Job Title: Teacher
Type of Company: I work for a school district in suburban Massachusetts.
Education: BA, Government, Harvard College MS, Education, University of Pennsylvania
Previous Experience: None of my previous work was related to teaching.
Job Tasks: As a teacher, I plan and implement curriculum for high school students for classes in US History and Modern World History. I do a lot of collaboration with other teachers on lesson plans and assessments. I also spend a lot of time correcting student work. I coach soccer and advise the mock trial club at my school. I also have a student advisory in which I discuss academic and social issues with a small group of students on a weekly basis. In order to improve as a teacher I take graduate level courses in teaching and history on a consistent basis.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is working with teenagers and sharing my passion for history. I enjoy planning engaging and stimulating learning activities, and seeing kids get engaged in the meaning and lessons of history.
The worst part of my job is correcting and grading student work, which can get boring and repetitive. Also, the lack of incentives is challenging. You don't get paid based on the quality of your work, nor do you get a lot of feedback on the quality of your work. And a dearth of resources can be a challenge if you work in certain communities. It's frustrating to be asked to work miracles when they won't even furnish you textbooks.
Job Tips: Do not teach unless you enjoy working with kids. It's about the kids, not you. You need to be able to check your ego at the door. If you are considering teaching as a career, get some experience working with the age group that you intend to teach. You also need to be self-motivated because there aren't a lot of oversight or external incentives for doing good work. Also, be prepared to sacrifice some evenings and weekends on a fairly consistent basis to do your job well.
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