness for high school and beyond. Although there are slight variations in the age group represented by this period of education, the prevalent ages are often between 11 and 14 years. In other words, the middle school teacher is accountable for the tutelage of students between the 6th and 8th grades. Middle school teachers build on the students’ knowledge base acquired in elementary school in preparation for senior high school. These instructors are tasked with the responsibility of teaching core subjects such as middle school level Math, English, History, Science and Physical Education/ Health. Some of the elective subjects include Arts and Languages.
The diversity of the subjects taught implies that a middle school teacher must specialize in a subject and attain the needed proficiency to instruct the middle schoolers accordingly.
Middle School Teacher Job Duties
- Conceptualizes and administers tests, projects and assignments using approved curricula as guides in order to determine the performance of the middle school students.
- Assesses, evaluates and keeps records of the results of the various tests and assignments taken by the middle school students.
- Liaises and interacts with other subject teachers and staff members in order to have a broader knowledge of the students’ mentalities and attitudes.
- Determines the best approach to simplify complex topics in order to improve understanding and progress amongst the middle school students.
- Prepares the middle school students for societal expectations, civic responsibilities and policies.
- Maintains and sustains the middle school students’ obeisance towards constituted rules and regulations in order to create an enabling environment wherein physical, mental, socio-emotional and civic development can occur.
- Identifies students with unique needs and requirements, and thus, figures out a more suitable approach to manage such a situation.
- Adopts the utility of various models and devices that are appropriate in making the learning experience for the middle school students more vibrant, robust and more easily comprehended.
- Junior high school teacher
- Intermediate school teacher
- Secondary school teacher
The job outlook is high. This is due to the fact that middle school education is compulsory in most regions of the world. As a result of the steadily increasing world population, it is logical that the enrollment of students into middle schools consequently increases, and thus, the demand for middle school teachers rise too.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected job growth for middle school teachers is put at 6% (2014 – 2024).
Middle School Teacher Skills and Qualifications
- As with all teachers, a middle school teacher has to possess very good verbal and non-verbal communication skills. The middle school teacher’s demeanor and body language must always display confidence and grace.
- Patience, tolerance and perseverance are important attributes required to be an accomplished middle school teacher. The children who fall into the middle school age category are adolescents and young teenagers who can be quite difficult to manage sometimes. Therefore, a middle school teacher needs to be profoundly patient in order to cope with the youthful exuberance being usually demonstrated by middle school students.
- Unblemished time management skills are also needed to function optimally as a middle school teacher. This is due to the fact that most of the teaching processes are fragmented into segments and periods. The time allotted for each subject has to be judiciously utilized for maximum benefits.
- Sound judgment and analytical thinking are indispensable attributes for a middle school teacher. Since the students of middle school age groups are capable of clearly forming and expressing their opinions, a middle school teacher must be able to anticipate the students’ questions and have appropriate and non-contradictory answers readily available.
- Relevant academic qualification in the appropriate area of specialization as well as familiarity with fundamental principles of other subjects is an important attribute a middle school teacher should possess.
- Orderliness and a systematic approach to solving problems is an invaluable skill expected from middle school teachers. Cumbersomeness can be misleading and detrimental to the development of the middle school students.
- Exemplary interpersonal skills are needed by a middle school teacher in order to effectively mediate in disputes between colleagues, students, staff members and/or sometimes parents and guardians if such situations ever arise.
- Ability to be conversant with new ideas, methods and techniques, which are all geared towards simplifying the learning processes and improving the final output of the middle school students, is important.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2016), the median annual salary for a middle school teacher is $59,800.
Education and Training
Middle school teachers are specialists in a particular subject and/or topic. By virtue of the foregoing, the educational requirements vary according to the areas of specialization and fields of knowledge. Most core subjects such as Math, English and Science however, require that the potential middle school teacher acquires a Bachelor of Education degree in the choice subject being anticipated to be taught. A bachelor’s degree in other faculties besides Education may entail the prospective middle school teacher undertaking teacher-training programs to further hone the instructional skills that the job demands.
Furthermore, an intending middle school teacher needs to write and pass State-approved tests, after which a State-issued license/ certificate is obtained. These licenses are usually renewed over set periods of time to ascertain continued competence. Additional education qualifications and proactive membership of recognized professional organizations is also a worthwhile recommendation.