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Career Story: Sixth Grade Science And Math Teacher

Sixth Grade Science And Math Teacher

Job Title: Teacher

Type of Company: I work for a four-school city school system.

Education: BA, Special Education •• MA, Elementary Education •• National Board Certified Teacher

Previous Experience: I worked as a substitute teacher for two years before starting to teach full-time.

Job Tasks: As a sixth grade science and math teacher, I begin my day by taking attendance and finding out about my students' day. I plan appropriate lessons, grade papers, set up labs and meet with my colleagues during planning time. In science, we study the earth, the environment and space, using hands-on science lessons as often as possible. There are several outdoor lessons which require students to make and maintain a journal. In math, my students work out real world problems using basic computations, geometry, and algebra. Students are required to take practice tests and work toward passing a state-mandated test.

At times, I am required to handle discipline issues. This is done through discussions of the behavior, alternative choices, and consequences.

Meetings consume a large part of the day. Teachers meet with their team to discuss upcoming events; they also meet with professional learning communities in order to best meet the needs of students. Grading systems are established and I am required to send home newsletters, progress reports, and report cards. Student interaction is key to making sure that understanding of ideas is maintained. Cooperative learning groups are established in order to teach students to interact with peers to meet a common goal. Computer knowledge is used at times, but is limited due to the lack of computer systems.

Certain non-teaching duties are also assigned to me. Often I have to do breakfast duty, overseeing the behavior of students who come to school early for breakfast. I also eat in the cafeteria with students in order to distribute lunch fund money to kids who came to school without lunch money. Field trips and other extracurricular activities are planned and organized. Monies must be collected and receipted. Accurate records must be maintained. As a coach of tennis and swimming, I meet with my athletes, conduct practice and organize matches and meets.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is spending time with the students learning new things. I get to plan activities that should be interesting and educational. It is exciting when a student learns a new skill or makes a new discovery.

The paperwork is the worst part of the job. Keeping records and maintaining accounts is very tedious and boring.

Job Tips:
1. Spend as much time as possible learning the curriculum. 2. Take classes on classroom management. 3. Keep files for various subjects and grades. 4. Make the most of your student teaching experience. 5. Observe other teachers and make notes of what you see. 6. Keep a notebook of ideas that you gather from other teachers.

Additional Thoughts: A teacher must be flexible and must maintain his integrity at all costs.

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