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Career Story: Substitute Teacher In An Elementary School

Substitute Teacher In An Elementary School

Job Title: Substitute Teacher

Type of Company: I work in the Wake County Public School System in North Carolina.

Education: AA, General Education, Catonsville Community College (Catonsville, MD) •• Certificate in Massage Therapy

Previous Experience: I worked in the medical field (in dermatology) for 30+ years. I then "retired" and moved south and am currently working as a substitute teacher until I find something else.

Job Tasks: My day teaching can be in any classroom from Kindergarten through eight grade. I also teach in the "Specials Department" which consists of the library system, the computer technology lab, physical education, music and art. Usually a substitute can have a different class in a different school for the whole five days of the week. I like to take 'long term' assignments, however, that can last up to three months.

My favorite long-term was in the media center for an elementary school. I like to read to the children and assist in helping find the answers to their many questions. For the two weeks we celebrated Dr. Seuss. I dressed up as the Cat in the Hat every day. We all had a fun time, students and teachers alike. My theatrical skills come out when I read the many stories and teach kids about the authors, why they wrote their books and on recycling for Earth Day.

The long-terms that are very challenging are in the higher grades. It seems the students are not taught manners at home and as such do not know how to treat each other or have any common sense. Most of the older students do not have any rules or regulations they feel they need to follow. That can make for a very long day and a very frustrating day. There are many times the students who like to learn and progress will say something about the students who are acting up causing a learning environment that does not foster learning.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The students are the best and worst part. I know some marvelous students who are sponges and soak up anything that is put before them. However there are the few and usually the loudest who do not have the support at home and as a result do not care about their education.

Job Tips: When a person walks into a strange classroom for the first time it can be very earth shattering. The students know whether you are scared or not and will eat you up if you do not take control of the class from the start.

Having a solid proficiency in a lot of fields is the best way to get the lessons across.

Additional Thoughts: Being a substitute teacher is not what I would go for long-term. I enjoy teaching and being in the library, so if I want to stay in this field I'll go back to school and get my Masters of Library Sciences.

However the job I loved the most was in the medical field, in dermatology. I operated an ultraviolet light machine giving treatments for every kind of skin disorder there is. It was the most rewarding for me since I was able to see the patients heal and create a whole new and better vision for themselves.

Both jobs are enjoyable. They both are teaching positions, as I needed to instruct the patients on their medicines and the treatment. I guess just having the ability to help people learn and offer them the ability to better their lives is the most important aspect for the jobs.

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