If you are passionate about teaching students how to learn subjects that will create a solid foundation for the rest of their lives, middle school teaching is for you. There are many different types of teaching jobs at this level of primary education. Middle school teachers can focus on one or several subjects and expand their positive influence through extracurricular activities like coaching a sport. You’ll find the info you need to create an excellent resume for this job on this page. But, first, let’s take a look at the three resume formats:
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Job Duties of Middle School Teachers
Middle school teachers play an essential role in teaching, evaluating and leading their students to good outcomes in preparation for the more significant stresses and expectations they’ll face in high school. What are the other duties of middle school teachers? Check them out below.
Defining clear objectives for all school activities.
Helping students evaluate their skills and abilities, including through detailed testing.
Enforcing classroom behavior and rules.
Communicating the reasoning behind grading with students and parents.
Assisting students with learning difficulties.
Preparing students for state and federal testing.
Supervising before and after-school activities, including dances, sports and contests.
Middle School Teacher Median Salaries
For middle school teachers, the median salary in the U.S., according to Payscale, is $48,713. This salary varies depending on whether the school is public or private, on the district’s wealth, and a few other factors. Pay tends to increase based on the teacher’s experience and skills.
Top Skills for Middle School Teachers
Middle school teachers have skills applicable for many types of teaching, including for different grades. But there are individual skills that a person thinking about applying for a middle school teacher job should have. That includes the following:
- Empathetic: The early teenage years are a tough time for kids as they go through physical and emotional growth spurts, including the first inklings of romantic relationships and early pressures from performing well on tests. A deep and thoughtful understanding of students’ feelings helps teachers understand their specific behaviors and educational needs.
- Lively engagement: There are many students that either advance rapidly in their schoolwork while others quickly fall behind. Creating exciting and engaging classroom activities through computer software and team-based learning, for example, enlivens potentially monotonous instruction.
- Patience: Knowing how to be patient when students make mistakes, both in the classroom and outside of it, including understanding how to approach them kindly to correct these mistakes.
- Computer expertise: This skill now goes beyond knowing how to send emails, using Word, and creating spreadsheets. Middle school teachers need to know how to use different operating systems on laptops, tablets and phones, using creative tools like Adobe Photoshop or presentation software. They also need to know how to track progress, grade exams, create lesson plans, and teach remotely.
- Logical reasoning: Middle school teachers must think about new ways to help solve students’ learning challenges. Having the ability to reason well to notice and solve students’ learning problems is an added advantage.
Educational Requirements for Middle School Teachers
A degreeMiddle school teachers require a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. You can also obtain a specialization in one or two subjects as a major and then receive a certificate in those subjects post-college. Some states are now asking for additional majors related to children’s personal development, such as child psychology. Some states, like Texas, ask for a master's degree within a specific time frame of starting your career (a five-to-ten year window is typical), but most school districts will allow early career teachers to obtain their master’s while they teach.
The subjects you major in depends on your interests. Most middle school teachers focus on English, Mathematics, Social Science, and specific languages like Spanish.
LicensureAfter graduating from college, teachers are evaluated and tested for licensing by the respective state in which they want to work.
A state license is not considered mandatory for some private schools, but most schools do expect that you take a series of tests to ensure that you can teach effectively. In California, for example, you are required to pass three exams that test your teaching methods, specific subjects like mathematics and English, and other necessary skills.
CertificationsThe NBPTS (National Board for Professional Teaching Standards) offers middle school teachers the option to gain certificates to improve their educational standing. Many public districts have implemented ranking systems based on them. The board offers certification in various subjects, and yes, NBPTS-certified teachers can get higher wages.
The certification is based on national standards. During testing, you reflect, describe and analyze your teaching practice. Since it requires more time and effort, you have to prioritize your time with your school, your job, and your personal life to get the certification.
The requirements for getting NBPTS certification is at least three years of experience, a state teaching license and a bachelor’s degree.
Middle School Teacher Resume-Writing Tips
There are a lot of good ways to write a middle school teacher’s resume. Understanding how to maximize the different sections of your resume can be the key to success. Here are some good tips to make it shine.
- Include detailed experience: Middle school teachers who have experience teaching at different schools need to be very specific about what they’ve done and how they’ve done it, especially how they have developed their skills and gained responsibilities. For example, what are the types of lesson plans you created, how did they work, and how many students did you teach?
- Use action verbs: You don’t want to be boring. You want to sound excited and ready to help kids learn. So don’t write long sentences with words that are hard to read. Use impactful action-oriented words like “designed,” “improved” and “resolved.”
- Don’t forget your soft skills: A kind and thoughtful personality are essential. So is patience, understanding and compassion. Qualities like these tell school administrators that you will care for their students and seek to maximize their potential inside and outside the classroom.
What do middle school teachers do, and which grades do they teach?
Middle school teachers, formerly called junior high teachers, teach one or many different subjects and are responsible for assessing each student’s educational level. Most middle school teachers in the U.S. work with students attending 6th through 8th grade. But in some schools, middle school teachers manage the 4th through 9th grade or even just 7th and 8th grade.
How can I get a job as a middle school teacher?
You have to have a general education background with a focus on one or two specific subjects. For example, you can have a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in English and teach language and history and a few other liberal arts subjects. So if you are in college and already know you want to be a middle school teacher, you should choose a major that you are passionate about and will enjoy teaching for years.
After obtaining your education, you need to get licensed by your state and local district to work as a teacher. To do so, you need to take one or several exams that test your skill levels, including the National Evaluation Series (NES) test, or the Praxis test, administered by the Educational Testing Service. Most all U.S. states require one of these tests.
Is a middle school teacher a promising career?
There are many opportunities for middle school teachers, but they differ from state to state and sometimes even city to city. For example, public school jobs are more vulnerable to economic shifts and potential layoffs than those for private schools. According to job data from the U.S. government, middle school teachers’ jobs from 2019 to 2029 will grow by 4%.