Career Story: Third Grade Teacher At A Public School

Third Grade Teacher At A Public School

Job Title: Classroom Teacher

Education: Bachelors in Elementary Education, Texas Tech University •• Masters in Counseling, Texas Tech University ••

Previous Experience: When I was a junior in high school I worked as a teaching assistant during the summer and I become very interested in teaching. I throughly enjoyed my experience and the teachers I worked with.

Job Tasks: I currently work as a 3rd grade teacher and have 19 students in my classroom. Being a classroom teacher consists of preplanning, organization, and being flexible.

It is very important to plan in advance for the day. I typically write up my lesson plans for the week in advance by either Thursday or Friday. This will give me an opportunity to know and look for any materials such as books, films, overheads, and any activity sheets that will be needed for each lesson. This also gives me the chance to look for more information to make the lesson interesting and to reach the goals for the lesson. I also have an idea for the coming week and as ideas come up I check to see where it might fit in the lesson.

By Friday I start to gather materials, photocopying activity sheets in preparation for the following week. My grade level meets on Mondays to plan math and writing in which it is helpful if we are around the same place. Parents sometimes question why some students are doing this and their child isn't. We get to share ideas and bounce ideas off of each other. We typically meet on Mondays but talk throughout the week during lunch, before school and after school about lessons.

I typically check after school each day to make sure I have all of my materials ready for the next day. I try not to be searching and hunting for materials the same day, but on occasion it does happen before the morning bell or during my prepartion time (students are in music, art, library or PE). It's not a good idea to search for materials when your students are there because you're wasting their time and they get off track.

It's also important to be flexible because even though your plans are set sometimes unexpected things come up and the plans for the day have to be moved to the next day. For example, we may have a program, fire drill, weather related delayed school, or you didn't finish the lesson the day before because the students were interested in the topic and couldn't move on. That is why I prefer to write my lesson plans weekly so that I can plan according to where we ended the week before.

After all that planning you finally get to teach the students. I make notes about the lessons if something went well or how I need to change it if needed for the following year.

At the end of the day I bring home a bag with things I need to do before the next day. I read my lesson for math, phonics, writing, and read and write up questions for reading groups. Then I'm ready for the next day.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of teaching is seeing how the students progress and make leaps and bounds throughout the year. There are some days I feel great about my day and their are days that I know I need to make changes in the lesson or in the way I present materials. I enjoy the students and the parents. I also feel like I'm always learning when teaching new lessons. Teaching is very rewarding.

Things I wish I could change about teaching would be having a designated person at school who would photocopy or laminate for us. I spend a lot of time after school photocopying and also use up my prepartion time photocopying. I also wish I didn't have some much work to do at home. Teaching is not an 8-3 job. I tend to have two hours of additional work in the evenings and usually spend Sunday evenings preparing for lessons on Monday. Although I do enjoy my summer vacation, but I've worked enough hours throughout the year.

Job Tips:
1. Please know that you will spend a lot of time in and out of school working on school related work. You will look forward to your vacations. 2. Please know that the first year will be the hardest but it will get better after that and easier to a point. Don't become discouraged after the first year.

3. A teacher needs to have a specific discipline plan from day one. Be consistent, consistent, consistent with the plan. My suggestions is to really work on a discipline plan your first year and change it as needed to get the most out of each day from then on. CLASS ROOM DISCIPLINE is essential and can make a teacher's life miserable if you do not have a plan in place in your classroom.

4. Your first year always plan extra lessons for the day. Your learning how long things will take and it can be chaotic if you don't have enough plans for the day.

5. Do not assume anything in class, it's better to teach the material again (as a review from the year before) then the students not know the material and your trying to add to their knowledge yet they can't remember.

Additional Thoughts: I love teaching and have found that I enjoy it so much more now as a teacher of 20 years than when I first started. It's very rewarding but education has gone through a lot of changes and will always change. Just don't forget you are there for your students.

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