My Education: BA, Elementary Education, Eastern Carolina University
My Prior Experience: I taught for four and half years on the Carolina seaboard and for more than three decades in the suburbs of Raleigh.
My Company: I work for a school district in Wake County
Job/Career Overview: My job as a part-time intervention teacher at an elementary school involves working directly with first-grade students in small group settings. We meet Monday through Thursday and work on phonics and word recognition, practicing these skills with interactive writing, and then conclude our lesson with guided reading instruction. Guided reading includes picture walks (pre-reading), individual reading of text, partner reading of text, and re-telling of stories. The guided reading portion of the lesson is a 2-day plan.
In addition to direct instruction, I meet with classroom teachers as a group and individually to discuss student progress (or the lack thereof) and make plans for further intervention.
Once a week I have car-rider duty and am required to attend some PTA meetings and parent conferences.
More Insights: Formal college instruction does not adequately prepare you for real-life teaching. It gives you the academic knowledge you need, but only in the classroom setting do you have to practice patience, discipline students and be flexible with your schedule at a moment's notice. Spend as much time as possible in a school setting to get the real feel for it.
I rate this career 10 out of 10.
The best part of my job is seeing students make strides in the area of reading. Many start out as non-readers and by the end of the year are reading at grade level. Even those who are still in need of extra instruction make noticeable progress.
The worst part of my job is the lack of time to work one-on-one with students who need LOTS of extra help.
You need to observe often in a regular classroom setting. Seeing all that goes into a teacher's day is amazing.
Work one-on-one with a student if you have the opportunity. It gives you better insight into what's going on in his or her head.
Patience is something all teachers need. Practice that in every area of your life.
Understand that your work day will not end when the students leave.