Job Title: Teacher
Type of Company: I work at a middle school in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Education: BA, Elementary Education, Ohio University M.Ed., Middle Grades Education, North Carolina State University
Previous Experience: I worked as a treatment assistant in drug and alcohol rehabilitation, a treatment assistant in a residential treatment center for severely emotionally disturbed children, as a specialist at a program that serves homeless youth and as a substitute teacher.
Job Tasks: I teach sixth grade Language Arts and Social Studies in a magnet school with a theme that focuses on museum-style learning. We do hands-on project-based learning, take walking study trips around the city, and learn through the use of paideai seminars which involves students leading discussions about topics.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is that I feel I can be a role model for students in a lot of ways such as positive, peaceful communication, health and fitness, love of learning, connections with the earth and environment, and good habits in general. The worst part about my job is that I work in a school that seems to be very poorly run. There is not a strong culture of respect, so many students act in ways that make me feel very uncomfortable. There seems to be a lack of communication and follow-through with many tasks.
Job Tips: Teaching is an amazing career which gives you the opportunity to help children learn good habits and how to positively participate in their community. I would like to see people become teachers who want to focus on social justice, who will learn about sociology, child development and psychology and history so that they have an understanding of the world and can help kids become critical thinkers. Please question your own education and try to do innovative, fun things with kids. Structure, kindness, and an understanding of how children learn and develop are the most important things you can bring to teaching.
Additional Thoughts: 1.) Get your training at a school that focuses on social justice in education: something progressive and nontraditional.
2.) Know that nothing truly prepares you for teaching except teaching. So get out there and practice while you're still in school.
3.) Be kind always. Being really organized and able to multi-task and plan ahead are VERY helpful. Creativity is appreciated!
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