Post # 1
So I am fresh out of college and was extremely lucky to get a job!!! I will be teaching sixth grade at a beautiful middle school with what seems like wonderful people. I’ll have two language arts classes, two social studies classes and a robotics class. I’m an English major but I’ve always loved history so I’m definitely not worried about my core classes but am a little anxious about robotics, but they told me not to worry! lol I’m so excited and so nervous at the same time, mainly because the youngest grade I’ve interacted with was eighth grade. I have absolutely NO experience with sixth graders. Any tips or words of advice from my fellow teacher bees?
O and just a quick question, they’ve offered me a choice between desks or tables. I’m used to having desks in a classroom and that’s all I’ve ever envisioned but would tables be better for this age group???
Post # 2
I just finished my first year as a 6th grade teacher! However, where I am 6th grade is the last grade in the elementary school.
I can say I would love tables for science related classes because with any experiments the extra space is nice and they are easier to clean than desks in that case.
Is your style more of a hands on approach or more of a lecture approach?
I had a couple of tables as well as desks in my classroom. The tables were very handy in language arts for games, reading groups, and class projects.
Post # 3
I think you’ll like 6th graders. In contrast to 8th graders, they’re a little more willing to come along on the journey with you, and it doesn’t take as much work to get them to engage in the fun. They aren’t “too cool” yet, which is what I frequently see with 8th graders, but only at first. They will definitely want to do things for themselves though, so give them the space to learn to plan and figure it out for themselves.
Highly recommend tables vs. desks. Easier to teach, keep their focus, and see what’s up in terms of tests and lessons.<br /><br />Congratulations on your job, and best wishes!
Post # 4
My approach is really a mixture; I start off with lecture/whole class but then move into individual or group work and sometimes back to whole class. It worked great with desks at the high school level but I’m just not sure about the younger kids. I’m leaning towards tables but I’m not sure how much that will encourage side conversations. I’ve just never worked with them before.
Post # 5
Cornflakegirl: I sure hope so :), most of my time was spent with 8th, 10th and 12th grade. I loved them all and always thought I would end up in the highschool setting with 12th graders. I got my own class during student teaching that was 12th grade and I just fell in love with them. I had an offer from a high school but the middle school just felt better so I decided to give the young ones a shot. I’m really looking forward to getting to the kids while they still want my help, I think it will be so rewarding watching them grow.
Post # 6
alyssaC: Hello there! I work at a school (in Colorado actually) and while I am an administrator, I co-teach a 5th and 6th grade art class. I absolutely love working with that age because they are still curious and have some desire to please the teacher.
My only advice is to be prepared to be patient and check out “Teaching with Love and Logic.” It literally changed the way I approach working with kids. It helped avoid power struggles, work with non-compliant children and provided ideas on how to develop meaningful relationships with students (particular troubled kids).
Also, I would suggest tables if you plan on doing a lot of group work. Less moving of dess needed and it makes it easier to share supplies (especially in robotics) and gives more overall space. That’s what I would prefer.
Post # 7
bmo88: Thanks I will definitely check out “Teaching with love and Logic!”