Teaching is probably the only profession where one can work with young minds and help mold future generations by equipping them with knowledge, confidence, compassion and integrity. As wonderful as this may sound, it is equally valid that teachers put in painstaking efforts to achieve this. So if you feel you can focus on the bright side, then perhaps you should consider the job of a 6th-grade teacher.
To excel in the job of a 6th-grade teacher, an individual must possess the following traits and qualities.
A friendly personality
Excellent communication skills (both oral and written)
Possessing a calm and reassuring demeanor
Being a team player
Empathy, kindness, compassion and determination
Strong listening and critical thinking skills
Passion for the job itself and to make a difference
Non-discriminatory outlook with a sense of humor
Having the ability to work under pressure and stressful situations
Adaptability and resilience
Educational Requirements for the job of a 6th-grade teacher:
To become a 6th-grade teacher, one has the following qualifications:
A high school diploma or a GED
Bachelor’s degree (which includes a teacher preparation program)
Master’s degree specializing in education
To successfully get a job as a 6th-grade teacher, you must also continue with further training and certifications. These may include:
Pass a basic skills exam and a subject area competency exam.
Take the Praxis series exam conducted by the Educational Testing Services (ETS). Once you clear these, you can then apply to get a license for teaching.
National Board Certification: This is considered an advanced credential and surpasses the state license.
Upon completing all these certifications, the National Education Association provides a teacher with certificates and recommendation letters which improves one’s chances of getting a well-paid job.
Duties and Responsibilities of a 6th-grade teacher
Although being a 6th-grade teacher is nothing short of carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. However, the main job description of a 6th-grade teacher include:
Being familiar with your state’s benchmark and standards
Create lesson plans in compliance with these benchmarks and standards. Modifying these lesson plans based on students’ progress and interest throughout the year
Utilize various curriculum resources. Additionally, teachers should also integrate goals, objectives, and competencies into their lesson plans.
Plan, prepare and deliver lessons and other instructional activities.
Assess students periodically and find new ways to practice all-inclusive teaching methodologies.
Maintain detailed files for every student. A teacher must also update these files throughout the year to record the student’s progress throughout the academic year.
Collect and grade assignments, quizzes and tests. Periodically sharing the results with both the children and the parents and finding ways to help students excel even more.
Keep an up-to-date record of student grade books.
Performing other administrative duties
Participate in any ongoing training, seminars and other relevant certifications
Communicate academic goals and expectations to students.
Develop and maintain positive interpersonal relationships
Communicate with parents regularly. This becomes especially important if the student just moved, needs extra help outside the classroom or is generally struggling to keep up with the rest of the classmates.
Provide instructions outlining students health and safety
Display professional behavior and demeanor. This may include honesty, impartiality, courtesy, respect, cultural awareness and responsibility.
Write grant proposals to get funding for further research.
Tutor students (if and when required)
Keep classrooms engaged in group activities while still working one-on-one with students to assess them.
Work Schedule of a 6th-grade teacher
Unlike other professions, the job of a 6th-grade teacher includes teaching around 40 weeks a year with summer and winter breaks. However, most schools are mandated by the state to have summer programs whereby teachers use their holidays to teach the students in summer school.
Working as a teacher, one can expect to work from 7 am till 3.30 pm throughout the week. Some schools require teachers to come in earlier and stay back for an hour after all students have left. A 6th-grade teacher typically has their classrooms, which they are expected to arrange and decorate.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a 6th-grade teacher earns a yearly income of $55,790 on average. However, the salary ranges from $$39,080 to $$95,380. However, this depends on where a teacher works (public or private school), their education and experience, and their geographical location.
The job of a 6th-grade teacher can sometimes be a struggle. Teaching lessons to a class filled with unruly children with raging hormones is a feat in and of itself. But a great teacher can be an engaging storyteller. They must have the ability to command a room while simultaneously engaging and retaining the students’ attention. After all is said and done, seeing your students excel and realizing the difference you have made in their lives is the best feeling in the world.