Why Middle Grades Education?
As adolescents begin to grow and mature, effective teachers are a necessity. Whether you work in a public or private school, your training as a middle grades educator will give you the tools to support and challenge students in this significant time in their growth and development. During these critical years and stages of development, you’ll challenge them to grow in academic areas, support their emotional development, and help them develop skills for their life ahead.
Spotlight: Timothy Reed
Timothy Reed and his departmental staff in the School of Education desire to ensure each student graduates prepared to teach in a classroom. He communicates that being a teacher is holistic, and teachers need to make an effort to understand each student and where they come from to cultivate a learning environment.
Make a Difference. Teach.
Middle school teachers are vital figures in the lives of adolescents. At this critical age, students are starting to decide where they want to go in their own lives, developing their abilities for critical thinking and reasoning, communication, and complex problem-solving. With a North Park degree in middle grades education, you will have the strong academic foundation and extensive classroom experience to make an immediate impact on the lives of young people nationwide.
North Park’s teachers-in-training follow an extensive clinical experience program that culminates in student teaching. For 12 weeks, you’ll assume responsibility for a classroom: teaching a full load, attending meetings, keeping records, grading, and meeting with parents. You’ll work with a cooperating teacher and be observed throughout the experience by North Park faculty who will offer helpful feedback, encouragement, and constructive advice.
The secondary education program gets you into real classrooms early and eases your transition from observer to student teacher. Here’s the progression:
- Targeted observations as part of the methods course
- Teacher Aiding: observe and assist teacher/students (50+ hours)
- Mini-Teaching: prepare and teach one lesson each day (7 weeks)
- Student Teaching: full-time teaching (12 weeks)
Beyond the Classroom
Enhance your own education by getting involved with various service and extracurricular activities at North Park.
- Joining North Park’s chapter of Kappa Delta Pi
- Volunteering through Urban Outreach, including at local tutoring programs
- Instructing tutoring sessions or working in the Writing Center
- Participating in Global Partnerships trips
- Studying abroad