Where would we be without teachers?
We live in a world where learning never stops and teachers play a key role in keeping that world turning and evolving.
Middle school teachers, in particular, are a rare breed as they’re tasked with the job of educating preteens (11–14-year-olds) in their local community.
The middle school teacher is part instructor, part scientist and part philosopher, among other things.
Knowing the pros and cons of this profession will help you decide if it’s a good match for you.
Table of Contents
- Pros of Being a Middle School Teacher
- Cons of Being a Middle School Teacher
- 14 Pros and Cons of Being a Middle School Teacher – Summary Table
- Should You Become a Middle School Teacher?
Pros of Being a Middle School Teacher
Although teaching is a noble profession, it poses numerous challenges.
As a middle school teacher, you’ll face your share of difficulties on the job.
There are also rewards for your efforts, making your career choice worthwhile.
Here are some of the pros of a middle school teaching job:
1. Job Security
Good teachers are always in demand.
As the student population grows and older teachers retire, teaching positions will open at all grade levels.
Middle school teachers will be needed in both the public and private sector, giving you numerous options for employment.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job availability for new teachers will continue to grow in the years to come.
If you decide to become a middle school teacher, you can look forward to job security for your future.
2. Job Satisfaction
There’s great satisfaction in contributing to middle school education and helping preteens develop their academic skills.
Your passion for teaching is sure to be rewarded with plenty of “aha!” moments over the course of time.
You’ll have opportunities to work with students from all backgrounds and walks of life.
Your academic input can help struggling students overcome learning disabilities and excel in their studies.
You can take pride in knowing you’re having a positive influence on the lives of young people in your community.
3. Opportunities to Grow
To be a truly great middle school teacher, you need to put yourself in a position to grow.
Preteens are a precocious lot and you’ll need to stay on your toes to keep up with them.
You may need to expand your knowledge of the subjects you’re teaching in order to satiate the curiosity of your students.
To connect with this age group, you’ll need to be patient, understanding, communicative and flexible in your teaching.
Your ability to adapt to the needs of your classroom will be instrumental in helping you succeed.
4. Lifelong Bonds and Friendships
As a teacher, you’ll interact frequently with your students and socialize with colleagues in your field.
You’ll have opportunities to bond with your preteen students and become their confidante in personal matters.
Your friendship can be instrumental in helping students through the ups and downs of their middle school years.
Befriending your students puts you in a good position to provide counsel, inspiration and support.
Your influence as a caring teacher can help a child grow into a mature, responsible adult.
5. Time Off with Pay!
As a middle school teacher, you can look forward to enjoying multiple breaks throughout the year due to school holidays.
This time off can be used to rest, relax or spend time with your family.
You can also count on a long break during the summer to vacation with your family.
Full-time teachers benefit from paid holidays, including Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving, and other school holidays as part of their contract.
Spring and winter breaks along with other time off throughout the year contribute to a balanced work/life schedule.
6. Living Your Passion
Middle school teachers can live their passion as they teach subjects they love.
Through your creativity, you have a chance to ignite the same passion for these subjects in your students.
Most schools will give you the freedom to design your classroom and create lesson plans that spark your students’ interest.
You can introduce new teaching styles and techniques into your classroom to engage and challenge your students.
You’ll have ample opportunities to impart a love of learning to children at this impressionable age.
7. Never a Dull Moment!
There’s never a dull moment to teaching a class full of preteen students!
This age group is curious, energetic, funny, forthright and honest to a fault.
At the same time, they’re very impressionable and need good role models to follow.
You can look forward to lively discussions, interesting questions and hilarious storytelling from those in your class.
Teachers who are open, honest and caring are more likely to connect with this age group and win their hearts.
Cons of Being a Middle School Teacher
If you love being a middle school teacher, you’re more likely to put up with the cons of the job.
If you’re considering a teaching career, however, it’s good to know the cons before you invest years of study in the educational field.
Here are some of the negative aspects of being a middle school teacher:
1. Low Salary
Teacher salaries tend to be low, compared to the salaries of other professions that require a Bachelor’s degree.
You may earn enough to pay the bills on an entry-level middle school teacher’s salary, but not much else.
Your pay also doesn’t reflect how much work is involved or the responsibilities you assume on the job.
As teachers don’t get paid for summer break, you may have to find part-time work to supplement your income until fall.
Some states require a Master’s degree for teaching, putting additional financial burden on future candidates for teaching jobs.
A middle school teacher’s responsibilities extend far beyond classroom instruction.
You’re also in charge of planning lessons, organizing classroom studies, researching projects, reviewing homework assignments and more.
Although the school day ends around 3:00 pm, you may need to put in extra hours to finish your work.
Many teachers plan their lessons and grade homework and exams at night or on weekends at home.
Parent/teacher conferences are often scheduled after school or in the evening hours to accommodate the parent’s work schedule.
3. Budgetary Constraints
Most schools operate on a strict budget, which can impact a teacher’s plans for the school year.
Budgetary constraints can cut into the purchase of school equipment and supplies you may need for your curriculum.
You may need to refigure lesson plans or cancel special activities or field trips due to insufficient funding.
Many middle school teachers supplement their school’s budget with personal funds to bolster their students’ education.
4. Lack of Administrative Support
A school’s administrative body is responsible for making decisions about how the school is run.
Sometimes, these decisions hinder teachers from doing their job.
Teachers need the backing of administrators to launch new projects, introduce new ideas and even discipline unruly students in class.
Not having this support can be exasperating for teachers, and may even cause division between departments.
It’s hard to stay positive about your teaching career if your ideas and opinions are not valued.
5. Bright Students with No Vision for Learning
At some point in your teaching, you may run into bright students with no vision for learning.
These students barely listen in class and rarely, if ever, complete assignments.
You know they have the potential to learn, but you can’t seem to motivate them to try.
The inability to meet the needs of a young, bright student can be discouraging.
It shouldn’t, however, keep you from celebrating your success in other areas of the job.
6. Standardized Testing
Another con of being a middle school teacher is having to deal with standardized testing.
These tests put undue stress on students and teachers alike.
Standardized tests have their place in the educational system, but they’re not the end-all.
Testing alone isn’t an indication of a student’s intelligence or academic progress.
Middle school teachers have enough on their plate without having to worry about student performance on standardized exams.
7. Meetings/Professional Development Days
Dull, ineffective, time-consuming staff meetings can take up too much of a teacher’s precious time.
The same can be said for professional development (PD) days that lack direction, planning and guidance.
Boring training sessions and/or workshops can sap a teacher’s inspiration and strength rather than build it up.
Teachers need professional development programs that provide relevant, useful training that can help them grow in their profession.
Like students, teachers thrive when their training sessions are engaging, interactive and fun!
14 Pros and Cons of Being a Middle School Teacher – Summary Table
|Pros of Being a Middle School Teacher||Cons of Being a Middle School Teacher|
|1. Job Security||1. Low Salary|
|2. Job Satisfaction||2. After-Hours|
|3. Opportunities to Grow||3. Budgetary Constraints|
|4. Lifelong Bonds and Friendships||4. Lack of Administrative Support|
|5. Time Off with Pay!||5. Bright Students with No Vision for Learning|
|6. Living Your Passion||6. Standardized Testing|
|7. Never a Dull Moment!||7. Meetings/Professional Development Days|
Should You Become a Middle School Teacher?
As a middle school teacher, you have the privilege of shaping and nurturing the hearts and minds of the next generation.
Your academic instruction can help students develop valuable skills that will benefit their future.
Your personal interest, friendship, and support will contribute to your student’s social and emotional growth.
The job of a middle school teacher is to provide their preteen students with a well-rounded education that can set them up for success in their adolescent and adult years.
Are you up to the task?
Then don’t hesitate to start your training today!