Career Story: High School Computer Teacher

High School Computer Teacher

Job Title: High School Teacher

Type of Company: I work as a computer/business teacher for a school district in southern New Hampshire.

Education: MS in Business Education, SNHU, BS in Business Education, SNHU

Previous Experience: I worked in "high tech" as a program manager for 12 years, took an 8 year break taking care of my children while day-trading stocks, and then went back to school and received a bachelors degree, masters degree, and teaching certification. I have now been a high school teacher for six years and have been hired as a business/computer teacher in a new high school in southern New Hampshire.

Job Tasks: I am a high school Information Technology teacher. I teach graphic design, web design, Office applications, Digital Game design, Digital Music, animation, and video production. I also teach information technology courses for Southern New Hampshire University's online program. As you can see, if the course topic isn't really cool, then I just won't teach it. Although technology is very exciting, I find my greatest challenge each day is creating interesting lessons for my students that will not only intrigue but also motivate them to explore the concepts to an extent that they will actually learn the material and integrate it into their own arsenal of technology tools.

I have discovered that people learn in a variety of ways. My classes often have students with challenging learning disabilities that don't always match up with the approach I may have used to design a lesson. It is important for me to evaluate whether or not all students in my class have been able to understand the message I am attempting to deliver. I often find that students who are struggling also try to mask their problems by demonstrating negative behavior. I now realize that many times they are simply acting out in order to divert attention away from themselves. As an educator, I have learned that it is important to always step back and evaluate whether or not my approach is working. If it is then I adopt the technique into my toolbox; if not, I don't take it personally but rather move forward and learn from the real life feedback that I have received.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part about being a teacher is when I assign an open-ended project and my students produce amazing results. This makes me feel great because it means that I have designed an assignment that successfully stimulated their imaginations and allowed other human beings to intellectually grow.

On the flip side, the worst part of my job is when one of my ideas simply flops. I often react by trying to modify the concept thinking that it merely needs a little tweaking in order to "fix" the problem. Sometime it is just better to "walk away" and start over. Fortunately, in this country no one will take you out back and "shoot you" if you occasionally make a mistake. Just move on!

Job Tips: My #1 tip for aspiring teachers is to plan on 12 hour days for the first three years. Although this may sound a bit extreme, the fact is that you need to spend as much time learning the material you will be teaching yourself during non-clas's time. There is no dishonor in not knowing everything . There is dishonor however in trying to fake your way through any endeavor in life. Do what is necessary to prepare yourself each day. This will eliminate a lot of stress and give you the confidence to become a competent professional in any area you choose to explore.

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