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Career Story: Seventh Grade English Teacher And Community Outreach Advisor

Seventh Grade English Teacher And Community Outreach Advisor

Job Title: Teacher

Type of Company: I work for a school system in central Massachusetts.

Education: BA, Education/Special Education, Anna Maria College •• (Paxton, MA) •• MA, Special Education, Assumption College (Worcester, MA)

Previous Experience: I have spent 34 years teaching special education and regular education in grades 6, 7, and 8.

Job Tasks: Presently, I am a seventh grade English Language Arts (ELA) teacher and the curriculum coordinator for ELA in our middle school. I teach four ELA classes and one MCAS prep class a day. I am also the Student Council adviser and the facilitator for Community Service Learning in our school. My days consist of teaching, correcting written work, planning student activities (dances, fundraising, etc.), and planning projects that will help kids to help their community. I arrive at school at approximately 6:30 A.M. each day. I check my emails and get my classroom set up for the day's activities. Students arrive at 7:45. I teach two classes, then have a break. During this break, my team of teachers and I meet with parents or discuss issues that concern our students. Then I teach the remainder of my classes. School dismisses at 2:30 P.M. and after-school help sessions begin. I also teach kids to knit and have Student Council meetings after school until 3:00 or 3:30. Once all the students have left for the day, I try to correct papers for an hour or so before going home to my family.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is that I get to work with lots of great kids and watch them mature from little sixth graders to independent thinkers by the end of grade seven. Sometimes, kids at this age level have lots of problems...within their families and within themselves...trying to fit in, trouble with friends and peers, etc. The worst part of my job is dealing with kids who have been abused or abandoned, or who are getting themselves involved in dangerous behaviors (drugs, etc).

Job Tips: Teaching is a very difficult job. You will be required to continuously educate yourself your entire career. You will seldom be appreciated for all the work you do and will never receive a salary comparable to someone in business with the same amount of education. BUT, you will have the ability to influence and, sometimes, change the life of a child who is heading in the wrong direction. You will teach kids to read, to calculate, to think, to work cooperatively, and to succeed!

Additional Thoughts: To be a teacher, you must, first and foremost, like kids. You must be flexible...Often, your day will not go the way you have planned. You must be disciplined and well-organized. A good teacher is compassionate and understanding. If money and financial reward is your primary goal...teaching is not for you.

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