Career Story: Elementary School Reading Teacher

Elementary School Reading Teacher

Job Title: Teacher

Type of Company: I work for an urban school district in Massachusetts.

Education: BS, Education, Bridgewater State College •• M.Ed., Simmons College

Previous Experience: I was a substitute teacher in the Boston public schools for six months.

Job Tasks: I teach part time (2 days a week) in two third grade classrooms in Boston. My responsibilities include planning for small group instruction (six students at a time) for two sets of students: students who are struggling and students who are working above grade level. For the students who struggle with reading and writing, one day a week we read a story and I teach the vocabulary used in the story's context. We read the vocabulary words, write the vocabulary words in a journal, give a definition for each vocabulary word and use each vocabulary word in a sentence. The second day of the week I help the students respond to an open-ended question. These questions usually begin with "Describe..." or "How do you know..." This also helps to teach them how to respond to open response questions on the MCAS. For the students who are working above grade level I choose a chapter book to read as a book club. We read each chapter together, and pull out vocabulary words to define before the reading. Then I assign a project or reading response for each chapter. At the end of the book I assign a fun culminating activity.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The worst part of my job is not enough time with each student. Although I only have six students at a time, I still feel as though I could use more time with each of them, struggling or not.

The best part of my job is that I get to work closely with each student, and I see their progress immediately.

Job Tips:
1.) Network. Take workshops or classes offered by the public school system that you hope to teach in, if possible. This will allow you to meet people and possibly get a foot in the door.

2.) Substitute teach. You will be a face in the school and not just a number or name.

3.) Be flexible.

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