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Career Story: Social Studies Teacher At A Private School

Social Studies Teacher At A Private School

Job Title: Social Studies Teacher

Education: BA in History, Stonehill College •• MA in Education, Framingham State

Previous Experience: 3 years Special Education Aide 7 years Public School Social Studies Teacher

Job Tasks: I work in a private, Jewish day school. I teach history to grades 9-12. The school is small (~40 students) so I am the only history teacher. I am also responsible for text selection, curriculum development and adapting curriculum for the different needs for my students.

I am a different religion from my students, so I must be respectful of their beliefs. I do not teach world religions or any other topic that might be outside of their religious beliefs.

Also, since we are so small, we lack a lot of technology, but this is increasing. The students have access to computers, but not the internet. I am able to use a projector to show students any appropriate websites.

It is a challenging job at times to find innovative ways to teach history to the same students for four years in a row. I cover world and American histories and try to cover as many topics as possible. Since this is a private school, our school calendar can vary year to year depending on religious holidays. However, the students are extremely respectful and I appreciate the creativity they bring to all of their assignments.

We do a lot of creative writing and art projects as well as read a lot of primary source documents. We have many discussions on current events as many students do not watch television, surf the internet,listen to the radio or read local newspapers. I have learned many things about the Jewish religion and culture and truly appreciate the opportunity I've had here to grow as a teacher.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: I enjoy teaching in a small classroom environment, as compared to my many years in a large public school. However, it can be difficult to teach to many different learning styles within one class. Watching my students grow and mature into responsible young adults not just in history, but overall, is a reward in its self

Job Tips:
1. Know your subject - you don't learn every bit of history in college - so be willing to do your own research.

2. Don't be afraid to start out as an aide or an intern - this will get "your foot in the door" and may lead to a full time staff position.

3. Don't be afraid to change jobs if you are unhappy in one school. There may be another school out there that better fits your values and ambitions.

Additional Thoughts: Get your Masters in a relevant subject Keep taking classes - online or in a college - so you can stay up to date on new ideologies and teaching practices

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