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Most teachers tend to feel strong affection for the grade that they teach.

Whether you’re educating cute kindergarteners or hormonal high-schoolers, charming features can be found in every age group. Third-graders, however, are particularly special. Past the stage when they need help tying their shoelaces or zipping up their coats, yet still in an adorable phase of childhood, third-grade students boast just the right balance of independence and naivety. If that wasn’t enough to convince you, we’ve put together five reasons why the third grade is the best to teach:

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1. Third-grade students love to overshare

Third-grade kids are fantastic storytellers and love to share information about the funny mistakes that they have made. You may not have asked for detailed information about why their mom and aunt love to fight or the time they accidentally poured orange juice on their cereal, but some of you will find their stories equally hilarious and adorable. For a reminder of the kinds of stories third graders love to tell, check out this fantastic list of cute mistakes young kids make.

2. Third-graders are joyful during the holiday season

Look no further than your third-grade classroom if you need a little perking up during the festive season. Most third-graders are yet to discover the truth about Santa Claus and still revel in the magic of Christmas. This makes the holiday season great for fun, games, and jokes.

To harness the young joy of your third-graders at Christmas, try organizing a program of fun activities in December. You could get them to make special gifts for a loved one or bring delicious festive treats for a class party. If you need any more ideas, this article offers some great inspiration.

3. Third-graders are great at reading

By the time students reach third grade, most have a good handle on reading and writing. This is not true for everyone, of course. Some students need a little extra time to get their heads around the tricky world of literacy. Most students have developed far enough to read relatively fluently, so your job gets a little more interesting. Rather than simply teaching letters, sounds, and words, you can start talking about stories and issues in certain texts.

It is a formative time for young bookworms. Please encourage them to read by discussing books as much as you can!

4. Third-graders are starting to become empathetic

By third grade, most kids have developed enough social and emotional awareness to empathize with you and your peers. Often, this means you will have to deal with fewer arguments about fairness or petty fights over toys. If you think your third-graders’ empathetic capacities could do with a little tune-up, try:

  • Running role-play sessions in which they learn about each others’ points of view.
    Encouraging them to share.
    Reading stories aloud will boost their ability to empathize with fictional characters.

5. Third-graders adore their teachers

Third-graders have not yet reached the stage when liking the teacher is seen as uncool. This means they will lavish you with love and compliments daily. Indeed, it is not uncommon for third-graders to bring teachers treats or tell them how much they love a new haircut. Enjoy the adoration while it lasts!