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By the 4th grade, your students have likely got school down.

There’s none of the uncertainty of younger years; they’re coming into their own when developing personalities and becoming their people. There’s a lot that can be frustrating about kids of this age – but there’s plenty to enjoy about students moving up into this grade. After all, there’s a reason I’m a 4th-grade teacher – and I continue to love it every single year.

So, with so much going on and the general chaos of 9-to-10-year-olds, why do I think 4th grade is the best year for teaching?

There’s a reason that 4th grade is often considered a big ‘transition year’. It’s an exciting, challenging, and all-around interesting time for kids, and as their teacher, I get to experience the emotional roller-coaster by their side, for better or worse.

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There are a lot of reasons, but this list gives you just a few reasons why I like 4th grade:

By the 4th grade, students can connect with the information they’re learning; they’ve got a little more independence – and often a lot more attitude – and they know their place in the world. Right on the boundary between small children and older kids, 4th grade can be a confusing and complicated time for many students; but there’s still plenty of time for fun, games, and lots of imagination thrown in for good measure.

Number 1.

4th graders have the best imaginations. If you ask your students to put on a play or create a story, you’ll get something new, weird, and different every time. Your students are around the age when their imagination runs wild but is far more uniform and reality-based than before. The best of both worlds and hours of entertainment when marking and grading more imaginative projects and assignments.

Number 2.

You get to see your students grow and become independent. At this age, your students don’t need – or want – you to do everything for them. They can manage plenty independently, from hanging coats to organizing assignments, forming their groups, and even volunteering to help the teacher. Seeing that independence is great for any teacher, but teaching 4th grade, you witness it first-hand each day.

Number 3.

There’s never a dull moment in the classroom. No two days will be the same between the typical 10-year-old dramas and the boundless enthusiasm your students have. Which sometimes can be challenging but very often is a good thing. Who doesn’t like to have a little fun with their students, after all?

Number 4.

You see real friendships grow and develop over time. While younger kids can be fickle with their friendships, students will start forming real bonds with their peers at this age. Of course, ‘best friends’ will change all the time, but it’s still great to see our students forming strong friendships with one another in class.

Number 5.

Your students will be more involved in you and your life than ever. Now your students have more awareness of the world, don’t think you can go to the grocery store without being spotted by one student or another. It’s nice to be treated like a mini-celebrity, even if your students are more up in your business than you might like.

Number 6.

Your 4th graders can take over some of the responsibilities. Cleaning up after themselves? They can do that. Stacking chairs? No problem. Unlike younger kids, responsibilities are more than normal for 4th graders – so don’t forget to set some and lighten your load a little.

What grade do you love teaching best? If you liked this article, please share!