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Career Story: Pre-School Teacher In A Suburban School District

Pre-School Teacher In A Suburban School District

Job Title: Pre-School Teacher

Type of Company: I work for an early childhood center in suburban Boston.

Education: BA, Education, UMass-Amherst •• thirty-three credits towards a Master's in Education

Previous Experience: I worked as a paraprofessional in a pre-school program before I taught.

Job Tasks: I am responsible for developing lesson plans that meet the Massachusetts State Frameworks and teach the lessons using a variety of strategies to meet the various learning needs of my students. Some of the students in my class have significant medical and behavioral problems. In order to serve these students better I work as part of a team which includes two paraprofessionals, a special education teacher, a speech and language pathologist, a physical therapist, a nurse, an occupational therapist, a behaviorist and a school psychologist.

A typical day could include setting up table-top activities for the children to do upon arrival. Then the children attend a morning meeting where we greet each other, do calendar, weather and poem activities. Sometimes we learn a new song or share news during this meeting.

Next we take the children to the bathroom, then have a snack. When weather permits we take the children to the playground. If we can't go out we do a movement activity.

We read a story relating to a theme then have a variety of activities planned for the children to participate in. Later in the morning the children go to either music, art or a library activity.

I am responsible for assessing the progress of students throughout the year and setting meetings with other staff and the parents if there are any concerns. I am also responsible for attending special education meetings and completing progress reports along with communicating with parents in conferences or when needed.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is working as part of a team to help each child learn and grow.

The most difficult part of my job is working with some of the extreme behavioral and emotional needs of some of the children.

Job Tips: As difficult as some of the challenging children may be, I find some of the biggest rewards come from small accomplishments. Try to get as much classroom experience along with theory as possible.

Additional Thoughts: The most important personal qualities for success in my job are perseverance, love for children, willingness to take a deep breath and start each day fresh, and patience.

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