Which Grade Level Should I Teach?

A male teacher calling on a student with his hand raised

If you’ve already determined that a career in teaching is the right path for you, then congratulations on finding your calling. However, one dilemma that many future educators face is deciding which age group they’d like to work with. If this sounds like you, then try asking yourself the following questions to help determine which grade level you should teach:

Do I Want to Impact the Development of my Students?

Elementary school is a period when many students form habits that can promote their academic success in high school and beyond. For this reason, the teacher at this level plays an important role in cultivating and promoting healthy academic behaviors in their elementary students. Successful elementary school teachers typically know what guidance each student needs and what they can do to optimize their learning.

Would I Prefer to Lead or Support Others?

In an elementary school classroom, the teacher’s role is often to direct students as they go about tasks and complete projects. This dynamic means that the teacher frequently utilizes data to inform the planning and assessment of research based, engaging and meaningful learning experiences that are aligned to national and state academic learning standards. In a middle school or high school setting, however, the teacher assumes a role more similar to that of a guide, beginning to prepare students for adulthood and life after school. Secondary education is also a good choice for future educators that would like to teach in a specific area, such as math or theater, whereas most elementary educators will teach a wide range of subjects.

What Age Group am I Most Comfortable With?

This simple question can provide you with significant insight into which age group you would like to teach. If you enjoy communicating and spending time with younger children, then elementary education may be the right age range for you. On the other hand, if you see yourself standing at the front of a classroom and sharing your love of chemistry, biology or English, with others, then middle school or high school settings may be right for you.

Grand Canyon University’s College of Education offers several bachelor’s degrees that lead to initial teacher licensure so you can choose the program that best supports your career goals. To learn more, please visit our website or click the Request Information button on this page.

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