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Career Story: Middle School English Teacher

Middle School English Teacher

Job Title: Teacher

Type of Company: I work for a school district in a suburb of New York City

Education: BA in Education, NYU •• MA in English Education at Hunter College •• Additional 30 credits in various interests such as Shakespeare

Previous Experience: None

Job Tasks: I teach Language Arts in middle school. I have taught seventh to ninth grade but currently teach sixth. I have five classes a day that are all of mixed abilities. I teach YA Lit (Young Adult Literature) and read about 100 books a year because I am always looking for new titles with current themes. A new book I am teaching this year is The Homework Machine. One of my old favorites is Good Night Mr. Tom.

I work in a cluster which means one teacher for each subject area and we all try to work together to reach all of our students. In addition to general subject matter, we do a lot of collaborative activities such as a Greek festival that make learning fun. We happen to work very well together and therefore, we get a lot of wiggle room to experiment.

We are currently working with the Police Department on a self-esteem and courage of your convictions unit. An officer comes in once a week and works with all of our students covering topics like gangs. I also teach old stuff like grammar even using diagramming as part of my curriculum. Lastly, we do lots of writing and the writing model is used in all the disciplines.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: I love every part of my job that deals with students. I think that administrators sometimes forget what it was like to be a teacher. Some of their ideas can be unrealistic and they don't like it when they fail. I HATE standardized testing and No Child Left Behind.

Job Tips:
1. Be creative-think outside the box.

2. Be patient.

3. Do as much work or more than you expect your students to do.

Additional Thoughts: I love sixth graders and I never wanted to teach them. They change so much during the year that you get to see the effect you have had on them.

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