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Career Story: Disillusioned Public School Teacher

Disillusioned Public School Teacher

Job Title: Teacher

Type of Company: I currently work for the public school system in a suburban area near Raleigh, North Carolina.

Education: BS, Child Development, Michigan State •• MA, Special Education, Eastern Michigan University

Previous Experience: I have worked in education as a teacher in public or charter schools for the past 16 years.

Job Tasks: My day begin at 7 with a meeting. I sit there until the bell rings and rush frantically to get in the door before students arrive at 8:45. I keep them busy for 30 minutes before any real teaching can start, then check morning work with students and their homework from the night before. We follow with a reading lesson. I teach reading the prescribed way for the regulated amount of time whether the kids respond or not. Wake County requires lessons to consist of a certain method and last for two hours. I figure out how to teach writing before lunch since there is less than two hours. Lunch.

After lunch, I teach science or a social studies lesson for 45 minutes and try to fit in a literature circle. I run to specials afterwards, try to conference with parents and make phone calls and squeeze in a trip to the bathroom. I pick up kids from specials, teach math, go over concepts from the day; review them and assign homework, check students' agendas and give them a behavior grade for the day. I also record any notes to parents and missing homework in agendas. At length, I pack up and take students to recess. They get dismissed after recess, a staggered dismissal that takes about 20 minutes of messing around. I work after they leave to try to prepare for tomorrow's meeting.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The worst part of the job includes the politics, isolation, pay raises, lack of time, lack of support from government, endless paperwork, things that take me away from teaching, pay cuts at the 11th hour, large class sizes, lack of job security, lack of professional development and support, parents who think teaching is all your job and none of their responsibility.

The best part of the job is the teaching itself: preparing lessons, watching the light bulbs come on in kids eyes when they get it.

Job Tips:
1.) Be aware that teachers rarely teach any more.

2.) School is very political. Be particular about the county where you teach. Research its expectations and rules before applying.

3.) Ask many questions when you interview to see if you fit the expectations of the principal.

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