Middle School Teachers: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more

Education Required
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 preparation program and take classes in education and child psychology in addition to the classes required by their major.
Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: 8% (As fast as average)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
Advancement
Experienced teachers can advance to serve as mentors to newer teachers or to become lead teachers. In these positions, they help less experienced teachers to improve their teaching skills.
Licenses/Certifications
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:
Median pay: How much do Middle School Teachers make?
$56,720 Annual Salary

Middle school teachers educate students, typically in sixth through eighth grade. Middle school teachers help students build on the fundamentals taught in elementary school and prepare students for the more difficult curriculum they will face in high school.

Duties

Middle school teachers typically do the following:

  • Create lesson plans to teach students a subject, such as science or history
  • 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 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 teachers generally teach students from sixth to eighth grades. However, in some school districts, they may teach students as early as fourth grade or as late as ninth grade.

In many schools, middle school teachers are responsible for only some of the subjects their students learn, and see several different classes of students throughout the day. For example, one teacher may be responsible for teaching English while another may be responsible for teaching math. However, some middle school teachers are responsible for teaching every subject to a single class. Others can sometimes work in teams that teach the same group of students. These teachers meet with each other to discuss students’ progress and to plan future lessons.

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 school instructors teach specialized classes, such as art, music, physical education, or English as a second language (ESL). ESL or English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) teachers work exclusively with students who are learning the English language. These students are often referred to as English language learners (ELLs). 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 other classes.

Middle school teachers may also work with special education teachers to adapt lessons taught in traditional classes to meet the needs of students with learning disabilities and emotional or behavioral disorders. In some cases, middle school teachers may co-teach lessons with special education teachers.

Teachers must be comfortable with using and learning new technology. They may use websites to communicate with parents about students’ assignments, upcoming events, and grades. For their students, teachers may create websites or discussion boards to present information or to expand 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.

Careers for Middle School Teachers

  • 7th grade social studies teachers
  • Junior high school teachers
  • Middle school PE teachers
  • Middle school science teachers

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