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Career Story: Science Teacher At A Vocational High School

Science Teacher At A Vocational High School

Job Title: Teacher

Type of Company: I currently work for a public high school in rural Connecticut with a focus on preparing students to enter ten different trades.

Education: Cornell University, Environmental Education •• BS, Youth Agency Administration, Brigham Young University •• MS, Elementary Education, Eastern Connecticut State University

Previous Experience: I have taught science, Spanish and math at the middle school and high school levels at a number of schools.

Job Tasks: As a classroom teacher my primary responsibilities include planning and developing lessons to teach the science curriculum to a diverse population of students. I am expected to provide differentiated instruction to these students and help individual students to succeed academically.

I also serve on a variety of committees including School Climate, Professional Development, Senior Mentors, Differentiated Instruction Coaching. I am a certified Beginning Educator Support Teacher Mentor, a student teacher mentor and a certified Professional Developer in Content Enhancement strategies.

I am always taking online courses and attending workshops in order to learn new technology and introduce it into my classroom. A typical day begins with me writing learning objectives on the board to help focus my learners when they enter the room. I then take attendance and begin the daily lesson. I also have to manage classroom behavior which I do with the 3 R's: Be Respectful, Be Responsible, and Be Resourceful. Finally, I close my lessons with something like a quiz to to see what the students have learned.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: I love having the opportunity to be creative and to try to figure out how to help my students succeed. This keeps me learning and looking for new ideas and teaching methods to apply. I enjoy this most when I can participate collaboratively with my colleagues in developing lessons.

I hate grading papers and entering report card and progress report grades.

Job Tips:
1. Be positive - Sometimes as a teacher you are the only positive experience students will have. Encourage students to do their best and give a lot of praise for little successes.

2. Get your work done at school so you can have a personal life. I stay late to get the "have-tos" done and leave the "want-tos" for homework.

3. Think about how to use your summers. Professional growth should be a small part and rest and relaxation should be the biggest part.

Additional Thoughts: Be truthful and demonstrate integrity to your students. They need positive role models.

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