Career Story: Kindergarten Teacher In A Suburban Public School

Kindergarten Teacher In A Suburban Public School

Job Title: Teacher

Type of Company: I work for a school system in a suburb of Boston.

Education: BA, Science, Lesley University •• (Cambridge, MA) •• M.Ed., Education, Lesley University

Previous Experience: I got a job right out of college as a sixth grade teacher and then went for my master's part-time while I was teaching.

Job Tasks: I teach Kindergarten, a difficult job but a rewarding too.

A typical day can vary and no two days are the same. Daily plans include teaching reading to small groups of students, preparing math curriculum and executing lessons including game-like activities; setting up centers in the classroom that teach skills; keeping areas such as block area, dramatic play and the sand table clean; setting up computers with software and web sites so to make it easy for students to access activities independently; displaying the daily schedule; arranging the class for daily routines such as "Calendar," "Daily Question" and "Weather"; reading-aloud time and a writing activity that relates to the story; outside time; holding conferences with parents twice a year; complete progress reports twice a year; planning phonics lessons using cards and magnet boards; copying worksheets needed for writing lessons and phonics.

I also clean all the tables at the end of the day and talk to parents during pick-up times to tell them how their kids have been doing.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best parts of my job is interacting with the students and listening to the amusing things they say. I also enjoy watching their progress as the year goes by. Most students make huge gains.

The worst part of my job is the lack of respect I receive from the administrative staff. We are now expected to teach non-English speakers, students with severe learning disabilities, and students with behavioral problems with almost no classroom support.

Job Tips:
1. Always have your plans ready. As a new teacher, it is difficult to teach a lesson without proper plans.

2. Be sure to have a good mentor who you feel comfortable getting help from. Never refuse help. Even parents can assist you with the preparations needed for class.

3. Do not hold another job during your first few years of teaching. You will most likely spend 10-12 hours a day at school. You will not have the time or energy to work another job. But don't worry: the longer you teach the more the overtime work will decrease.

4. Don't imagine for a minute that teaching is a six-hour-a-day job. You will work hard and long and will probably have work to do at home as well.

Additional Thoughts: Teaching has changed dramatically over the past ten years. It takes a lot of patience and energy to be a dedicated teacher. If you have the urge to teach and touch the lives of children, you will get rewarded by watching the students grow and learn. Students will gain respect for you and you will find out that is why teaching is so rewarding.

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