7 Reasons Teaching Middle School Children is the Best

1 min


When I started my education to become a teacher, I was sure I wanted to teach older kids – the ones in high school, with whom you can go in depth on the subject and have real discussions. I figured life would get boring soon enough if I didn’t have the opportunity to teach subjects at a higher level. But in my first year as a ‘real’ teacher (as opposed to an intern), I was faced with seven middle school classes, with children ages 11 to 14. And I have to say that I lost my heart to them. This is why.

  1. 1 They are incredibly curious


    Not necessarily about what you try to teach them, but more so about the world around them. They've just reached the age where they start finding out what their place in the world is, and they're eager to find out how life actually works.

  2. 2 They're surprisingly funny


    I've lost count of the number of times I lost it at something a student said or did. Even (especially) at moments where I should've been stern. Sorry, but you try keeping a straight face when one of them looks you dead in the eye during instruction and drops himself from his chair to the floor.

  3. 3 They are energetic and enthusiastic


    Now don't get me wrong, sometimes I wish they weren't quite as energetic. I've spent many classes internally (or externally) sighing because I couldn't find a way to stop them yelling and bouncing on their chairs. But most of the time, their enthusiasm gets me hyped as well. And all I need to do to activate them, is use the word 'Kahoot'!

  4. 4 They still seek your attention and affection


    I have a class that, in each and every period they see me, bickers about which of them is my favourite student. But even in groups that seem more distant, you'll find that kids are keen to get a connection with you in a way. It makes it easy to build a good relationship with them: take an interest in what's important to them (gaming, social media) and you can't go wrong anymore.

  5. 5 They have absolutely no filter


    Middle schoolers will tell it exactly like it is, and that's refreshing. If they think what you're teaching them is useless, they'll say so. They don't fancy your new clothes or haircut? You'll be the first to know. Bonus points: when their thoughts are shared at high volume, right in the middle of your instruction.

  6. 6 If they like you, they sure will be loyal


    Once a class has decided that you are a Good Teacher™, they will have your back like no one else has. I have groups promoting me amongst other classes and vowing to protect me against Evil Teachers. I can have off-days, give them bad grades, be grumpy with them, and they still stand beside me.

  7. 7 They are actively figuring out their own identity


    Kids in their (pre-)teens are just starting the phase in their lives that's dominated by a constant search for themselves. It's not easy for them, nor is it for teachers who get to deal with a lot of frustration and rebelliousness. Nevertheless, it's amazing to be around in such a defining stage of children's lives. Seeing and helping them slowly becoming their own little self is more rewarding than anything.

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