Career Story: Science Teacher In A Public Middle School

Science Teacher In A Public Middle School

Job Title: Teacher

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

Education: AA, Ashland Community College •• (Ashland, KY) •• BA, University of Kentucky •• MA, North Carolina A & T State University

Previous Experience: I was a substitute teacher for two years.

Job Tasks: I am responsible for teaching the standard course of science study to students who are in the sixth, seventh, or eighth grade. I meet with three classes of students each day, Monday through Friday. There are approximately 20 students in each class. The state of North Carolina has a set of materials that have to be taught to the students but I have the freedom to teach the material in any appropriate way that I feel meets the needs of my students. I am able to use a variety of technological resources to teach the material, including computers, Activ classroom technology, laptop computers, I-pods, Flip cameras, and many other resources. I also have the great fortune of being able to incorporate hands-on experiments such as building volcano models, flying water bottle rockets, and many other activities. This is a great opportunity to work with young people and help them prepare themselves for their future.

There are also responsibilities that include various duties such as cafeteria and bus duties where students are supervised. Teachers at my school have planning periods where they can create lesson plans with other teachers, grade papers, receive training on educational issues, or meet with parents and students. I also spend some time coaching students in a sport. There are many sports to choose from and usually many opportunities to coach. This is a great way to work with students in a non-classroom setting and allows you to show them how sports can be beneficial in preparing them for college or work after school is over.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best parts of the job are being able to share information in fun and creative ways and working with students who have a desire to learn. Being able to use technology and experiments to teach make the job really exciting and fun. I also get excited when students show a genuine desire to learn and want to learn all that they can.

The worst part of the job is dealing with an occasional parent who thinks that his child is perfect and does nothing wrong, especially when the child knows this and tries to exploit it. Although this does not occur very often it can be a headache when it does happen.

Job Tips:
1. Remember that you are the teacher and you are in charge of the classroom. You are not there to be the students' friend and buddy, you're there to teach. Don't be afraid to tell the students what's what and command their respect.

2. Be honest and firm with the students and most importantly be consistent in your decision-making.

3. Show your kind and caring side along the way because it will make the hard side acceptable to the students when you have to show it.

Additional Thoughts: I've learned along the way to always do what I've said I will do. The students, parents, and fellow teachers will appreciate the effort you put in.

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