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Career Story: First Grade Teacher In A Suburban School

First Grade Teacher In A Suburban School

Job Title: Teacher

Type of Company: I work as a first grade teacher in a suburban school system.

Education: BS, Elementary Education, U/Mass-Boston •• M.Ed., Lesley University

Previous Experience: I worked as a teacher's aide for a year.

Job Tasks: I teach twenty-two students in an inclusion classroom. I have students in my class with all different abilities, social maturity and many who speak other languages at home. It is very important to set up a routine and stick to it! The students at this age crave structure and knowing what is next. It is also very important to tell them what you expect from them and never assume they know not to do something! Early in the year you need to assess the students and then deliver the curriculum to meet their needs. It is important to re-assess many times during the year. Also be prepared to talk to parents often and in some cases daily.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is watching students make progress. They feel so proud of themselves and that is very rewarding to see. Teaching is also different every day! No matter the plan, you also need to be flexible. Kids aren't robots and if they come into school crying you can't just get on with the lesson!

The worst parts of the job are all the paperwork and meetings.

Job Tips: Always remember that teaching well is very difficult. You teach students, not subjects!!! It is also important to be aware that college does not prepare you for the pressure of difficult parents, administrators and dealing with sad student situations. You will learn more from student teaching than any course work in college. Classroom management is an important skill. It sets the tone for the day and it needs to be consistent. Be prepared to work hard and not complain! Many new young teachers recently hired are not meshing with veteran staff due to all the complaining they do.

Additional Thoughts: When working with kids you have to enjoy them. If not, you'll be miserable and so will they! You definitely need a sense of humor. Also get your advanced degrees as quickly as you can so you get paid better for more of your career.

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