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Career Story: Second Grade Teacher In A Public School

Second Grade Teacher In A Public School

Job Title: Elementary School Teacher

Type of Company: I work for a school district in Asheville, North Carolina.

Education: BA, Early Childhood Education, University of North Carolina at Charlotte •• I took •• some graduate classes from Western Carolina University.

Previous Experience: I began teaching pre-school in 1974. Since then I've taught kindergarten, first and second grade in the same school. I have always worked with children.

Job Tasks: I currently teach all subjects to second graders in a self-contained classroom. We raise butterflies from our courtyard garden.

I generally arrive at school around 7:15 am and prepare for the day. This can be grading class work, previewing a video piece, or calling a parent. Kids arrive at 7:30, complete their morning work, etc. Specialists are introduced at 10:30 each day for PE, Music, Computer Lab, Guidance, and Art. Morning meeting is followed by a reading specialist, then lunch and then read-aloud, recess, silent reading, math. Then there's an afternoon meeting, which may involve the teaching of social studies, science, or writing. At the end of the day I do bus duty, parent conferences, tutoring, and phone calls.

I then pack my book bag and head home or run errands.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part is working with the kids and getting to know them individually and, also, sharing their successes.

The worst part is too many meetings, workshops, paperwork, and planning. Sometimes parents can pose a challenge.

Job Tips:
1.) Get enough sleep. Go home if you're tired after school. The work will still be waiting for you in the morning.

2.) Become computer savvy. Attend workshops to keep up credits for your certificate.

3. Keep in contact with parents and don't forget to smile!.

Additional Thoughts: When I began teaching 29 years ago, there were no teacher assistants. This made it difficult to monitor the children and we had no one to prepare instructional materials. Oh, and it would have been a good thing to have someone with your class in case you needed the restroom or there was an emergency.

One thing I would change about my approach to my career is to take better care of myself, worry less, smile more and realize that you can't go home with a child and change things for him or her. I could only teach and nurture children while they were present at school. Hopefully this has made a difference in their lives.

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