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Career Story: Biology Teacher At A Suburban High School

Biology Teacher At A Suburban High School

Job Title: Biology Teacher

Type of Company: I work for a public school district in Massachusetts.

Education: BA, Biology, Holy Cross •• MA, Secondary Education, Boston University ••

Previous Experience: N/A

Job Tasks: I teach biology to high school sophomores, employing a curriculum that the science department has agreed on and that is in line with the state's biology standards. I also teach Advanced Placement biology, using a curriculum that adheres to the College Board's standards.

A typical day is hectic for a teacher. I arrive at 7:00 in the morning and immediately start reading emails, making copies, and/or setting up lessons. I teach approximately 4-5 hours during the day, have a one-hour prep period, and a 25 minute lunch. The school day ends at 1:50, but I usually stay 'til 3:30 or 4 since there is so much to do. On weekends, I often have to spend 1-2 hours grading or planning for the next week. I probably work 50 hour weeks altogether, and I'm in my fifth year of teaching.

As you can imagine, teaching is a huge commitment. I often feel that I don't have enough time, and that too much is expected of me (there are always meetings to go to, committees to be on, parent emails to respond to, students needing extra help). In spite all this, though, I truly Love my job!! And I say that with deepest sincerity. The kids on the whole are inquisitive, hardworking, cooperative, and keep me laughing everyday. I am passionate about biology and I think that comes through in my teaching. I love that many of my students will pursue a major and career in science because of the experiences they had in my class.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is working with the kids. They have a true love of learning, and I love hearing their questions and I often find learning along with them.

The worst part of the job is always feeling like there's something to do. I never go home without something hanging over my head. The grading can really pile up, and it's hard to keep a balance between your home life and personal interests and your responsibilities at school.

Job Tips:
1. I would suggest student teaching, or shadowing a teacher before you make the decision to take education classes and teach full time. There was a lot I was surprised by in my first year.

2. Make sure you are a patient person. The kids and adults can really wear on you and that can have a negative affect on the classroom atmosphere.

Make sure you are comfortable talking in front of people, and can handle being the center of attention, and in control of the room. Being a teacher is a lot like performing. That's not to say you have to be an entertainer, but you need command of the room.

Additional Thoughts: If you are passionate about a subject, like working with kids, like the idea of making an impression on kids lives, and helping them to expand their knowledge and skills then this is the job for you.

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