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Career Story: Classroom Teacher In A Suburban Elementary School

Classroom Teacher In A Suburban Elementary School

Job Title: Teacher

Type of Company: I work for the Ashland school district.

Education: BA, Framingham State College •• M.Ed., Lesley University

Previous Experience: I worked in business for many years before becoming a teacher. I worked 2 years in a private school, then went to public school.

Job Tasks: I teach in a multi-age elementary classroom, where grades 3, 4, and 5 are all represented, and students remain with me for three years. There are 8 teachers in our program and we group the kids for language arts and math based on ability, teach science whole-class, and group grades 3 and 4 together for social studies, teaching fifth graders separately.

I teach all subject areas, with an emphasis on fifth grade language arts and mathematics. On a typical day I teach all subjects to students in a variety of groupings. Activities can vary from direct instruction to whole class demonstrations to independent work time. I am responsible for all disciplinary issues that occur in my classroom, as well as daily parent contact, recess duty, updating my (teacher) web site, etc.

In addition to classroom duties, I provide after-school help as needed, run the student council (along with two other teachers), attend all mandatory curriculum and staff meetings, and work on a committee to improve our district's writing program.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Working with the kids is obviously the best part of my job. While behavior problems can be one of the worst parts of my job, behavior problems tend to be a minor part of any given day. Planning exciting curriculum and activities for my classes is something I truly enjoy. More mundane tasks include grading, report cards, etc.

Job Tips:
1.) BE CONSISTENT! The kids come to know what they can expect from you and behavior issues lessen. This is true in terms of class rules, homework expectations, quality of work, etc. 2.) Establish positive parent contact as early as possible and maintain it throughout the year. 3.) Have high expectations for your students. They will try to meet them, even if it seems like a stretch.

Additional Thoughts: Teaching is an exhausting, but EXTREMELY REWARDING career. You are guaranteed at least a few smiles and laughs each day for all of your hard work.

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