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Career Story: Sixth Grade History Teacher

Sixth Grade History Teacher

Job Title: Teacher

Type of Company: I work for a school district in suburban Massachusetts.

Education: BA, Political Science, Westfield State •• MA, Education, Cambridge College

Previous Experience: I was a trainer for Ford Credit (teaching high school students about the value of good credit) and before that a substitute teacher.

Job Tasks: Teaching sixth grade ancient civilizations has brought endless joy and exhaustion to my life. As a teacher, I am responsible for following the Massachusetts frameworks and guidelines even when the frameworks leave out events in history that would excite my students.

I have to create each lesson and determine what the key points for that lesson should be. What do you want your students to know? The students are a blank canvas waiting for your information. You need to work outside your textbook and view your textbook as a guideline. Technology must be incorporated into your classroom even if you have limited access to it. You must write grants in hopes of improving your classroom atmosphere, but funds are limited and often it will be years before you will be rewarded with updated materials.

I am responsible for grading, including mid-term reports. I am responsible for creating my own materials and often purchasing my own supplies. I spend about a thousand dollars a year out of pocket. I have bathroom, lunch and bus duties. I have meetings all the time with parents, team members and other teachers. I am responsible for getting a master's degree within 5 years of college graduation; this will cost me another fifteen to thirty thousand dollars, and we have no tuition reimbursement.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Best parts of the job are the students and the expression they get on their faces the first time they make a connection to history.

The most difficult parts of the job are parents and administration. You will never be perfect for everyone.

Job Tips:
1.) Become a substitute teacher to learn classroom management skills as well as to get to know the staff and procedures of a typical school.

2.) Don't be afraid to fail. We learn from our mistakes. Teaching consists of on-the-job training. No book will tell you how to deal with all the situations you may face.

3.) Focus on technology and how technology can advance your classroom.

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