Monday, April 27, 2009

The Best Fit

In many of our class assignments, I am asked to pick the grade I would prefer teaching and base my lesson plans, etc with that age group. I hate this question. I honestly don't know. I have reasons for and against each grade, and don't really think I'll know until I am in the classroom...but by then I'd like to think it wouldn't matter; that I can make everyday such a fun and exciting learning experience that it won't matter. But I honestly just don't know.

I have made lesson plans, classroom managements, PowerPoints, First Day "script", etc, etc for nearly all grades K-6.

I am taking ELED 4350- Theory to Practice (Practicum) in the fall. I am hoping that after being paired in one older grade and one younger grade I can get the feel for which one will be a better fit. I know all in all it still won't matter. When I first graduate, I will just be happy to be offered a job in whatever grade and subject I can.

So should instructors constantly ask us to pick the grade we want for assignments or should they make us branch out into various grade levels so we'll be ready when we are placed elsewhere?


  1. That's definitely a difficult question because, as you mention, there are pros and cons of each grade level...particularly in Elementary Ed. I hope to teach High School or Junior/Middle School English (11th or 12th grade would be my first choice). The curriculum in the secondary grades varies a little bit and certainly the kids personalities differ as well...but in the Elementary schools, the variation is huge.

    I have 3 kids of my own. The oldest is in third grade, the middle in first and the youngest starts Kindergarten in the fall. Observing the various classroom settings as well as the kids themselves, it's amazing just how different each grade needs to be approached. Admittedly, many of the same skills and techniques will apply throughout all of the grades, but there is still definitely a large need for some specialization. And yet, as you point out, the school system to train teachers doesn't really make much distinction between the elementary grades.

    And finally, as you indicate in your conclusion, there isn't always the luxury of too much choice. While I'd prefer 11th or 12th grade English, I'll apply for any job I'm qualified for and may end up in a 7th or 8th grade class, which is perfectly fine with me. I think it definitely makes sense for instructors/trainers to try and help prospective teachers be as versatile as possible...not only does it provide for more effective teachers in the field, but it could also broaden our perspective in that we may discover that we might have a passion to teach in a discipline/grade we had previously steered clear of.

  2. I'm inclined to think as you do. :)