Reflections on My Career Thus Far

Discussion in 'General Education' started by MrsC, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jun 7, 2010

    At this time of year, when I read all of the posts from eager new (and not so new) graduates, anxiously looking for that first "perfect" job, I can't help but look back on the path my teaching career has taken.

    When I first graduated, I wanted to teach the wee ones. When no jobs were available in the public system, I worked for 2 years in a tiny private school (earning $12 000/year) and for another 2 years in a preschool for students with physical disabilities. I then took 10 years off to stay at home with my babies. When I decided to return to teaching, I began by subbing, then was fortunate to be hired for 2 long-term sub positions. Neither was what I would have sought out. The first was for grade 6 and I had 3 days to plan, prepare and take over a classroom that the teacher had left with no notice (and no long-range plans or materials). After the long-term positions, I was offered my first contract--teaching, among other things, grade 7 and 8 math. Far, far, far out of my comfort zone. Not the material, I'm an educated professional; I knew the material, and had the skills to brush up on anything I had forgotten. Teaching those kids who were bigger than me was terrifying at first. After the first month, I loved it! After changing schools and teaching grade 5 (the grade that was always my "favourite"), I was forced into a decision--grade 1/2 or Special Ed. By now, the thought of the little ones was terrifying, so I chose teaching pull-out math and language to a group of 11 grade 7 and 8 boys (talk about a world of difference from the kindergarten I once swore was the only grade I would teach). I've worked with the "big kids" now for 4 years and they are my current favourites. I can't imagine my day without the interaction I have with my grade 8 boys--they make me howl with laughter! I love them and they love me back; with the end of they year coming in a couple of weeks, they have taken to hanging out in my room after school for 20 minutes or so two or three times a week just to "chill and talk".

    My message is this, don't close doors because of what you "think" you want. Take a chance, open your heart, fling open those doors and charge through them. There are wonderful things waiting on the other side.
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 7, 2010

    You're a wise woman, Mrs. C!
     
  4. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Jun 7, 2010

    I thought that I wanted to teach 11th and 12th grade English. And I did teach that for two years. Then my job was eliminated, and I was starting over. In order to stay in the school system and wait around for a job, I took whatever I could find. That landed me in the middle school teaching 7th and 8th graders.

    Even when I went to the middle school, I had hopes of returning to the high school. It took TEN YEARS for a position to open there, and they did call me and offer it to me. Then I realized that I'd fallen in love with middle school.

    People told me to stay away from middle school kids, and that I'd be crazy for staying there. I guess I'm crazy because I just finshed year 17, and I can't imagine doing anything else.

    Sometimes you choose your career, and sometimes you're lucky enough to have a career choose you. :wub:
     
  5. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jun 7, 2010

    I truly believe we end up where we are supposed to be-especially if we're open-minded about it. Great post Mrs C!
     
  6. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

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    Jun 7, 2010

    Thank you Mrs C- I was thrilled to see a post entitled reflections by you! I knew it had to be fabulous! I did just graduate less than a month ago and already in my teaching opportunities I have learned exactly what you shared here. Yet, sometimes I do forget that lesson and I get sucked into thinking kindergarten is the only grade for me, but in reality I loved my first graders, my preschoolers, and my second graders the few times I have had them. I will bloom wherever I am planted because I am teaching and I love it. It is a great sentiment to take into the job search.
    Thank you for a beautiful post- great timing for it too!
     
  7. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jun 7, 2010

    Thanks for sharing MrsC! When I started out, I thought I would never teach anything above 4th grade. I student taught in kinder and 3rd grade. My first job was as a LTS Reading Specialist for prek and kinder kids that I loved. That was followed by a full time contract kindergarten position. After we moved, I got a job teaching 2nd grade. I left that job because of maternity. I have sinced subbed in everything from kinder-8th grade, tutored in grades 4th and 5th (loved the older kids....and I was surprised b/c I didn't think I'd like anything above 4th). I'm now working in a middle school and am loving it!!
     
  8. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Jun 7, 2010

    Great post! I have taught grades 6-12. I have found my niche at 11-12.
     
  9. stargirl

    stargirl Comrade

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    Jun 7, 2010

    I always knew I'd prefer upper elementary (and I am happy teaching fourth grade), but never imagined I'd be teaching the "low" group and really liking it! I surprised myself by having the patience needed to reach students who "just don't get it" and enjoying the challenge of breaking skills down so that my students are able to grasp them.
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 7, 2010

    I shake my head in wonder each time I read posts about "dream jobs" in "Dream schools" in "dream districts." About courses and subjects for which people are certified but not comfortable teaching.

    We push our kids to learn history and English and math and science and foreign language and art and music. Yet apparently it's a case of "do as I say, not as I do."

    If our children can learn these topics, how on earth can they be too difficult for us to teach??? We tell our kids "try it; you may very well surprise yourself and love it" yet we proclaim for all the world to see that we arent' smart enough or good enough to break just a little out of our comfort zone.

    It makes no sense to me.

    Mrs. C, I applaud your willingness over the years to take risks, to try to teach something that wasn't a sure thing, to broaden your horizons and break out of that comfort zone. It has surely made you into the wonderful teacher you are today!!!
     
  11. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    Jun 7, 2010

    What wonderful memories to look back on -- thanks for sharing, and for inspiring us to treasure our own memories :)
     

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