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Career Story: First Grade Teacher At A Catholic School

First Grade Teacher At A Catholic School

Job Title: First Grade Teacher

Education: BS in Elementary Education, SUNY Oneonta

Previous Experience: I taught Preschool and Pre-K after graduating from college at two different child care centers. I then taught Kindergarten in a Catholic school for 3 years. At that school I also worked at the Extended Day program as a Co-Director for 1 year. I am at my current job teaching first grade after that school closed.

Job Tasks: As a first grade teacher I have many responsiblities. Each day I teach the class reading, phonics, spelling, writing, math, religion, and science/social studies. In reading we work on fluency, reading aloud, vocabulary, and comprehension. In phonics, we focus on the sounds of letters including short and long vowels, beginning and ending blends and digraphs such as th, sh, ch, and wh, and parts of speech such as verbs, nouns, adjectives, and adverbs. In spelling I introduce 10 new words each week and teach the class patterns and games to help them remember how to spell each word. In writing, the class learns how to write complete sentences, how to form the letters of the alphabet, and how to write stories by brainstorming ideas, putting those ideas into sentences and editing their stories. First grade math focuses on concepts such as patterns, number formation, counting to 100 by 1's, 2's, 5's, and 10's, adding and subtracting, time to the hour and half hour, and counting money with pennies, nickels, and dimes. In Religion, I teach the students about the Catholic faith, how to pray, the Holidays and Holy Days, and the Holy Family and Saints. In Science I teach them Earth Science topics including rocks, space, and weather. I also teach about the Human Body with topics on the 5 senses, growing and changing, and taking care of our bodies. Social studies topics include where we live, maps, community and its helpers, taking care of the earth, rules and laws, and historical figures such as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr, and Ruby Bridges. In addition to teaching students academics, I focus my lessons on good manners, how to raise your hand, how to get along with others, and appropriate behavior for school, the playground, and the lunchroom. Each week I have time to plan the curriculum while my students are at specials such as gym, music, or art. I also attend meetings with parents to discuss their child's progress and staff meetings to discuss upcoming school events and activities. Other responsibilities I have as a teacher include keeping track of my students' progress on report cards and in a grade book, bus or rider duty at dismissal, and maintaining a professional relationship with the students, parents, and other teachers.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of teaching is seeing the progess the students make from the beginning of the year until the end. The worst part is hearing complaints from parents.

Job Tips:
1. Try not to let other teachers' negative feelings about certain students discourage you from helping that student to the best of your ability.

2. If a lesson is not going well just end it and do something else. Always have a backup plan!

3. Don't worry if you don't get to everything each day. Sometimes the teacheable moments take up more time and are more valuable to the students.

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