Middle School Teacher
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Salary Range: $60,000 to $79,999
Average Hourly: $
Education: Bachelor's degree
Number of Jobs: 598500
Jobs Added to 2029: 44800
Growth: As fast as average
Go here to see salary and job data specific to the United Kingdom.
What Middle School Teachers Do
Middle school teachers typically do the following:
- Create lesson plans to teach students a subject
- Assess students to evaluate their abilities, strengths, and weaknesses
- Teach lessons they have planned to an entire class or to smaller groups
- Grade students’ assignments and exams
- Communicate with parents or guardians about their child’s progress
- Work with students individually to help them overcome specific learning challenges
- Prepare students for standardized tests required by the state
- Develop and enforce classroom rules
- Supervise students outside of the classroom—for example, during lunchtime or detention
Middle school typically goes from sixth to eighth grades. However, in some school districts, middle school may begin in fourth grade or extend through ninth grade.
In many schools, middle school teachers are responsible for certain subjects. For example, one teacher may teach math to several different classes of students throughout the day. However, other middle school teachers instruct on every subject to a single class.
Teachers use time during the day when they do not have classes to plan lessons, grade assignments, or meet with other teachers and staff.
Some middle schools have English as a second language (ESL) or English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) teachers who work with students learning the English language. ESL and ESOL teachers work with students individually or in groups to help them improve their English language skills and to help the students with assignments for their classes.
Middle school teachers may also work with special education teachers to adapt lessons. In some cases, middle school teachers may co-teach lessons with special education teachers.
Teachers must be comfortable using and learning new technology. With parents, teachers may use text-messaging applications to communicate about students’ assignments and upcoming events. With their students, teachers may create websites or discussion boards to present information or to expand on a lesson taught in class.
Some middle school teachers coach sports teams and advise student clubs and groups, whose practices and meetings frequently take place before or after school.
Middle school teachers work in public and private schools. They generally work during school hours when students are present and use nights and weekends to prepare lessons and grade papers. Most do not work during the summer.
Work Environment Details
|Elementary and secondary schools; local||86%|
Most states have tenure laws, which provide job security after a certain number of years of satisfactory teaching.
Middle school teachers may find it rewarding to watch students develop new skills and gain an appreciation for knowledge and learning. However, teaching may be stressful. Schools may have large classes and lack important teaching tools, such as current technology and textbooks. Some states are developing teacher mentoring programs and teacher development courses to help with the challenges of being a teacher.
Working with middle school students as they become adolescents also can be challenging. Teachers need to be aware of and understand what their students are going through outside of the classroom.
Middle school teachers generally work during school hours when students are present. They may meet with parents, students, and other teachers before and after school. Teachers who coach sports or advise clubs generally do so before or after school. They often spend time in the evenings and on weekends grading papers and preparing lessons.
Many teachers work a traditional 10-month school year and have a 2-month break during the summer. They also have a short midwinter break. Some teachers work during the summer.
Teachers in districts with a year-round schedule typically work 9 weeks in a row and then have a break for 3 weeks before starting a new school session.
Employment of middle school teachers is projected to grow 7 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
About 48,400 openings for middle school teachers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.
How to Become a Middle School Teacher
All states require public middle school teachers to have at least a bachelor’s degree. Many states require middle school teachers to major in a content area, such as math or science. Other states require middle school teachers to major in elementary education.
Middle school teachers typically enroll in their college’s teacher education program, which instructs them on presenting information to students of different abilities and backgrounds. Programs typically include a student-teaching program, in which they work with a mentor teacher and get experience teaching students in a classroom setting. For information about teacher preparation programs in your state, visit Teach.org.
Some states require middle school teachers to earn a master’s degree after receiving their teaching certification and obtaining a job.
Teachers in private schools do not need to meet state requirements. However, private schools typically seek middle school teachers who have a bachelor’s degree and a major in elementary education or a content area.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
All states require teachers in public schools to be licensed or certified in the specific grade level that they will teach. Those who teach in private schools typically do not need a license. Requirements for certification or licensure vary by state but generally involve the following:
- A bachelor’s degree with a minimum grade point average
- Completion of a student-teaching program
- Passing a background check
- Passing a general teaching certification test, as well as a test that demonstrates their knowledge of the subject they will teach.
For information about certification requirements in your state, visit Teach.org. Teachers are often required to complete professional development classes to keep their license or certification. Some states require teachers to complete a master’s degree after receiving their certification and obtaining a job.
All states offer an alternative route to certification or licensure for people who already have a bachelor’s degree but lack the education courses required for certification. Some alternative certification programs allow candidates to begin teaching immediately under the supervision of an experienced teacher. These programs cover teaching methods and child development. After they complete the program, candidates are awarded full certification. Other programs require students to take classes in education before they can teach.
Communication skills. Teachers must share ideas with their students, other teachers, and school administrators and staff. In addition, they need to discuss student progress with parents.
Patience. Middle school teachers must stay calm in challenging situations, such as when students struggle with material or create disturbances in class.
Physical stamina. Working with middle school students can be tiring. Teachers need to keep up with the students physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Resourcefulness. Middle school teachers need to get students engaged in learning and adapt lessons to each student’s needs.
Experienced teachers may advance to serve as mentors to new teachers; they may also become lead teachers. In these positions, they help less experienced teachers to improve teaching skills.
With additional education or certification, teachers may become school counselors, school librarians, or instructional coordinators. Some become assistant principals or principals, both of which generally require additional education in education administration or leadership. For more information, see the profiles on school and career counselors, librarians, instructional coordinators, and elementary, middle, and high school principals.