How to become a Teacher
and make a difference
in Middle School
You want to know how to become a teacher that makes a difference in a
middle school setting? It’s not an easy task. Almost every time I’ve
been asked what I teach and answered middle school language arts, I’ve
been met with a variation of this response - “oh, wow, that’s tough”
usually accompanied by a grimace or a sympathetic head shake.
Good middle school teachers are hard to find
Why is this? It’s not for lack of good teachers, there are plenty of
those floating around. It’s because middle school stress management for
teachers is very hard.
A day in the life of your average 11-14 year old is
packed full of emotions and not well-thought-out responses to
unpleasant situations. There are days when you “reach” a student and
you leave feeling like a million bucks. There are days when the lesson
you spent two weeks planning and plotting and excitedly setting up
falls totally flat and they all hate it. There are days when you feel
like if you hear your name, see another tear, or listen to one more
complaint about how much work you’re requiring, you might actually go
If you can withstand all this stress and still feel
fulfilled every day - please stay in middle school! A very smart
teacher, and my mentor, once told me “if you’ve got it for middle
school, you shouldn’t go anywhere else.”
The secret for how to become a teacher in
middle school that’s successful
I’ve taken classes with high school English teachers and listened as
they endlessly discussed and stressed about curriculum and lesson
plans. While I too place my emphasis on the content, I also know from
experience that our first job as middle school teachers is to teach
these young people how to become adults. On any given day I’ll have
taught a student how to organize a notebook, break up a fight between
boys and try to explain to them the proper way to handle their anger,
or diffuse the ever worsening backstabbing and petty hurting of
feelings that goes on between girls. And this is just in the morning! I
haven’t even gotten to open a novel or read a poem yet!
So HOW to become a teacher in Middle School?
If you want to teach this age group, enjoy your job, and have a life
these qualities are a must:
- Love for Children,
- Desire to Make a Difference Every Day,
- Ability to “Roll with the Punches,”
- A “Poker Face” (meaning do not wear your emotions on
your sleeve), and
- The Amount of Energy it might take to Climb Mt.
Everest - fresh every day!
The key to for how to become a teacher in middle school that is
successful is to know that you are doing WAY more than just teaching
your subject. Things like classroom management skills,
classroom seating charts, and classroom routines have to come
first. Once these things are in place you can start focusing on your
Middle school stress management is hard to figure out,
especially with NCLB and teacher accountability these days. Just know
what you’re getting into. Go in armed with your classroom management
plan, posters of classroom rules and routines, and an idea for how to
handle behavior problems in the classroom.
Why then, would you choose to figure out how to become a
teacher in middle school? That answer is simple -
the most unique age group because they are little people scrambling to
become adults while still hanging on by a thread to that innocence from
childhood. And what you say really matters to them!
How awesome is it that you get to play a part in shaping
the future of our world every day? There is no better job and no better
feeling than watching a student’s face light up with excitement over
something you’ve taught them!
need to know to get the teaching job you've
dreamed of! Tim
includes information about applying for teaching
jobs, cover letters
and resumes, building a teaching portfolio, and interview
learn the 50 most commonly asked interview questions for teachers and
how to answer them. Simply go to, I want
a teaching job.
from How to Become a Teacher to Language Arts Teaching Expert