Job Title: Math Teacher
Type of Company: I work for a school district in suburban Boston.
Education: BS, Engineering, University of Maine M.Ed., Education, Harvard University
Previous Experience: I worked at a small engineering company for 5 years after I got my undergraduate degree. In addition to performing computations and managing projects, I was the systems manager for the computer system there.
Job Tasks: As a teacher, I'm responsible for instructing teenagers with a wide range of abilities. I primarily teach geometry and calculus but, depending on the year, I may also teach algebra.
A little over half of my day is spent in the classroom delivering curriculum. This includes both direct instruction of students and guided discovery centered around activities I've found and modified or created on my own. It's my job to capture and hold the attention of the students so that they can pick up the main ideas and skills I'm trying to get across. I have to get a good night's sleep so that I can be attentive to both the finer points of the material I'm trying to deliver and the students' behavior.
When I am not doing actually teaching, there are many other activities I engage in including lesson planning, after-school tutoring, assessment, discipline, informal counseling, meeting with course partners or administrators, and coaching. A typical day will involve a little of everything I've mentioned. In addition to teaching, I coach the track team in both the winter and spring seasons. This helps me get to know more about the students I work with during the school day. Teachers are basically responsible for how students experience public education.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part about teaching is working with young people. They are energetic, spontaneous and fun. A good education can change a young person's life for the better and I get to be a part of that every day.
The worst part of the job is the occasional negative interaction that you have with a student. Everyone has a life outside of school and sometimes that spills over into the school day in a negative way.
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