Job Title: Teacher
Type of Company: I work for a school district in North Carolina.
Education: BA, Oberlin College MS, Cornell University
Previous Experience: Before teaching in public school, I taught at a residential outdoor education center and in summer camps.
Job Tasks: I work with teachers, administrators, and students to facilitate their use of technology. This includes both technical and curricular support. We use a wide variety of productivity applications, focused largely on media like movies, podcasts, slide shows and graphic design and layout.
When requested by classroom teachers, I work directly with students on independent projects and with classes on classroom projects. Sometimes I lead instruction, sometimes I co-teach, and sometimes I assist the classroom teacher, depending on the demands of the specific project. In addition, I update the school's website. I also help maintain the computers and the computer network at the school and help make purchasing decisions.
I am based in the Media Center of the school. So I also help maintain open circulation in the library and respond to in-time help requests by students and staff.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: I like the variety of the job and enjoy solving and troubleshooting the technical issues that arise. I really like seeing the excitement of teachers and students as they work to produce materials for their classrooms.
I get frustrated by having to address the same sort of roadblocks all the time. Some people just are very resistant to learning new technologies. They are so afraid of making a mistake, and they don't really learn how to approach the technology. They "cookbook" it instead.
Job Tips: Make sure teaching is right for you. If you don't enjoy working with kids, it's probably not the field for you. If you don't like learning new things, you won't be successful.
Take science courses! Most elementary teachers come woefully ill-prepared to teach science, focusing instead on language arts (reading) and mathematics.
Don't expect to leave school right at the end of the day, or if you do, be prepared to take work home with you.
Establish control of your class from the first day. If you're tough and consistent for the first few weeks, it pays off in the long run.
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