My Education: BA in English, UMass, Lowell, MEd UMass, Lowell
My Prior Experience: I worked as a college tutor and worked in the university's writing workshop
My Company: I work for a private, Catholic school in Lowell
Job/Career Overview: My day typically begins around 7:00 a.m. I begin most days finishing correcting and planning details for my class schedules. As a teacher, there is great deal of variety in what I teach.
I deal with middle school students. Although many people cringe at the thought of dealing with adolescents all day, it is a great opportunity for the right person. Students at this age understand responsibility, honesty, humor, and self-awareness. Every day is a series of new challenges on how to engage and motivate students. This job allows me to use my creativity, humor, acting skills, and much more.
This is the perfect job for someone who doesn't want to do the same thing every day. Teaching this group also provides opportunities to do non-teaching activities such as yearbook, newspaper, coaching one of many sports, arts and crafts. The options are only limited by your creativity, willingness, and school support. Volunteering for these types of extracurricular activities is generally encouraged and supported.
More Insights: One of the most surprising thing I learned as a teacher is that, depending on what grade you teach and what subject you teach, you may have a fair amount of correcting that may be difficult to get done during regular school hours.
I rate this career 9 out of 10.
The best part of this job is that I know I am making a positive difference in young people's lives. I get to encourage and support a range of students in academics and non-academic areas. I feel privileged to be a sounding board for kids who have no one else to turn to.
The worst part of the job is getting used to all the paperwork and follow up required to keep a class on task and on target. The paperwork is not insurmountable, but it requires a certain level of organization.
My first piece of advice for anyone thinking about joining the teacher community is to make sure you take any and all classes that deal with "class control" and "class management." This is an often overlooked area and it is critical to new teachers to have a game plan for class management.
Another piece of advice I would offer is to talk to teachers in the grades and school systems that you think you are interested in teaching.
My last piece of advice is to enter this field with a firm commitment to stay at least 3 years. Any less than that may give you a false sense of frustration or a sense of being overwhelmed. You need a few years to get yourself settle in the school system and get comfortable with you curriculum.