Career Story: Third Grade Teacher In A Rural School District

Third Grade Teacher In A Rural School District

Job Title: Elementary School Teacher

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

Education: BS, Library Science, Elementary Education

Previous Experience: After getting my degree in Library Science, I began a family. I became a day care director to be with my children and still work. When my children were all school age, I worked with schools for a book fair company, made lots of money, got divorced and moved back home (to a small town) and had to leave the company. I eventually went back to school to get my elementary ed. degree and have loved teaching ever since.

Job Tasks: I teach elementary school at a local public school. I am responsible for teaching about twenty third graders. I get to school about thirty to forty-five minutes before the bell rings. I make sure I have the papers and materials ready for the day, check my box for any new information, be sure there are pencils sharpened and that everything is ready for the students to come in.

I prepare the lesson plans according to the state curriculum guidelines, and do my best to integrate the lessons in order to teach all the material in ways the students are interested in. I make the lessons as diverse and involving as I can, and try to allow the students to make discoveries on their own. I keep abreast of current and new ideas by attending as many workshops as I can without being away from my class too often, and try to stay involved in the community. I tutor students after school when necessary, and keep in touch with the parents as much as possible. I try to involve them in the process as much as I can. They know their children and are my greatest ally. I communicate with my peers and work with them to acquire the best practices from all I can.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is the kids, and the worst part is the kids, too. When you see enlightenment and learning on their faces, and when you are watching them make discoveries on their own, that is the best. When you work with your peers and come up with a lesson that touches a child that has been hard to reach, that is great. When you see children in situations that are not the best, and you are helpless to make it all better, it is the worst.

Job Tips: Do not become a teacher because you think it will be easy, or because you "like kids." It is not easy, and you will not like kids when you are finished.

Do not become a teacher because the hours are short and you don't have to work all summer. Good teachers spend many more than 40 hours per week teaching, assessing work, and planning. And many summer hours are spent at school getting ready.

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