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Career Story: First- And Second-Grade Reading Teacher

First- And Second-Grade Reading Teacher

Job Title: Elementary Teacher

Type of Company: I work for a school system in Virginia.

Education: AGS, General Studies •• BS, Educations •• MA,Education

Previous Experience: I baby-sat, worked at day-care centers and worked as a substitute teacher

Job Tasks: I am a first- and second-grade language arts and social studies teacher.

I start my morning off with twenty-seven first graders. We begin by meeting on the carpet, where we check our calendar and see what is on our agenda. Then we talk about the days of the week and count the number of days we've been in school. We follow up by reading the morning message. Buried in the message are a host of mistakes that the children have to find and that they love tracking down. After the message, we read the question of the day and discuss our answers. Then it's time to read a book. I pick a book I know the kids will like, normally one that helps me teach them something too. After this, I explain how the rest of the day will go and what the work is they'll be doing. Then we split up into groups where we work on different reading skills. The groups are different every day.

Before I know it, it is time to switch. Then I move on to second grade and do something entirely different!

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is the kids. Most of them are great! They are honest and many of them are lovely.

The worst part of my job is dealing with the school's administration and with parents. They can make or break my year. There are really great parents, of course, and they'll support you in anything you do. But there are always one or two who will make you want to turn your back on teaching forever. An administrator who supports you makes your job far easier, but when you have one who doesn't...

Job Tips: Know that teaching kids this age isn't as easy as it looks. You need to be very organized and you will have to use your personal time and money to make ends meet! But the rewards are great.

Additional Thoughts: You have to be a caring person.

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