Education gives us knowledge that we will use for the rest of our lives. Teachers are an essential part of students life. Influencing students that will become part of society into having a successful career and becoming model citizens. There are so many aspects in which teachers help us and the information they teach will stay in our brains for a long time. One of the biggest decision a teacher must make is deciding what grade they will teach. Third grade and fourth grade are two age groups that are very close yet more information would be beneficial in order for one to decide which one they would like to teach. The shift between third and fourth grade is very crucial, it is a time in a student’s life where children are becoming more independent, becoming aware of themselves and realizing their learning abilities . Although very close in ages for a teacher recognizing the differences and deciding which grade to teach might not come easy. This text will elaborate more on the differences in curriculum, personal interaction the students have with the teacher, and the best parts of teaching that grade in order to possibly help decide what grade might be better to teach.
When a person decides to become a teacher, how do they know what grade to teach? For some people it occurs naturally and for others a little more thought might have be to put into the matter. What are some of the steps that a person can take to help decide which grade to teach? Research what the major differences are between the two age groups as well as the similarities between the two age groups. Interview teachers currently teaching these two grades to find out what the best parts of teaching 3rd and 4th graders are and possibly sit in a
Class and observe in order to help decide.
Let’s explore some of the what can be going on and what children might be learning during these years in order to understand them a little more. While in 3rd grade, kids are still grasping vocabulary and figuring out words, reading uncomplicated books. Working on simple science projects for example planting that might require measuring. Learning some geography and more about their state and where they live, working on math problems such as multiplication and division. Some of the learning materials with a 4th graders at school are they are expected to come up with ideas about what they are reading, writing an essay for example. Learning about new concepts like electricity, moving objects and concentrate on learning more about the US and the world rather than just where they live, start to learn how to read a map. Beginning to learn about decimals and fractions getting more in depth in all subjects.
Interviews are a great idea in order to further understand what some of the teachers duties and expectations are. As far as a third grade teacher goes, “having high and clear expectations while being consistent with praises and consequences always helps. Getting parents involved as much as possible is a challenge sometimes, getting them to help with homework for their children, making sure their children get enough sleep. Having a bell and chants to maintain their attention during class, also using points and giving praises kids love being praised” (Castillo 1). It seems as though 3rd graders are still needing to be told, reminded and pushed more into doing what they need to do. While interviewing a 4th grade teacher in order to further understand what their duties and expectations are this is what was said, “classroom management is very important and the number one rule is treat people the way you want to be treated. Signing a contract and enforcing the rules if they are broken. Some challenges are encouraging students to want to do their homework rather than having to do it making sure they understand homework is not a parents responsibility, that belongs to the students. In order to maintain their attention getting personal with students is easy because at times we spend more time at school with each other than at home, sharing personal experiences on both ends helps because we get to know each other” (Crabb 1). It sounds as if 4th graders grow up a lot and understand the dynamics of student and teacher more.
Teaching comes with many wonderful perks but what is the best part about teaching 3rd and 4th grade? “The best part about teaching 3rd grade is being able to see the academic and social growth by the end of the year, looking forward to a new set of students with different set of needs and decorating the class” (Castillo 1). “The best part about teaching 4th grade is the beginning and the end, for example making reading fun so by the end of the year they enjoy reading, being able to see those changes. Loving getting up in the morning and going to work” (Crabb 1). 4th graders seem to be a little more grown up than 3rd graders and what can be better than loving going to work every day?
The duties that come from teaching 3rd and 4th grade are very similar due to the grades being right by each other. The major difference I would say seems to be the maturity of the children in 3rd grade versus 4th grade. A way to describe it would be as though they go from having little kid responsibilities to understanding and implementing big kid responsibilities. It seems as though 3rd grade is the last grade which you still need to be told and reminded, you need your parents and teachers help. While 4th graders begin working their brain in new ways and applying what they read for understanding subjects knowing they are responsible for going home and doing their homework. In the end it seems that there is no better grade to teach but more of a preference on whether a teacher would like to be around the younger 3rd grader or an older 4th grader and teachers everywhere should be praised for doing their part and teaching children every day.
- Castillo, Diane. Personal Interview. 13 October 2018.
- Crabb, LaDonna. Personal Interview. 13 October 2018.
- Patino, Erica. “At a Glance: The Changes In Teaching Between Third and Fourth Grade.” understood.org. Understood, [?]. Web, 14 October 2018