Career Story: Sixth Grade Math And Social Studies Teacher

Sixth Grade Math And Social Studies Teacher

Job Title: Teacher

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

Education: BA, Education,Lenoir-Rhyne College

Previous Experience: I have been teaching for the past nine years.

Job Tasks: I am a sixth grade math and social studies teacher. I teach at an equity plus school. This means that most of the students who attend my school are from low-income families. The majority of my students are African-American or Hispanic.

I teach three classes of math and one class of social studies. My schedule starts at 6:56 in the morning. I teach fifty minute blocks with thirty minutes for lunch. I am done teaching at 12:15pm. I receive an hour and forty-five minutes of planning time. That time is divided among individual planning, team planning, and content planning. My day ends at 2:45pm.

In math, I teach students to work with decimals, fraction, and percents. We also learn how to work with area and perimeter of many shapes (circles, rectangles, triangles, squares, and irregular polygons). My students also learn how to solve probability word problems. During math class, my students are exposed to hands-on learning as well as rote practice.

In social studies, my students learn about Europe, Russia, and South America. We focus on cultures past and present. We study geography of these lands and how the people have changed throughout history. Class time is spent reading from small grade-appropriate readers, using technology, and creating student projects.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is watching students have an "ah ha" moment: the point where they learn a concept and can apply it to real life situations.

The worst part of my job is working with students who do not receive encouragement at home. This occurs in course work and behavior. The lack of respect that students demonstrate is devastating.

Job Tips: I would advise anyone interested in education to spend time volunteering in schools. This time should exceed what is required of a college or university program and occur at different times of the year. I encourage visits at all grade levels. There are pros and cons to working in each grade level. Finally, keep in mind that people's expectations for today's classroom teachers go beyond the conventional. In many cases you become a parent figure, doctor, counselor, or mediator.

Additional Thoughts: I am amazed at the inequality of resources from school to school within a same school system. You can travel from school to school in my county and see the imbalance in technology, books, and resources as simple as construction paper. If we want to educate our students on the same level, we all should have equal access to resources and technology. On a more personal level, an educator needs to have a deep love and passion for kids. I see over and over teachers who truly do not care for children. But we have to treat them fairly and with respect.

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