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Career Story: Language Arts Teacher At A Vocational School

Language Arts Teacher At A Vocational School

Job Title: Teacher

Type of Company: I work for a state-run technical high school in northeastern Connecticut.

Education: BS, Marine Engineering, Maine Maritime Academy •• MS, Education, Southern Connecticut State University

Previous Experience: I worked as an instructional assistant for four years while I getting my certification and my Master's degree. I then worked as a special education teacher at another high school.

Job Tasks: I work with all 9th and 10th graders in a Language Arts lab that serves two main purposes. One, we teach students strategies to help them with the transition from middle school to high school. We also teach strategies that help them prepare for the state exam that all 10th graders in the state take. I have a caseload of special education students who I am responsible for testing, discussing and maintaining individual education plans on. I also have department meetings for both the lab and special education that I attend on a weekly basis.

Also, once a week we have faculty meetings regarding various students or information. We are required to update our teaching certificate every 3 years and to do so, we must have so many units of training completed. The school system usually provides the training, which ranges from learning new teaching strategies to learning new computer programs. Many times we are required to work on projects in teams to better the education of the students and provide data for administration.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is seeing the students realize and appreciate what you are trying to do for them. When they get a concept that you are trying to instruct them on and the light "goes on," it can be very rewarding.

The worst part is that I'm a little out of place in my environment. I'm really a science and math teacher and I now teach both reading and writing.

Job Tips: Make sure you spend time talking to others in the field. Don't worry about being good right away, it comes with time and experience. Teaching can be a very rewarding job despite what you may hear.

Additional Thoughts: The one thing that I think I would have changed (and actually would still like to change) is that I really would like to be teaching science. It is my passion and I really enjoy passing along that passion to younger generations.

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