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Working As A Middle School Teacher

  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Coaching and Developing Others
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Make Decisions

  • $49,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Middle School Teacher Do

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 biology 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 to monitor their progress
  • 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, at lunchtime or during 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. For example, one teacher may be responsible for teaching English and social studies while another may be responsible for teaching math and science. Some middle school instructors teach specialized classes, such as art, music, or physical education. 

Students typically change classrooms several times a day to attend lessons in different subjects. As a result, middle school teachers see several different classes of students throughout the day. However, in some middle schools, teachers teach all the subjects for one class of students the entire day. In either type of school, 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 teachers work in teams that teach the same group of students. These teachers meet to discuss students’ progress and to plan future lessons.

In some schools, teachers of English as a second language (ESL) or English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) 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.

Some teachers maintain 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.

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How To Become A Middle School Teacher

Middle school teachers must have a bachelor’s degree. In addition, public school teachers must have a state-issued certification or license.

Education

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.

Teacher education programs teach prospective middle school teachers how to present information to students and how to work with students of varying abilities and backgrounds. Programs typically include fieldwork such as student teaching. 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.

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. Those who teach in private schools are not usually required to be licensed. Most states require teachers to pass a background check.

Certification of middle school teachers varies considerably from state to state. In some states, they are certified to teach elementary school grades, which are typically first through sixth grades or first through eighth grades. In other states, they are certified to teach middle school grades, which include sixth through eighth grades. Other states provide middle school teachers with a secondary school or high school certification, which often includes seventh through twelfth grades.

Requirements for certification also vary by state. In addition to earning a bachelor’s degree, they are also required to complete a teacher preparation program and supervised experience in teaching, which is typically gained through student teaching. Some states require a minimum grade point average. States typically require candidates to pass a general teaching certification test, as well as a test that demonstrates their knowledge of the subject they will teach. For information on certification requirements in your state, visit Teach.org.

Teachers are often required to complete annual professional development classes to keep their license. Some states require teachers to complete a master’s degree after receiving their certification.

All states offer an alternative route to certification 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. Students may be awarded a master’s degree after completing either of these programs.

Training

In order to receive certification, teachers need to perform fieldwork, commonly referred to as student teaching. During student teaching, they work with a mentor teacher and get experience teaching students in a classroom setting. The amount of time required varies by state.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Teachers must collaborate with other teachers and special education teachers. In addition, they need to discuss students’ needs with parents and administrators.

Patience. Working with students of different abilities and backgrounds can be difficult. Middle school teachers must be patient when students struggle with material.

Physical stamina. Working with middle school aged students can be tiring. Teachers need to be able to physically, mentally, and emotionally keep up with the students.

Resourcefulness. Middle school teachers need to be able to explain difficult concepts in terms that students can understand. In addition, they need to be able to get students engaged in learning and adapt lessons to each student’s needs.

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.

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.

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Average Length of Employment
Certified Teacher 4.9 years
Teacher 3.9 years
Junior Teacher 3.0 years
6th Grade Teacher 2.7 years
8th Grade Teacher 2.5 years
7th Grade Teacher 2.2 years
Top Careers Before Middle School Teacher
Teacher 25.0%
Internship 4.8%
Tutor 4.2%
Instructor 3.4%
Volunteer 3.3%
Top Careers After Middle School Teacher
Teacher 22.4%
Tutor 4.6%
Principal 4.4%
Instructor 3.8%
Internship 3.3%
Volunteer 3.0%
Coach 2.3%

Do you work as a Middle School Teacher?

Average Yearly Salary
$49,000
Show Salaries
$38,000
Min 10%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$65,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Guilford County Schools
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Pennsylvania
Avg Experience Level
3.8 years
How much does a Middle School Teacher make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Middle School Teacher in the United States is $50,041 per year or $24 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $38,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $65,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Real Middle School Teacher Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Middle School French Teacher Washington International School Feb 03, 2015 $89,222
Middle School Teacher (Math) Gonzales Unified School District Aug 30, 2016 $89,010
Middle School Mathematics Teacher San Mateo-Foster City School District Jul 10, 2016 $86,770
Middle School Mathematics Teacher San Mateo-Foster City School District Dec 03, 2015 $86,411
Middle School Mathematics Teacher San Mateo-Foster City School District Oct 07, 2015 $81,100
Elementary/Middle School Teacher (Math & Science) JWM Global Education, Inc. Sep 02, 2015 $79,306
Middle School Teacher The Quarry Lane School, Inc. Sep 03, 2016 $75,000
MYP Middle School Teacher German-American International School Aug 29, 2016 $73,000 -
$82,000
MYP Middle School Teacher German-American International School Aug 20, 2016 $73,000 -
$82,000
Middle School Mathematics Teacher Board of Education of St. Mary's County Aug 17, 2015 $70,613 -
$86,283
Middle School Teacher Cornerstone Christian School Jan 09, 2016 $70,468
Middle School Teacher-Technology Education Baltimore City Public Schools Jul 01, 2015 $70,361
Middle School Teacher A.W Brown Fellowship Leadership Academy Jan 09, 2016 $69,965
Middle School Teacher Cornerstone Christian School Sep 23, 2015 $69,462
Middle School Grade 5 Teacher Aspen School District Aug 04, 2016 $53,600
Middle School Teacher Marion County School District #103 Jun 19, 2015 $53,478
Middle School Spanish Teacher The Magellan School Sep 01, 2015 $53,294
Middle School Spanish Teacher Lexington County School District One Jan 09, 2016 $53,280
Middle School Teacher Brooklyn Prospect Charter School Sep 01, 2015 $53,219
Middle/Upper School Chinese Teacher Saint Edward's School Jan 27, 2016 $52,000
Middle School Teachers Lycee Francais de New York Jan 08, 2016 $52,000 -
$131,742
Middle School Mathematics Teacher Richland County School District One Jul 15, 2016 $51,918
Middle School Spanish Teacher Caddo Parish School Board Jul 18, 2016 $44,205
Middle School Teacher Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District Aug 17, 2015 $44,140
Middle School Teacher Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District Jan 10, 2016 $44,140
Middle School Teacher East Baton Rouge Parish School System Jun 18, 2016 $43,932
Middle School Mandarin Teacher The Shipley School Aug 15, 2016 $43,869
Middle School Teacher San Carlos Unified School District No. 20 Jan 19, 2016 $43,801
Middle School Teacher Fort Stockton Independent School District Sep 12, 2015 $43,800

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Top Skills for A Middle School Teacher

  1. Classroom Management
  2. Curriculum Development
  3. Mathematics
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Completed full takeovers of lessons, classroom management, and organization while implementing signature instructional and management strategies.
  • Contributed to diverse educational initiatives including lesson planning, curriculum development, effective classroom management, diversity and successful teaching strategies.
  • Worked on district mathematics curriculum writing team to develop new district mathematics curriculum including implementation of the new Common Core curriculum.
  • Prepared and implemented weekly lesson plans that were creative, motivating, educationally challenging, and reflected educational growth.
  • Collaborated effectively with South Carolina Department of Education Science and Social Studies Specialist.

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Top 10 Best States for Middle School Teachers

  1. New Hampshire
  2. Rhode Island
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Connecticut
  5. Oregon
  6. Pennsylvania
  7. Minnesota
  8. Maine
  9. California
  10. Alaska
  • (102 jobs)
  • (49 jobs)
  • (444 jobs)
  • (307 jobs)
  • (186 jobs)
  • (349 jobs)
  • (427 jobs)
  • (31 jobs)
  • (4,151 jobs)
  • (38 jobs)

Middle School Teacher Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 6,737 Middle School Teacher resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Middle School Teacher Resume

View Resume Examples

Middle School Teacher Demographics

Gender

Female

59.9%

Male

34.1%

Unknown

6.0%
Ethnicity

White

62.2%

Hispanic or Latino

14.6%

Black or African American

12.5%

Asian

7.2%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

55.6%

French

12.7%

Chinese

4.6%

German

4.2%

Arabic

3.2%

Italian

2.8%

Japanese

2.8%

Mandarin

2.5%

Russian

2.5%

Portuguese

2.1%

Korean

1.4%

Hebrew

0.9%

Polish

0.9%

Hindi

0.7%

Cantonese

0.7%

Swedish

0.5%

Vietnamese

0.5%

Braille

0.5%

Tagalog

0.5%

Kinyarwanda

0.5%
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Middle School Teacher Education

Schools

Walden University

8.2%

Liberty University

8.2%

Michigan State University

6.1%

Nova Southeastern University

6.1%

Grand Canyon University

6.1%

Wayne State University

5.9%

National Louis University

5.9%

Florida State University

5.2%

Eastern Michigan University

5.0%

National University

4.5%

Northern Illinois University

4.5%

University of Texas at Austin

4.1%

Northern Arizona University

4.1%

Capella University

4.1%

University of Pennsylvania

3.9%

University of Georgia

3.9%

University of Houston

3.6%

Towson University

3.6%

University of South Florida

3.4%

Texas A&M University

3.4%
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Majors

Education

19.0%

Elementary Education

17.5%

Educational Leadership

9.3%

General Education, Specific Areas

7.0%

Special Education

6.4%

Business

5.0%

English

4.5%

Curriculum And Instruction

4.3%

Secondary Education And Teaching

3.6%

Psychology

3.2%

Mathematics

3.1%

History

3.0%

Counseling Psychology

2.4%

Educational Technology

2.0%

Political Science

1.9%

School Counseling

1.8%

Early Childhood Education

1.6%

Sociology

1.6%

Theology

1.5%

Biology

1.4%
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Degrees

Masters

45.7%

Bachelors

40.1%

Certificate

6.0%

Associate

2.9%

Doctorate

2.7%

High School Diploma

1.4%

Diploma

0.7%

License

0.6%
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Middle School Teacher Videos

A Day in the Life of a Middle School Teacher - Aug 24, 2009

Middle School Teacher Career Information : Middle School Teacher Job Description

Middle School Teacher Career Information : Middle School Teacher Salary

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Updated May 18, 2020