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Should I change from elementary to middle school?

Posted

Has 18 years experience.

I've done pre-k through 5 for many years. I have two schools. There's any opening in the middle school (6-8th).Can anyone give me any insight on the biggest issues you face, the good/bad about middle school?

I like the younger kids and I find it pretty easy to deal with them. I do get tired of kids having accidents, classroom lice checks, tons of screenings and immunizations. Plus the teachers at one of the schools can be trying at times but I'm comfortable there. I like the principal but he's not real good at taking care of staff issues. The office isn't private and I get assigned extra office duties a lot but they also cover while I take a lunch every day.

The middle school would be my only school. Accidents in pants would be a lot less. No classroom lice checks to worry about because the kids move around each class period. Much less screenings and immunizations to worry about. However, it's a bigger school which means busier. More kids with health issues. The kids are going through puberty which means more emotional drama. I was told not to trust the principal at this school to follow through with what he says and that a lot of staff are leaving because of him but that he leaves the nurse alone for the most part. Also, was told the staff are pretty easy to work with and are good about not sending kids all the time. The office is nicer and private and the nurse doesn't get asked to do extra stuff but also doesn't take a lunch because no one covers for her (although I'd challenge that if I were there.)

I'm not sure what to do. It's a big change going to a new school, learning the kids, staff,

building, etc. Also, the whole principal thing makes me nervous but then again who knows how long he will be there. Any advice would be great!! Thanks!

nyy2

Has 6 years experience.

That's a tough choice. I'm an elementary school also (k-5), so I feel your pain with the screenings, lice, and immunizations! I wouldn't be worried about the puberty and emotional issues, but more so about the principal. I haven't been a school nurse long (1.5 years), but I am lucky to have a good principal, who usually has my back. Other nurses in the district (a few that have been in the district 20+ years) have complained about their admin and told me that can make a HUGE difference.

I know that in middle and high school the kids usually require passes to get to the nurse's office so that cuts down on visits between classes. Since those teachers only have them for one period, they are a lot less likely to send kids down unless it is legitimate, as opposed to the elementary school which is a lot more lax in my opinion.

There is also sports physicals to thinks about...if that is something you are required to deal with. The high school and middle school nurses in my district dread when a new sports season begins (3x a year). Either way, I think there are pros and cons to each building and it's all in what you would rather deal with. Let us know what you decide! :up:

JenTheSchoolRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in School nursing.

I love the MS kids and all their puberty issues. Most girls tell me they will die from menstrual cramps.

Although I will argue that you see a LOT of students despite teachers only having some student one period a day. Because of that factor, they are not certain if a student has already visited me and already been cleared, so a student can convince more than one teacher they need to see me when they do not at all. And while they are not supposed to visit me in between classes, they do. Or teachers save all the visits for the end or beginning of the class period and I will have a line...

I will say that no matter the grade level, a principal that supports you is worth its weight in good. I manage kids in both the middle school and high school and work with two different but equally supportive principals. It makes a world of difference.

Tina, RN

Specializes in Acute Care, CM, School Nursing. Has 20 years experience.

I have done elementary for 4 years, and in the fall I'll be doing high school. I'm excited for the change, for all of the reasons you have given! :)

I say, go for it.

I went from elementary to middle, and I personally prefer the little ones, my personality is just better suited for them. That said, the pros of middle school vs. elementary to me are: they can better articulate s/s and what they need, more independent in terms of self-care, no bathroom accidents!

There aren't many cons ... you get some with attitude, but most are pleasant enough. I'm sure that varies from school to school though. It's not a bad move especially if you have a few good reasons to leave your current school. Good luck!

Flare, ASN, BSN

Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma.

well. i think you hit all the big issues right on the head. I work in a district where i cover 2 schools that are in one building and since i see the entire gamut of students. There is a lot to be said for supportive administration. It really does make things run smoothly. And even if the boss doesn't check in often and lets you do your thing - its knowing how they will react when you have your back against a wall or some mama bear growling because you didn't call right away when little Jimmy had a splinter that may make the difference in how your work week plays out.

Blue_Moon, BSN, RN

Has 18 years experience.

Thanks for all the advice. It sounds like middle school won't be any harder than elementary school which is good to hear! We don't do sports physicals so I don't have to worry about that. I'm not too worried about the principal issue since it doesn't sound too much different than the one I have now plus there is an assistant principal at the middle school which I can go to if need be. I can see how some kids might play each teacher to see the nurse. I feel like middle school might be a little more serious. Is it still a fun atmosphere during the holidays? I really enjoy that. However that's not a make or break for me.

Flare, ASN, BSN

Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma.

the middle school part of my school generally doesn't do holidays with as much flair as the elementary. And no halloween dress up for those kids here. But on the other hand, I do have the musical to look forward to watching part of and various band and chorus concerts. I guess activities vary from school to school.

Farawyn

Has 25 years experience.

I have 7-12.

Are you SURE you don't have sports physicals? Most middle schools do have a sports program. It doesn't necessarily mean that you do the physicals, it means that you make sure they have an up to date physical that says they are in good health etc.

Periods. Good God the Drama with periods. The kids are pretty bad too, but the teachers!?

Sports=injuries, which means concussion protocol.

7th grade physicals only- if your kids don't play sports you won't have to worry about physicals.

Possible overnight trips?

Kids that self carry epi/inhalers

Emotional- drama, cutting, eating disorders, drugs, body odor, sexual stuff- yes, you will be the Butt Cheek Police

The 7th and 8th grade boys are still babies. The girls? Wellllll...

We have Halloween, Spirit Week, Pep Rallys, Sports, Band, Open Mike Night, SADD, just to name a few of the things that entertain!

I love it. I like the older kids. I like that they come to me for lots of things, and I love that they trust me. I like how they know I will "yell" at them and they know I am kind of strict and won't baby them and they STILL come to me. I like that I can talk to them about colds or allergies or nosebleeds etc. and they get it.

My biggest issue is the cell phones and the lack of follow through with that. That is my Achilles' heel, it really is.

Good luck!

Blue_Moon, BSN, RN

Has 18 years experience.

Lol-yes I'm sure! We have many sports programs but they are required to have a dr exam and the forms are required to be turned into the coaches. Same thing in my own kid's district which is a different district. That's how it's done in this area.

Also, what is the butt cheek police? We aren't allowed to check kids private areas in the school due to liability reasons.

Farawyn

Has 25 years experience.

Lol-yes I'm sure! We have many sports programs but they are required to have a dr exam and the forms are required to be turned into the coaches. Same thing in my own kid's district which is a different district. That's how it's done in this area.

Also, what is the butt cheek police? We aren't allowed to check kids private areas in the school due to liability reasons.

The butt cheeks are right there hanging out of their shorts in middle school on up.

Blue_Moon, BSN, RN

Has 18 years experience.

Oh-LOL!! :roflmao: I get it!! Our administration is the police!! Gosh-sounds like you have to deal with a lot of things! Ok thanks!

Flare, ASN, BSN

Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma.

the butt cheek police!! that is hysterical!!i usually refer to myself as the fashion police - but no more!! Officer Flare, Butt Cheek PD:roflmao: