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Career Story: Wellness Teacher At A Suburban High School

Wellness Teacher At A Suburban High School

Job Title: Wellness Teacher

Type of Company: I work for a school district in a suburb of Boston.

Education: BS, Athletic Training, Springfield College (Springfield, MA) •• M.Ed., Physical Education, Springfield College

Previous Experience: I have worked at this high school as a wellness teacher for the past five years, but before that I was the strength and conditioning coach, a job that I took right out of grad school.

Job Tasks: I have a great job! I am able to work with freshman and sophomores in three different areas: the health classroom, physical education and in the fitness center. This allows me to see students in several different capacities and observe them in areas that may be both a strength or a weakness to them. In the classroom, we cover several topics and in phys. ed. we teach many different activities with a focus on life-long pursuits. I have also had the pleasure of being a class advisor, an Ultimate Frisbee club advisor and a SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) advisor.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is seeing my students enter high school as freshman and watching them leave as mature seniors embarking on the next stage of life. My own happy memories of high school and the realization that I am helping to make similar memories for some of my students are a source of great satisfaction.

The worst is dealing (occasionally) with disrespectful students and wrestling with the fact that as a teacher, I can never have a bad day. If something is going on in my personal life -- or even if I am just plain cranky -- I have to conceal it from the students. One other big thing is realizing that although I am not their parent...I may end up doing more parenting than they get at home.

Job Tips: I am so grateful that I put in the crazy long hours that I did during my first few years here. It has paid off in the end. Enjoy the students; they keep you on your toes and they keep you young. Never be afraid to ask for advice from other teachers and be willing to go the extra mile... because you will be asked to.

Additional Thoughts: Realize that you will not get rich being a teacher. You will spend a lot of time not getting paid and you will spend a lot of your own money for the benefit of the students... But it is all worth it.

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