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Career Story: Eighth Grade Science Teacher At A Suburban School

Eighth Grade Science Teacher At A Suburban School

Job Title: Teacher

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

Education: BS and MA, Middle Grades Education, Gardner-Webb University (Boiling Springs, NC)

Previous Experience: I worked at Cleveland Community College and George Washington University as part of a work-study program. Student teaching helped prepare me for the real thing.

Job Tasks: As a teacher, I am responsible for planning lessons for a hundred plus 8th grade students. I teach them about cells, the hydrosphere, chemistry, geologic evolution, and microbiology. I plan lessons that utilize the 5 E lesson plan style for inquiry investigations, teacher input, assessment, and reinforcement. As a department chairperson, I lead meetings and coordinate group activities like remediation. 8th grade science has an End of Grade test that teachers must prepare students for. This assessment indicates whether students are performing on grade level. Teachers are responsible for completing a lot of tasks in a short amount of time, so multi-tasking is necessary. Many teachers must also sponsor clubs, like Science Olympiad, coach sports, or have extracurricular duties.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of teaching is getting to share a subject that I love with my students. I also enjoy seeing students being active in science experiments. One of the greatest things is the feeling I get when I know my students have achieved the goals they have worked for, like passing the science End of Grade test.

The worst part is seeing students who are apathetic and won't try for whatever reason.

Job Tips:
1. Learn as much as possible about your content. This will give you a deeper understanding and help you relate information to students better. 2. Volunteer in the classroom before graduating from college. This will give you hands-on experience in education. 3. Observe other teachers. This can help you see different learning styles, and assist you in developing your own method of teaching. 4. Apply for NCCAT as a professional development program. 5. Apply for National Board certification when you are able. This helps you become a more reflective teacher.

Additional Thoughts: Important qualities for a teacher: Be flexible. Be a team player. Have high expectations for students. Have high expectations for yourself. Be compassionate, and understand that not every child has the same background and support as you did growing up.

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