Career Story: Elementary Classroom Teacher

Elementary Classroom Teacher

Job Title: Teacher

Type of Company: I work for a school district in suburban Boston.

Education: Master of Education

Previous Experience: I've always been a classroom teacher.

Job Tasks: As a classroom teacher it is my job to guide the children through the curriculum as determined by the state curriculum standards and district policies. I teach all subject areas in a self-contained inclusionary classroom. It is my responsibility to stay current in all curriculum areas. This is accomplished through regular professional development opportunities. The state requires re-licensure based upon successful completion of a certain number of hours of professional development. I carefully prepare daily lessons for the students. All preparation of materials is my responsibility. Formal and informal assessments are administered and scored by me. Daily work is evaluated by me. I am responsible for the creation and maintenance of a safe, attractive, and educationally sound classroom environment. I maintain accurate academic records for each student and report progress to parents through the report card and parent teacher conference process. I maintain records for the students' cumulative record file in accordance with district requirements. I am responsible for my students' academic, physical, and emotional needs during the school day. I provide home assignments for children to complete in order for parents to stay apprised of their child's academic requirements.

I tie sneakers, zip coats, wipe tears, and plan classroom celebrations. I listen to struggling readers and guide beginning writers. I help children understand that there is a big difference between 14 and 41. I read stories and laugh a lot. I sometimes cry. I know more ways to spell Megan than anyone would think possible. I cut out shapes and characters and try to make sense of some pretty crazy stories. I teach children how to make puppet shows and poems. I plant 20 cups of bean seeds and sneak in many extras just to make sure everyone gets a bean plant. I find something special in every parents' child and make sure they know it. I settle conflicts and hopefully make a difference in the life of at least one child.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The children and families are the best parts of the job. My colleagues are dedicated, hard working and a constant source of inspiration.

The worst parts of the job are the constant, unrelenting demands of paper work. The current view of "one size fits all" education leaves little room for children's individual development.

Job Tips: Don't listen to anyone's advice. If you want to teach, it is something that is a calling. There is no financial benefit. The much-lauded vacations are devoted to catching up on paper work and pursuing professional development. You will be challenged in so many ways. You must love it or you just can't do it.

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