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Career Story: English Teacher In A Public School System

English Teacher In A Public School System

Job Title: English Teacher

Type of Company: I teach English in a Boston-area school system.

Education: BA in Creative Writing MA in English Language Studies

Previous Experience: I volunteered in a school and got to know people who could refer me to teaching positions.

Job Tasks: I prepare lesson plans at school and home for each day's lesson. I spend at least one hour for each day's class(es). I also prepare assessments (tests) that will show how well the students have learned the content. After I correct them, I record the information in the student's log book (each child's work/performance is kept in this). Whenever possible I provide a hands on project that goes along with the topic/area of study that we are focusing on. Twice a year I hold parent conferences so that I can meet with parents to discuss student progress/or lack of. We may review taking tests in preparation for the MCAS and other state tests.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Best: I enjoy learning from my students and growing off of their knowledge as much as teaching them. Students can often be teachers themselves.

Worst: I don't look forward to meeting with parents who have unrealistic goals for their children. They often push their kids to "do more" and claim to know their child's ability better than anyone (which may be true). Yet, knowing your child and understanding their academic ability is something very different. It's hard to deal some some (not all) parents when they come in (almost every week) to inquire/complain or "need" something more for their child.

Job Tips:
1. Don't be afraid to make mistakes only because you're the teacher.

2. Minor in a second area of education; e.g., English and Literacy Specialist.

3. Get your foot in a job/school ASAP, even if it's not your ideal school/location. When you gain some experience, that will lead to better positions.

Additional Thoughts: I expected that everyone in the school I work to enjoy teaching as much as I do...they don't. Don't let that diminish your love for the occupation. Always remember that when you change a child's life you change the future (for better or worse).

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