• Welcome teachers! Log in or Register Now for a free ProTeacher account!

Any 5th Grade Teachers Out there??

Language Arts | Writing 


Senior Member
Hi All! 4th grade teacher here. Have spent my entire 23 year career teaching at my current school. Generally happy. Very comfortable. My issue is that the amount of work an elem classroom teacher has to do in regards to planning for 5 subjects is overwhelming. A 5th grade opening has come up. Its in our middle school. They have come up before (infrequently) and I always think I should and then chicken out.

Any 5th grade teachers out there who can tell me what it's like teaching 5th grade? Is it overwhelming teaching multiple classes? What is that age like? I would be teaching ELA and Social Studies.


Full Member
I previously taught in a self contained 5th grade class for 4 years. This year we switched to departmentalized and I love it! I'm teaching Math to 2 sections of both 5th and 6th. I wouldn't go back to self contained and really enjoy that I have less prepping to do and I'm able to become more specialized in one subject. I've never taught 4th but I really enjoy the 5th grade level. There are days where I feel rushed because I don't have enough time to get through the lesson but I've learned that I sometimes need to extend a lesson into the next day. The positives far outweigh the negatives. Hope this helps!


Senior Member
I have taught departmentalized for the last 6 or 7 years and I would NEVER go back to a grade level where I wasn't departmentalized.

Planning is MUCH quicker because you're planning for two subjects. The kids behavior is a tiny bit better because they're not stuck in the same chair for the entire day. They get a fresh start in each room (as do you).

But you are very much tied to your schedule. Didn't finish something....too bad, they have to go to their next class.


Full Member
If you love having the same students all day long then changing jobs will not be for you.

Planning for 1-2 subjects only is great, and meeting more students is great. If there is a behavior problem, they aren't with you all day.
You might have more to grade depending on how many assignments you had for each subject, and you need to plan to keep each class at the same place to make it easier on yourself the next day. You get really good at the subjects you teach. You will be surprised at the adjustments you can make to a lesson depending on how many times you do it each day. You learn to move at a swifter pace and get right to the point of the lessons. If you like the subject matter, its a no-brainer! Good Luck!


Senior Member
I taught 5th grade for 8 years after 24 years as a self-contained 2nd grade teacher. 5th grade was departmentalized, so I taught ELA and Science. I LOVED IT! I would never go back to self-contained. So much less planning and grading! And if the class is giving you the fits, you know that they will be leaving soon!


Senior Member
Departmentalization is THE WAY TO GO!!. I taught 5th ELA and SS for several years. DEB Hanson pretty much taught my class. All her TPT ELA stuff was wonderful. Novel studies, Genre projects. Historical fiction to go with SS.


New Member
I'm a little late but thought I'd share another perspective. I came to 5th ELA/SS a year ago after 10 years teaching just ELA in grades 6-8. I thought Elementary would be a little calmer than Middle. It is, as far as the kids, but I've encountered other sets of issues that didn't exist in Middle: mean girls and activities. I share my class with a coworker, who liked me the first year but does not like me this year. She is best friends with our P, which has resulted in my every move being under a microscope. She also makes rude comments about me in front of the students. Daily work life has been miserable this year. Also, the sheer amount of school-wide incentives, activities that need permission slips returned, constant parent communication on 3 different platforms, and the dreaded signed papers home every 2 weeks (I do a lot of stuff online so I don't have tons of physical paperwork) makes me appreciate and long for my 6-8 classes. I found student behavior more challenging in Middle but I am drowning in paperwork/busywork and teacher cliques in Elementary.