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Become A Middle School Teacher

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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

  • $48,621

    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.


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.


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.


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.


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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Middle School Teacher jobs

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Middle School Teacher Career Paths

Middle School Teacher
Assistant Principal Adjunct Professor Associate Dean
Academic Affairs Dean
12 Yearsyrs
High School Teacher Instructor Special Education Teacher
Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Instructor Associate Director Director Of Admissions
Campus Director
7 Yearsyrs
Middle School Math Teacher Math Teacher Adjunct Professor
Curriculum Director
9 Yearsyrs
Assistant Principal Adjunct Instructor Associate Dean
5 Yearsyrs
Special Education Teacher Program Coordinator Adjunct Instructor
Department Chairperson
7 Yearsyrs
Lead Teacher Site Director Preschool Teacher
Director Of Preschool
7 Yearsyrs
Lead Teacher Case Manager Special Education Teacher
Director Of Special Education
12 Yearsyrs
Kindergarten Teacher First Grade Teacher Pre-K Teacher
Director Of Teacher Education
5 Yearsyrs
Math Teacher Instructor Training Manager
Director Of Training
7 Yearsyrs
Coach Trainer Training Manager
Director, Learning And Development
12 Yearsyrs
High School Teacher Special Education Teacher Assistant Principal
Elementary School Principal
12 Yearsyrs
Math Teacher Assistant Principal
High School Principal
12 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Instructor Department Chairperson Assistant Principal
Middle School Principal
12 Yearsyrs
Spanish Teacher Preschool Teacher Kindergarten Teacher
School Director
7 Yearsyrs
Special Education Teacher Assistant Principal
School Principal
10 Yearsyrs
High School Mathematics Teacher Mathematics Instructor Adjunct Professor
School Superintendent
14 Yearsyrs
Kindergarten Teacher Special Education Teacher Assistant Principal
Secondary School Principal
8 Yearsyrs
Coach Teacher And Coach Assistant Principal
Vice Principal
9 Yearsyrs
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Middle School Teacher Demographics


  • Female

  • Male

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • Chinese

  • German

  • Japanese

  • Arabic

  • Italian

  • Portuguese

  • Mandarin

  • Russian

  • Korean

  • Swahili

  • Vietnamese

  • Braille

  • Kinyarwanda

  • Hebrew

  • Polish

  • Swedish

  • Basque

  • Dutch

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Middle School Teacher Education

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Real Middle School Teacher Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Middle School French Teacher Washington International School Washington, DC Feb 03, 2015 $89,222
Middle School Teacher (Math) Gonzales Unified School District Gonzales, CA Aug 30, 2016 $89,010
Middle School Mathematics Teacher San Mateo-Foster City School District Foster City, CA Jul 10, 2016 $86,770
Middle School Mathematics Teacher San Mateo-Foster City School District San Mateo, CA Dec 03, 2015 $86,411
Middle School Mathematics Teacher San Mateo-Foster City School District Foster City, CA Oct 07, 2015 $81,100
Elementary/Middle School Teacher (Math & Science) JWM Global Education, Inc. Costa Mesa, CA Sep 02, 2015 $79,306
Middle School Teacher The Quarry Lane School, Inc. Dublin, CA Sep 03, 2016 $75,000
MYP Middle School Teacher German-American International School Menlo Park, CA Aug 20, 2016 $73,000 -
MYP Middle School Teacher German-American International School Menlo Park, CA Aug 29, 2016 $73,000 -
Middle School Mathematics Teacher Board of Education of St. Mary's County Lexington Park, MD Aug 17, 2015 $70,613 -
Middle School Teacher Cornerstone Christian School Lynden, WA Jan 09, 2016 $70,468
Middle School Teacher-Technology Education Baltimore City Public Schools Baltimore, MD Jul 01, 2015 $70,361
Middle School Teacher A.W Brown Fellowship Leadership Academy Dallas, TX Jan 09, 2016 $69,965
Middle School Teacher Cornerstone Christian School Lynden, WA Sep 23, 2015 $69,462
Middle School Mathematics Teacher Passaic Arts and Science Charter School Passaic, NJ Sep 14, 2016 $54,262
Middle School Grade 5 Teacher Aspen School District Aspen, CO Aug 04, 2016 $53,600
Middle School Teacher Marion County School District #103 Woodburn, OR Jun 19, 2015 $53,478
Middle School Spanish Teacher The Magellan School Austin, TX Sep 01, 2015 $53,294
Middle School Spanish Teacher Lexington County School District One Lexington, SC Jan 09, 2016 $53,280
Middle School Teacher Brooklyn Prospect Charter School New York, NY Sep 01, 2015 $53,219
Middle/Upper School Chinese Teacher Saint Edward's School Vero Beach, FL Jan 27, 2016 $52,000
Middle School Teachers Lycee Francais de New York New York, NY Jan 08, 2016 $52,000 -
Middle School Spanish Teacher Caddo Parish School Board LA Jul 18, 2016 $44,205
Spanish Language Arts Middle School Teacher International School of Louisiana New Orleans, LA Jun 15, 2016 $44,205
Middle School Teacher Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District Pharr, TX Jan 10, 2016 $44,140
Middle School Teacher Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District Pharr, TX Aug 17, 2015 $44,140
Middle School Teacher East Baton Rouge Parish School System Baton Rouge, LA Jun 18, 2016 $43,932
Middle School Mandarin Teacher The Shipley School Bryn Mawr, PA Aug 15, 2016 $43,869
Middle School Teacher San Carlos Unified School District No. 20 San Carlos, AZ Jan 19, 2016 $43,801

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Top Skills for A Middle School Teacher


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Top Middle School Teacher Skills

  1. Classroom Management
  2. Curriculum Development
  3. Grade Mathematics
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Contributed to diverse educational initiatives including lesson planning, curriculum development, effective classroom management, diversity and successful teaching strategies.
  • Volunteered to coordinate special activities that would help improve the curriculum development.
  • Maintain weekly lesson plans in a timely manner while incorporating technology initiatives, such as iPad use in the classroom.
  • Instructed 7th and 8th Grade Students in Social Studies, Marching Band, Jazz and Orchestra.
  • Middle School literature instruction - Foundations of classic literature - Intensive writing course US HISTORY instruction TX History instruction

Top Middle School Teacher Employers

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