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Career Story: Ninth Grade Math Teacher At A Technical High School

Ninth Grade Math Teacher At A Technical High School

Job Title: Teacher

Type of Company: I work as a teacher in a state technical high school in rural northeast Connecticut.

Education: BA, Behavioral Sciences •• AS, Accounting

Previous Experience: I have always been a teacher and held no relevant jobs prior to my becoming certified.

Job Tasks: My typical day as a math lab teacher consists of instructing students 5 periods a day out of a seven-period day. I have one free preparation period, and the other period may be used however the administration would like. The students report from their shop for math instruction. Instruction can include shop-related math concepts, reinforcement of academic math, individualized instruction, and preparation for the state mastery test. An example of what I might cover in class is the Pythagorean Theorem. Not only would this topic be covered in academics, but also in my math lab because the theorem is widely applied by carpenters, plumbers, machinists, architects, and masons. Because the students report to me during their shop cycle, the classroom atmosphere is a little more relaxed than in a traditional classroom. This does not mean that the students are not responsible for their classroom assignments. All student work must be completed in class because there is no homework assigned. Therefore much effort must be exerted and little fooling around is tolerated. I truly enjoy this type of classroom because the relation of math to the various shops makes the connections necessary for my students to be successful.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The worst part of the job is working with students who are not motivated and do not strive to improve their knowledge of their shop curricula. The best part of the job is watching freshmen develop and mature into responsible young adults who have the tools and ambition to contribute to society in a meaningful manner.

Job Tips:
1. Take as many psychology and sociology courses as possible because today's students seem to have many underlying problems that interfere with their learning. One needs to know how to reach such troubled teens.

2. Volunteer or get involved with as many youth organizations as possible so you can go into the classroom with more than just student teaching experience.

3. Stay relaxed and learn from your mistakes and always try to put your students' needs first.

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