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3 Things to Consider When Deciding Which Grade Level to Teach

A science teacher talking to a class

Completing a post-baccalaureate teacher certification in early childhood education, secondary education, or K-12 education leadership with the Tulane School of Professional Advancement can be your first major step toward a career in the classroom. Before you can start teaching, you will need to decide which grade level you would like to work with. There are many factors you should consider when deciding which grade level to teach, including how you want to interact with your students, what type of course content you want to teach, and what your personal aspirations are.

How Do You Want to Interact With Students?

When deciding which grade you should teach, or whether you should pursue a teacher certification or a teaching endorsement, you should consider how you want to interact with your students and build relationships. Teaching kindergarteners is far different from teaching students in middle school or high school. Elementary school students are still in the early stages of development and will grow rapidly over the course of a school year, while older students are adjusting to a new sense of independence.

To make this decision, you will need to understand the maturity differences between students in various grade levels, as well as your ability to adapt to your students' personalities and interests.

Course Content

Course content, teaching styles, and classroom management strategies also vary considerably from grade level to grade level. Even within elementary school levels, older students will need guidance in building a foundation as independent thinkers, while younger students are still working on mastering routines and essential concentration, reading, and learning skills.

Teaching junior high and high school students will require you to have more specialized knowledge in one or two subject areas and be prepared to work with students who are more independent and mature in their thinking and socializing.

Personal Aspirations

Beyond considerations about student interactions and course content, settling on the proper grade level to teach is ultimately a personal decision. A degree or post-baccalaureate certificate will give you the foundational knowledge and skills to succeed in classroom leadership, but the details of whom and how you want to teach will be left up to you. Additionally, many teachers change grade levels at different points throughout their careers, so it's important to remain flexible and open to new possibilities.

Having a robust educational foundation is essential to landing your first job in the classroom. Make your dream of becoming an educator a reality with Tulane School of Professional Advancement. We offer certificates in early childhood education, secondary education, and K-12 education leadership. Learn more about these programs by requesting information today.

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