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Middle School Teacher Career Guide

Are you someone who likes working with children and who is passionate about education and learning? Would others consider you to be inspiring, motivating and compassionate? Do you have strong communication, organization and problem- solving skills?

If yes, then you might be suited to a career as a Middle School teacher. Middle school teachers have the important job of teaching children the skills and knowledge needed for high school and the world beyond that!

Middle School Teacher Career Ratings

Income

Career
Growth

Personal Growth

Contribution

Influence

Job Profiles

Real-Life Middle School Teacher Job Profiles

Below is a list of links to anonymous job profiles of REAL PEOPLE who have filled out our survey and offered to share their insights with our users about their job in the Middle School Teacher field.
ID Job Title Gender Age Earnings City & State Date
33966 8th Grade Math Teacher Female 29 $56,000 Vancouver, WA 01/01/2010
33960 Classroom Teacher Male 30 $60,000 Frederick, MD 01/01/2010
33965 Teacher Female 30 $30,000 Texarkana, NY 01/01/2010
33926 Spanish Teacher Female 27 $48,500 New York, NY 01/01/2010
33467 Teacher Female 38 $57,000 Wright City, MO 01/01/2010

Overview

What does a middle school teacher actually do?

Middle School teachers have the important job of teaching children the skills and knowledge they need for high school and the world beyond that! Middle school teachers are responsible for teaching children who are in grades 6-8 (ages 11-13). They plan fun and engaging lessons, designed to advance the students key skills and knowledge. The main duties and responsibilities of a middle school teacher include:

  • Developing and implementing student discipline policies
  • Preparing instruction methods and materials to meet student’s needs
  • Evaluating the academic, social and physical development and performance of each student
  • Preparing students for exams
  • Maintaining academic records
  • Coordinating regular communication with parents regarding their child’s performance (e.g., parents evenings)
  • Participating in education trainings and meetings

Why they are needed

Teachers are some of the most important members of society. Middle school is a crucial time in a student’s education. It’s where students get the last best chance to get on the right path toward academic and career success. Middle school teachers are needed to teach students the good habits, grit, curiosity and study habits that can change so much of their future.

The pros and cons of a career as a middle school teacher

Pros:

  • Middle school teachers have an excellent schedule, as they normally have summer and winter breaks
  • No two days are the same and there is rarely a boring day as a middle school teacher
  • Middle school teachers make a positive difference to the lives of many students. During middle school, students are at a critical stage of their education and when they do well, it is very rewarding and satisfying
  • Middle school teachers normally have an excellent income and benefits package
  • Middle school teachers will work in fun and friendly work environments with other supportive teachers and teaching assistants

Cons:

  • It can be very challenging and draining, as there will be some students who do not have a passion for learning
  • It is a job that requites a high level of commitment and dedication
  • There is lots of additional marking and planning required outside of the normal school days
  • Middle school teachers may have to work with disagreeable and challenging parents

Employability

Job market

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of middle school teachers is projected to grow 4% from 2019 to 2029, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. This employment growth is expected because the growing population will create an increase in the number of students attending middle school over the coming decade – middle school teachers are needed to accommodate this.

However, employment growth for middle school teachers will vary by region as job opportunities are dependent on state and local government budgets. If state and local governments experience budget deficits, they may increase class size while maintaining or reducing teaching staff levels. Conversely, budget surpluses at the state and local level could lead to additional employment growth for middle school teachers.

Career paths

In nearly all states, middle school teachers at public schools are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree. Many states require middle school teachers to have majored in a subject area, such as science, math or history. In some states, middle school teachers may be required to have a major in elementary education.

Middle school teachers will then typically enrol in their college’s teacher education program. This program instructs them on presenting information to middle school students of different abilities and backgrounds. Programs typically include a student-teaching program, in which prospective teachers work with a mentor teacher and get experience instructing students in a classroom. For information about teacher preparation programs in your state, visit Teach.org. Furthermore, some states require middle school teachers to earn a master’s degree after earning their teaching certification and obtaining a job.

If you wish to have a career as a private school high school teacher, you do not need to meet state requirements. However, private schools typically seek high school teachers who have a bachelor’s degree and a major in a subject area.

Example Job Titles for Middle School Teacher

Below is a list of common job titles in the Middle School Teacher field. Click the links below for more information about these job titles, or view the next section for actual real-life job profiles.

Benefits & Conditions

Income and benefits

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for middle school teachers in the United States was $59,660. The lowest 10% earned less than $39,990 and the highest 10% earned more than $96,280 per year.

Autonomy and flexibility

Like all teaching careers, autonomy is lower among early career teachers and higher among senior teachers who have experience. One study found that 38% of teachers felt that they have ‘a little’ or ‘no’ influence over their professional development goals. This means that many teachers feel they have little autonomy – teachers are likely to feel like this because their work is focused greatly around meeting educational requirements outlined by the state, and not by their own guidance and intuition.

Locations and commute

Job opportunities can vary state to state due to differing education budgets. According to Zippia, the best states to be a middle school teacher, based on average annual salary and number of job available, are:

  1. New Hampshire, where the average annual salary is $68,162
  2. Rhode Island, where the average annual salary is $67,905
  3. Massachusetts, where the average annual salary is $68,333
  4. Connecticut, where the average annual salary is $66,314
  5. Oregon, where the average annual salary is $67,221

The worst states to be a teacher, according to Zippia, are Arkansas, Kentucky, Hawaii, Tennessee and North Carolina.

Work environment

86% of middle school teachers were employed by local elementary and secondary schools. In some schools, teachers will be responsible for teaching large classes and may lack important teaching tools, such as current technology and up-to-date textbooks. In this sense, teaching can be an incredibly stressful job. However, it is also incredibly rewarding job. Each day, teachers get to watch student develop new skills and gain the knowledge that sets them up for life.

Career Satisfaction

Common Matching Personality Types

Which personalities tend to succeed and thrive in Middle School Teacher careers? Based on our research, there is a relatively strong positive correlation between the following personality types and Middle School Teacher career satisfaction. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t many exceptions, of course, but if you fit into one of the following personality types then we suggest you give strong consideration to a career in Middle School Teacher.

16 Types (Myers-Briggs)

  • None

Big Five (OCEAN)

  • None

DiSC

  • None

Enneagram

Holland Codes (RIASEC)

  • None

Personality types

Successful teachers, at any school grade, are likely to be ENFJ personality types. ENFJ’s, or sometimes called ‘the mentor’, are forward-thinkers. They enjoy serving the community and can always see the potential in other people. They want to focus on the possibilities of growth for others, which is an absolutely essential quality for school teachers, who must strive to help every student grow.

Accomplishment and mastery

In general, teachers will feel a high sense of accomplishment and mastery when they help students to achieve the correct grades and become the best version of themselves. However, teaching really isn’t an easy job and teachers can face a lot of scrutiny throughout their career. Such scrutiny may be from parents, the students or from educational boards. This might take away some of the sense of accomplishment and mastery.

Meaning and contribution

As mentioned previously, teachers play one of the most important roles in our society. Without middle school teachers, millions of children across the United States would not learn the skills and knowledge they need to be successful and make the best academic and life choices they can. Middle school teachers shape the lives of children and create the future leaders of the world.

Life fit

In general, middle school teachers will work during school hours when students are present. On occasion, they may have to meet with parents, students and other teachers/teaching assistants before and after school. Teachers will often spend time in the evenings and on weekends grading papers and preparing lessons. Teachers who coach sports or advise clubs generally do so before or after school. Based on this, it could appear that being a teacher doesn’t offer the greatest life fit.

However, most middle school teachers will work a traditional 10-month school year, which means that they have a 2-month break during the summer and a short midwinter break. This leaves them with long holidays (that are grading free!) to spend with family and friends.

Who will thrive?

Teaching requires a lot of patience. To thrive as a teacher, you will also need to have qualities such as:

  • The ability to remain calm in stressful situations, as teachers will work under pressure when dealing with difficult children
  • Adaptability, as teachers will be faced with constant changes that they must adapt to
  • Mental strength, as students can be challenging and difficult and in order to thrive
  • The ability to work really hard during school term time, as although teachers have long summers off, they will work long days during term time and must be committed and prepared
  • Finally, to thrive as a teacher you must have the genuine passion for education and improving the lives of students. Without this, they may be ok teachers, but they will never thrive and be successful

Who will struggle?

Rather obviously, you will struggle as a teacher if you don’t like children. Similarly, if you have no real passion for education and teaching students the important skills that will set them up for the rest of their life, you may struggle as a middle school teacher. A lack empathy and patience is also not beneficial to teachers, who will have to work with challenging and demanding children. On top of all this, those who do not thrive and enjoy interacting with others will struggle as a teacher, as they have to constantly interact with students, parents and other education staff.

Requirements

Skills and talents

As well as a genuine passion for teaching and education, middle school teachers need skills and talents such as:

  • Communication skills as middle school teachers will have to establish relationships with the children, with their parents and with other education professionals
  • Observational skills, as teachers will need to observe and notice the progress of their students
  • Patience, as middle school teachers need to be understanding when students do not pick things up straight away
  • Interpersonal skills, as middle school teachers  must be able to build positive relationships with their colleagues, students and their parents
  • Resourcefulness, as teachers need to engage students in learning and adapt lessons accordingly

Education

In nearly all states, middle school teachers at public schools are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree. Many states require middle school teachers to have majored in a subject area or in elementary education. Middle school teachers will then typically enrol in their college’s teacher education program. Furthermore, some states require high school teachers to earn a master’s degree after earning their teaching certification and obtaining a job.

Certificates

All states require teachers in public schools to be licensed in the specific grade level that they teach. To achieve licensure middle school teachers must have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum grade point average, completed a student-teaching program, passed a background check and passed a general teaching certification test. Those who teach in private schools typically do not need to be licensed.

For information about teacher preparation programs and certification requirements, visit Teach.org or contact your state’s board of education.

However, if you didn’t complete a student-teaching program, all states offer an alternative route to licensure. These alternative programs cover teaching methods and child development. Candidates are awarded full certification after they complete the program. Other alternative programs require prospective teachers to take classes in education before they can start to teach. Teachers may be awarded a master’s degree after completing either type of program.

How to Become

Summary

Middle school teachers play an incredibly important role in the lives of all children. Middle school is a crucial point in a child’s education – during this time they learn the study habits, curiosity and grit that will shape the rest of their lives. Middle school teachers are responsible for planning and implementing the lessons that teach students these skills.

Immediate action

Sounds like something you’re interested in doing? Great!

Well, like many careers, it is always advisable to get your foot in the door. To do this, we recommend seeking relevant work experience. Work experience includes things such as working in a school, working in a kindergarten or nannying children.

Education and learning

In nearly all states, middle school teachers at public schools are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree. Middle school teachers will then typically enrol in their college’s teacher education program. Some states require middle school teachers to earn a master’s degree after earning their teaching certification and obtaining a job.

Skill development

Teachers learn their skills through academic study and through their supervised training during their teacher education problem. They will always be learning and adapting their skills with the more experience and knowledge they gain.

FAQs

Ask a Question

Have a question about Middle School Teacher careers? If so, our mentors would love to help! Just click on a mentor’s profile below and then fill out the “Ask a Question” form on that page. Your question will then be emailed to the mentor, who can then email you a reply.

ID Job Title Gender Age Earnings City & State Date
33966 8th Grade Math Teacher Female 29 $56,000 Vancouver, WA 01/01/2010
33960 Classroom Teacher Male 30 $60,000 Frederick, MD 01/01/2010
33965 Teacher Female 30 $30,000 Texarkana, NY 01/01/2010
33926 Spanish Teacher Female 27 $48,500 New York, NY 01/01/2010
33467 Teacher Female 38 $57,000 Wright City, MO 01/01/2010

Resources