Question Detail

From teaching college to 6th grade?

Mar 5, 2013 5:21pm

Does anyone have advice for teaching 6th graders after 10 or so years of teaching college writing and literature courses? I took a big leap to "challenge " myself in an inner city after being on a college campus of middle class socioeconomic status. The school is so tough that no one stays more than a year, but I'd love to make a difference! My mind is wide open!

  • English Language Arts
  • 6-12
  • Behavior / Class Culture / Differentiation / Engagement


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    • Mar 9, 2013 9:34am


      One of the best ways to engage students is to offer them choice. Universal Design of Learning is an amazing curriculum design process that contains guidelines for making curriculum accessible and engaging to all students. One important aspect of the design process is transparency, and making all goals and objectives clear to students so they know why the lessons are important to them specifically. You can get a lot more information on UDL on the National UDL center web site or by visiting

      Best of luck! The kids are lucky to have you!

      • Mar 5, 2013 10:08pm

        FIrst of all, kudos to you for making that leap and trying something new! I think that so much of teaching is not just about the level of content or the audience, but also how the teacher chooses to relate to his/her students and build relationships with them. So my advice would be think about what your successes were at the college level in regards to building a community in the classroom and building relationships with students, and try to replicate those ideas and philosphies in the 6th grade classroom. Good luck!

        • Mar 6, 2013 4:54am

          Thanks for feedback! Any specific ideas, lesson plans, tricks of the trade?

          • Mar 6, 2013 11:03am

            Good for you! This is my first year teaching and I am in an inclusive 6th grade class, teaching all subjects.. I totally agree with Lauren about building community within the classroom. My students like it when they get responsibilities and I have found that being consistant with grading, discipline and the general schedule keeps this age group on task. Anything else, just ask away!!!

            • Apr 22, 2013 12:57pm

              You've definitely jumped in to the frying pan, but you heart seems to be in the right place and you are determined to succeed. Research has shown that children for lower socio economic environments have responded very favorably to arts integration in their curriculum. The arts are universal and helps us all express ourselves with a degree of creative license. Try it to help challenge and engage your students. Building community, giving choices, challenging students to be active participants in their own education will be paramount as you find your way.

              Even though you are not a new educator, you are in an all new world in comparison to the one you have been in previously.
              If you have never read Ruby Payne's- A Framework for Understanding Poverty. It would be a great summer read.

              Best of luck


              • Apr 22, 2013 5:45pm

                Karen- I have some lesson plans I could share. What exactly are you looking for?