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Career Story: Fourth Grade Teacher In An Inner City Charter School

Fourth Grade Teacher In An Inner City Charter School

Job Title: Educator

Education: BS in Elementary Education

Previous Experience: I started as a teacher and continue to be an educator in elementary school.

Job Tasks: I'm a fourth grade teacher in an an inner city charter school. Our school differs from district public schools in that we attempt to lend ourselves more fully to the education and support of our students' entire family unit. We have an extended school year and provide an longer day of academic instruction.

My responsibilities are tremendous. I am influencing young psyches, impressionable young minds. Many of my students spend more awake time with me than they do with their parents. Each one of us can recall a harsh comment or criticism a teacher made. My students are watching me all the time. EVERYTHING I say and do is teaching . I've compared my day to friends as perfoming a Broadway musical. As soon as the children walk in the door, I'm on. I must be diligently aware of the messages I am communicating both verbally and nonverbally.

Additionally I'm responsible for assessing the academic and social needs of my students. Then I plan lessons and provide opportunites for my students to learn the appropriate academic and social skills necessary for them to achieve success at this level. I constantly reassess their achievement, then reteach, review or provide additional experiences to reinforce learning as needed.

Academic lessons must be aligned with our state's core curriculum standards. The curriculum must be followed within a strict timeline so that content and skills are covered prior to state mandated testing. Social lessons encompass a plethora of topics and needs. Teaching manners, conflict resolution, bullying, gang awareness, domestic, physical, sexual abuse are just a few.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job that it is never dull! I'm constantly thinking on my feet and adjusting plans by the minute as each unique day of learning unfolds.

The worst part of the job is the complying with the constraints that state and federal standards have imposed within the curriculum content and with testing timelines.

Job Tips:
1. Have a classroom management plan before you are standing in front of a group of students.

2. Assess your performance honestly. If your students are not "getting it", it is your responsibility to try a different approach.

3. Stay current. Self educate yourself with the most current best practices.

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