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One more time - pros and cons to 2nd


Senior Member
I'm sure this has been asked before, but I have to hear an updated version. I've never taught 2nd grade (actually I've never taught below 3rd at all), and there's a possibility I could teach it next year. I absolutely LOVE 3rd grade, but due to some changes, I may not be able to teach it next year (they want 3rd grade teachers to loop to 4th, and I don't want to teach 4th). SO..... what are some pros and cons for 2nd for you? For those of you that have taught both grades, what can I expect to be the biggest change?

Thanks for humoring me - I really need to hear your thoughts.


Full Member
I previously taught first and then looped to second. I never want to leave! Part of what I love is that you really see the lightbulb go off for them. A lot of what they learn is a review of first grade, but taking it to a higher level. You can really see it click for them. I love that they are independent to a point ,but still need you. They love to do hands-on projects. I also love that I could have a horrible day and do nothing but rant and rave at them, and they still love me at the end of the day.
It really is a fun grade.


Full Member

I used to teach 5-8 graders. I moved down to 3rd for a year and have taught 2nd for the last two years. What I found was that they were 'helpless' at the beginning of the year. They are still 1st grades and the beginning of the year. The pros - they love you, they work hard, they love school, they are eager to learn, they are fun. I love teaching second grade, I think that you will love it too.


Senior Member
So True!!

"I also love that I could have a horrible day and do nothing but rant and rave at them, and they still love me at the end of the day. "

Even if I think I've yelled all day (usually after coming back from having a sub) I still get hugs and I love yous!!! :D


Senior Member
New 2nd grade teacher

This is my first year teaching 2nd grade- after teaching 3rd- 6th grade for a total of 13 years. I have discovered that 2nd grade is just not for me. My personality is just not suited to that age level. The pros are- as other posters have said- they LOVE you and every single thing about school. They are so proud to be "big kids" and their excitement is positively contagious. I was not prepared for their total helplessness at the beginning of the school year- I unbuckled belts that were stuck, tied shoes, taught them how to hang up bookbags and wash their hands in the classroom sink. I have felt hopeless and overwhelmed all year- and am terribly afraid that I have done these children an injustice by being their teacher. 3rd grade is absolutely the grade for me- more independence and they get my sense of humor. They are still happy to be in school, though a little jaded about learning. I always tell the parents of my 3rd grade students that just as kids lose baby teeth, around 3rd grade, they tend to lose their "little kid eyes" and get their grown-up eyes. Teaching 2nd grade has probably been more of an education for me than my students- and I am glad to have the experience, but I am counting down the days to the end of the year. Whatever you do- good luck. I have taught 4th grade, and it was pretty good. At the end of the year, the hormones begin to carbonate ,so that is a challenge!


Senior Member
2nd grade

What I love is that they are NOT helpless. If you've ever taught kindergarten or 1st grade you know what i mean. Second graders can read, entertain themselves, work independently, tie shoes, zip coats and can follow directions. (ok...we work on that one from time to time)
Students that still love school, love their teachers and don't have a lot of attitude. (although I have seen a lot of attitude from the K class this year and i'm worried about when they get to 2nd!) I LOVE it and it is definately the place for me!


Junior Member
Teaching 2nd grade

I have taught both and the interesting thing for me was that when I taught 2nd I tutored 3rd. The insights gained from that experience were brought back to my class and transferred into them being better prepared for 3rd. You will have so much to offer them and they will love knowing that you taught the "big kids" and are now teaching them. If the opportunity presented itself that is the one grade I definitely would return to. Good luck!!


Junior Member
Pro/Cons of Second Grade

I love second grade. The kids are not helpless. I find that if you teach and model everything that you want done first and then expect them to do it and hold them to doing it the right way they will do exactly what you have modeled. They are willling to work hard and live up to every expectation. Another thing that I love about 2nd is their love of learning and the very intellegent questions. They are so willing to help each other, too.


New Member
I LOVE Second Grade!

I agree!!! I absolutely love second grade! I've been teaching second graders for four years, & the enthusiasm keeps growing! Yeah, you do have the occasional zipper that gets stuck, or a shoe that won't stay tied, but they're NOT helpless! I agree with SecondGradeChick, try Kindergarten or First grade & then tell me if second graders are helpless! I honestly tell all of my friends who are not teachers that I have the greatest job in the world! Second graders love to learn & they absolutely adore you! What else could you ask for?


Senior Member

I just returned to this post and what I think are some references to my comment that my 2nd graders were helpless....if you read the comment, I said that they were helpless at the beginning of the year. That did improve- but I was just very surprised at the start of the year at some of the things that they needed help with- I should probably have mentioned that I am working with an inner city, extremely low socio-economic group of kids- most of whom live in total chaos. Most of them come to kindergarten already behind in basic skills. (wiping noses, using a public bathroom, washing hands, using please and thank you- these are things we are still working on). One of the things that keeps me laughing is there utter love for you, school, their books....anything at all in their "big kid" classroom.


Senior Member

Thanks to everyone that responded. I just found out today that I'm going to be teaching 3rd grade afterall. I'm elated about it. Not that 2nd wouldn't have been wonderful, but I've never taught 2nd and I knew I loved 3rd.

Thanks for the information - I'll keep it in my memory in case I'm put in this situation again!



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