Career Story: Sixth Grade Social Studies Teacher

Sixth Grade Social Studies Teacher

Job Title: Teacher

Type of Company: I work for a public school system in Massachusetts' Merrimack valley.

Education: BA, Wheelock College •• MA , Secondary Education, Fitchburg State College

Previous Experience: While in college and during the summers I worked at various camps and day care centers.

Job Tasks: I teach sixth grade at a middle school. I teach social studies and language arts. I work on a two-person team. My teammate teaches science and math to the group of students we share. In social studies we focus on ancient civilizations. In language arts we work on reading skills, writing, spelling, vocabulary, grammar and mechanics. I am responsible for planning and implementing lessons that correlate with the Massachusetts State Frameworks in each subject. I am also responsible for assessing students both formally and informally on a regular basis. Report card grades are given four times per year, along with four midterm reports. I also meet with parents and other professionals. At times, planning must be done with other teachers (such as special educators and specialists) to make the curriculum accessible to all students. There are many opportunities to work with students outside of the classroom too. While it is not required, I work with the cross-country team after school and the student council.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is working directly with students. It is exciting to plan lessons that students enjoy. I love taking a subject (such as life in ancient Greece) and creatively planning lessons and activities that will engage students, allow them to work cooperatively with others, and allow them to be actively involved in their own learning.

Job Tips:
1. Spend time in a classroom before you pursue this career. Lots of people think it will be fun, but have never spent all day in a classroom.

2. Be sure you have excellent classroom management skills. Your job will be extremely difficult if you cannot positively control a classroom.

3. Be flexible. Teaching is very unpredictable. Something unexpected happens every day and you need to be able to adjust without becoming frazzled.

4. Be organized. The paperwork can be overwhelming if it gets ahead of you.

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