Becoming a Teacher: Middle School or Junior High School
The middle level teaching certification and/or licenses cover grades between 4 and 9. The exact grades covered vary from state to state, as seen in the table.
Traditionally, students entered the junior high school after grade 6 to complete grades 7 and 8, and sometimes 9; and the junior high school was a small version of the high school. Students followed a schedule and subject matter similar to those of the high school. The newer middle school concept has been adopted in many districts. Middle schools usually house grades 6–8 (sometimes 9) and are organized on the belief that students in these grades are unique and need opportunities, beyond purely academic pursuits, to explore vocational and avocational interests. Students are offered "exploratories" that expose them to many interesting intellectual or social/emotional activities. Middle school schedules often are built on blocks of time that can be manipulated to provide longer periods for certain activities during the school day. Additionally, teachers are organized into teams, so a group of students shares the same teachers in the core curriculum areas. The team teachers meet periodically to discuss the intellectual, emotional, and social needs of the students. For more information about middle schools, visit the National Middle School Association's website at www.nmsa.org.
High schools house grades 9–12, or 10–12, depending on the district. A few districts group grade 9 in the middle or junior high school, and some house the ninth grade separately. The schedule of the high school day may vary. Traditionally, the school day was divided into six or seven 45- to 60-minute teaching periods. Today, some high schools have block schedules that divide the school day into as few as four periods or as many as ten or more periods. Some schools, such as one in San Juan High School in California, are adventurous enough to offer their students schedules in both traditional and block formats.
Washington Virtual Academies
Tuition-free online school for Washington students.
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