10 Reasons I Love The Middle Level

As I enter my tenth year teaching middle school French, I realize there's a lot to love about the middle level.  Sure, middle school, like any level, comes with its own share of challenges, but I find the rewards generally outweigh them.  It's the only level I've actually taught (aside from student teaching and substitute teaching), but I honestly can't imagine it any other way.  Luck and timing brought me to the middle level, and I'm here to stay!  Here are ten reasons I love teaching middle school:

1.  Middle schoolers are a delightful blend of child and young adult.  Many of them still possess a childlike demeanor, but they are learning to think more like adults.

2.  Teaching students a language from their first day to the end of the first year allows you to see the foundation they build in language acquisition.

3.  Middle schoolers don't mind goofy songs and dances to learn a language (heck, a lot of high schoolers still like them too!).

4.  Teaching lower level French means the students know a lot less, but the language you're working with is less complex, making comprehensible input less challenging to create.

5.  I love seeing students discover the French language and culture for the first time.  The beginning of the year is the most exciting time for this, as students discover what countries speak French and how much French they actually already know (cognates and English words borrowed from French).

6.  Reading from a French children's book when we have a few extra minutes is a perfectly acceptable thing to do!

7.  I love watching my middle schoolers teach elementary students the lessons they prepared after school for them.

8.  Middle schoolers still have some level of appreciation for my dorky and quirky sense of humor, even if they try to hide it sometimes!

9.  Middle schoolers have so much energy, which can be both a blessing and a curse, but mostly it's a blessing.  My job would be boring if I didn't have all that energy to work with and channel!

10.  Middle schoolers can be quirky and unique and they are at a time in their lives when they are trying to develop their own identity, and it's fun to watch them grow, not just in the language, but as people!

Have you ever taught middle school?  What's your favorite level to teach and why?

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  1. Ditto on the songs and their quirky ness! I’ve learned over the years not to see middle school as a transition phase, but it’s own wonderful stage.
    I also love:
    The sincerity in their belief they will learn- even, sometimes without trying
    They will get up and move without groaning (enthusiasm)
    What a positive and great energy post! Thanks for the lucky reminder


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