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How stressful is teaching with little kids compared to big kids?

it depends

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Sam’s Answer

Some common differences in teaching little kids vs. big kids are the following:

Little Kids:
Emotional support - Need to give in a little more emotional support when giving directions. Little kids are sensitive to how you make them feel, and it is important to integrate this into the directions you give them.
Physical activity - Little kids have a lot of energy! Need to bring down this energy level by integrating physical activity into your activities for the day.
Simple communication - Instead of using big words and complex verbiage to give an instruction, use simpler words and be more direct when communicating with little children.

Big Kids:
Independence - Unlike little kids, bigger kids wants more independence on how they complete a task. Therefore, be more general when giving tasks. Instead of giving them step to step directions, give them the end goal, and have them figure it out themselves. This would also aid them in their problem solving skills.
Academic - Integrate more complex academic towards bigger kids. Now, it is less of learning the day-to-day life activities but more of applying what they have learned to every day life. For example, how do you melt the snow outside of the building?
Specialization - Start to have targeted subjects towards specific kids. This is the time when kids starts to have a strong interest in one particular area. It is important to start this journey with them here.
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Tammy’s Answer

I appreciate your question about gauging stress levels but really the question might be where do your passions lie. When I got my degree in school counseling I thought I wanted to work with elementary aged kids but once I got into the field, I realized I really enjoyed the challenges of middle school students. I also got to work with High school students and they also brought their own unique set of challenges. Every age group has different “stressors” and working with people in general whether little kids or adults and everything in between has unique challenges but also great rewards! If you enjoy the population you work with the “stress” is not a bad thing. There will be stressful days and there will be challenging situations but if you are passionate about your work then you will handle those days and enjoy the rest. Gaining experience with students are different levels might be a great place to start. Try volunteering in a school or with an organization like boys and girls club. You can see first hand then which age group you enjoy most and then pursue your teaching degree. It’s ok to change your mind over time and even though you’ll be certified with one age group many teachers go in to get extensions to their grade level do they can work with multiple age groups. Good luck.
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