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Career Story: Eighth Grade Science Teacher

Eighth Grade Science Teacher

Job Title: Teacher

Type of Company: I work for the Boston Public School District.

Education: Masters in Education, BA in Environmental Studies

Previous Experience: I have worked as an after-school educator as well as an outdoor educator

Job Tasks: I am an eighth grade science teacher. I am responsible for all aspects of running my classroom. I plan lessons, implement the curriculum, manage behavior, and track the progress of my students. Yesterday I was up until 11:30 pm grading tests and right now I am filling out this survey so that another teacher friend of mine will be able to retain her job. I work very hard.

During a typical day I will wake up at 5:15 am and get to my school by 6:30. I make copies and get myself organized for my day. I use an LCD projector which I have to keep locked up so I take this out of the closet and set it up. The students begin arriving at 7:10 am and then we sit in the hell that is homeroom for the next 25 minutes until their first period class begins. I hate homeroom because I don't like unstructured time with a room filled with children.

We usually have one meeting per day and this meeting takes place before I begin teaching for the day. My teaching blocks are 80 minutes each and I teach 3 of them. For the past two months we have been studying Chemistry, but after April vacation we will begin our Ecology unit.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best parts of my job: watching my students grow and improve, having former students say that they miss me, communicating with the parents of my students and seeing the benefits of this, watching a student work hard at learning something new, laughing when my students are funny, working in collaboration with my colleagues, and being encouraged to always improve and learn more.

The worst parts of my job: meetings, interruptions, when I don't know how to teach someone something, when I don't think what I'm teaching is important, when I see how the kids know that what I'm teaching is not relevant to their lives, seeing kids in crisis, dealing with immature boys and girls with negative attitudes, seeing young teens gets pregnant, seeing young kids already involved with the law, seeing everyday some of the reasons why so many young people of color drop out of school.

Job Tips: Tip 1: Spend as much time as you can in an actual classroom before you become responsible for your own.

Tip 2: Make sure your training program allows time and space for you to be in front of a classroom of students. The best teachers are the kids themselves.

Tip 3: Make sure you understand the importance of procedures and routines and that you have a clear idea of how to teach, practice and enforce these.

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