Question Detail

I am a special education teacher in middle school. My first year at the middle school, I taught 6th grade and then I looped with the students and taught 7th grade. My third year I'm teaching 7th grade again and I'm given the option of looping with the students to 8th grade next school year. Also the other special education teacher wants us to teach 7th and 8th grade (2 subjects each including Language Arts). I know the pros and cons of looping and I embrace the fact that classroom management is established quickly. I currently have a single-classroom classroom and teach all 5 subjects and I'm concerned about learning new grade level material, especially mathematics. I'm not sure if it's more difficult to teach 3 subjects at 2 different grade levels or teach 5 subjects at one grade level. I'm just not sure about which direction to take and would like feedback from colleagues. Thank you

Apr 26, 2014 5:19pm

  • 6-8
  • Special Education


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    • May 3, 2014 8:32am

      I would say do it. I teach 7th and 8th grade regular ed, and there is such a leap in maturity and inherent understanding when they move to 8th grade. I love both grades for different reasons, but enjoy the challenges 8th graders are more capable of taking on. My son is a SPED student in his junior year of high school, and I believe having had a teacher who'd looped with him in mid school (as they regularly did in elem) would have benefitted him tremendously. Even in high school, he has a better relationship with his advisor who has been with him all four years than his case managers who have changed each year. It's an adjustment each year with a new case manager. As to teaching multiple subjects, that's a call only you can make. I am certified in ELA and gifted ed. I taught elem. for several years where the only subjects I didn't teach were music and p.e. When I started at my current mid school, I taught 4 core ELA classes and 1 reading class (ELA was 8th grade and reading was 7th grade). Now I teach 5 different ELA electives (creative writing, journalism, recreational reading, speech, speech and debate) and move to 4 classrooms to do so. It is extremely challenging, but it keeps me on my toes. I spend most summers honing my curriculum and lessons. Each (teaching 2 classes and teaching 5) had its own challenges, its own pluses and minuses. But I am someone who enjoys a challenge, and I looooove my speech and speech/debate team! Think about where your passion lies....I am sure you will make a decision that is right for you!

      • May 3, 2014 9:03am

        It depends upon the quantity and quality of students that will be in the classes. And then it depends upon what you really enjoy doing. Which do you feel you will do the absolute best job for those students. Think of the children first.

        • May 4, 2014 9:40am

          My daughter had the same intervention specialist for all 4 years of High school. As a parent, it was wonderful. She knew where my daughter had started, knew her strengths and weakness and I believe it made it easier for everyone. Personally I looped with a class from 4th to 5th and loved it. I knew what I had taught last year and could refer to those lessons.