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Career Story: Sixth Grade English Teacher At A Suburban School

Sixth Grade English Teacher At A Suburban School

Job Title: Teacher

Type of Company: I work for a public school in Foxboro, Ma.

Education: BA, History, Siena College •• M.Ed., Boston College

Previous Experience: I worked as a teacher's assistant while getting my Master's degree.

Job Tasks: I am a sixth grade teacher in a local middle school that serves students in grades five through eight. I teach English language arts two times a day, to two separate groups of kids. I also teach one period of social studies a day. Our sixth grade works in two-person teams: while I'm teaching one group English, my teaching partner teaches math and science. We both teach social studies to our homerooms, which is world geography in sixth grade. We feel that working with smaller groups of kids makes it easier to get to know them, which is beneficial to kids at this age.

We also have many other responsibilities during the school day. Answering parent e-mails is a relatively new responsibility for teachers, but this can take up a chunk of my day. I also serve on the building-based support team. This is a group in which teachers can discuss students who are facing academic or behavioral difficulties. We discuss these kids with teachers, guidance staff, and administration and try to think of ways to help them. Another one of responsibilities is working in curriculum groups. We look at the materials that we have to teach with and check that they are current and meet the state standards. Correcting papers is a large piece of the job that is usually done after school or at night.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is getting to know and work with the kids in the classroom on a daily basis. There are times that you will have had several kids from the same family and it is nice to build a relationship with them over the years.

The worst part of the job is having to spend so much of my own time correcting papers.

Job Tips: One piece of advice that I would give to someone who wants to enter teaching is to be sure of the age level that you would like. Middle school is vastly different from high school or elementary school. Another piece of advice that I would give is to try to look at an area that is in need of teachers: high school math of science, for example.

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