Teaching Elementary School

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by futureteacher13, Feb 13, 2016.

  1. futureteacher13

    futureteacher13 Rookie

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    Feb 13, 2016

    Hi there! What advice would you have for someone like me who's interested in becoming an elementary school teacher?

    I have a BA in Social Science with an Education Concentration and thought I wanted to be a middle school teacher, but I thought about my passion for teaching elementary school and discovered my passion for helping young children see the greatness within themselves and unleashing their potential!
     
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  3. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Feb 13, 2016

    Observe and volunteer to work/visit as many different classrooms as possible.
     
  4. futureteacher13

    futureteacher13 Rookie

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    Feb 13, 2016

    One of my first observations as a college student was in an elementary classroom (1st grade) and it was then I knew I wanted to become an elementary school teacher. In 2009, I landed a job as an after school program Paraprofessional (part-time). This was 1 year after I graduated with my Associate in Arts degree. Then, I landed a full-time position in PE as a Paraprofessional. I moved to middle/junior high school in 2010 as a Para. During that time, I was contemplating whether I wanted to be a middle school teacher, so I pursued a degree in Social Science with an Education Concentration and obtained my Bachelor's degree in 2011. I didn't pursue the traditional route of becoming a teacher since I couldn't afford to take the time off needed for me to pursue student teaching. After graduation, I began preparing to take my certification exam in Social Science for Grades 6-12 in Florida. During lunch, a teacher spoke with me and I became very passionate about elementary education and becoming a teacher in that area. So, I began preparing to take the exam for Elementary Education K-6 in Florida. I only have to take a few additional college courses, teach for 1 year in an elementary or secondary school, and pass the state tests. I am very passionate about education and becoming a teacher. I have worked with students for nearly 7 years in Physical Education and I strive to be the most effective teacher for my students. The teachers I work with have been very supportive over the years and I have gained so much experience from working with the students. I've had the pleasure of seeing many of them grow up, get jobs of their own, and be accepted to the colleges of their choice. These are the reasons why I want to become a teacher! It does my heart good to see so many of the students I've impacted over the years starting the next stage of their educational journey! :) I would love to become a 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade teacher one day. I research ideas on being an effective elementary school teacher, but I know that with learning comes with experience and that only comes from getting in there with the kids, teaching them, and helping them grow to be the best students they can be! :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2016
  5. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Feb 14, 2016

    +1 on observing. Being a sub teacher gave me a good idea of basically the level you need to be as a classrooom teacher. e.g. I've had a couple of people (who were aides in my room), come back and tell me they are pursuing their credential... partly because of their time in my classroom (I don't know if that is a positive of not :p)

    They maybe saw it wasn't so hard, maybe learned about what it takes in terms of conducting one's self as a teacher, maybe saw how rewarding and fun your interaction with the kids can be... and were inspired by me?

    Inspired is not the right word. As I said, maybe they just thought "if this schmuck can do it, I can do it." Whatever the case is, they came to their decision based on observing in the classroom.
     
  6. futureteacher13

    futureteacher13 Rookie

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    Feb 14, 2016

    I have been a Physical Education Paraprofessional for nearly 7 years, having worked with both elementary and middle school students! :) I have seen daily what level I would need to be at as a classroom teacher and have gained loads of experience by consistently being in the same location everyday with the same students as well. I also was a Reading Teacher Assistant for 1 period per day for an entire school year when the school I am currently assigned to had a school-wide reading program. I hope this gives you a little more insight into my background and my experience with students and in the classroom (even if it's a non-traditional classroom setting). Furthermore, I'm constantly inspired by the teachers I work with each and every single day. Even though the world of education in changing constantly, I know that I'm making a difference in the lives of the children I work with on a daily basis. If there's anything I've learned in nearly 7 years of being a Paraprofessional, it is to love your students and be passionate and enthusiastic about your job! :) I am always researching different teaching methods and learning how to be an effective teacher, but I do know that the true learning stems from getting in there and building those positive relationships with your students! That is what I strive to do each and every day I'm with my students! :) I would love to be a 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade teacher one day and I know I'm one step closer to achieving my dream and continuing my passion of inspiring young children to be the best they can be both academically and socially! :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2016
  7. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Feb 20, 2016

    If it's possible, see if you can volunteer in a classroom on a regular basis. One visit isn't enough to see what really goes on. You might also look for jobs in a school that don't require a teaching degree so you can see what goes on day in and day out.
     
  8. futureteacher13

    futureteacher13 Rookie

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    I work daily in a school with students as a Paraprofessional. I have seen what really goes on in a classroom setting on a daily basis, even if it has been in a non-traditional classroom. I currently work in Physical Education. I have learned lesson planning, classroom management strategies, and I took additional courses for teacher training.
     
  9. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Read every educational book you can get your hands on. Read books on reading, math, and classroom management.
     
  10. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Feb 28, 2016

    I agree that observing and volunteering are great ways to learn more. I teach 6-year-olds and you are dealing with lots of emotions at that age. At first I felt very overwhelmed at first, but I have learned lots of techniques and strategies, which you just learn over time.
     
  11. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I'm also going to suggest something that sounds odd: focus on your health and energy. The little ones require lots of energy. Get lots of sleep and good nutrition. I have been consuming lots of coconut oil for energy and general brain health, and it makes a huge difference. When I don't feel well it's harder for me to enjoy my students' high energy and their neediness, but with good health I can take on the world, including my 20 6-year-olds.
     
  12. Caramac48

    Caramac48 Rookie

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    Mar 3, 2016

    Your story reads a lot like mine. My degree is in history and then I also did EPI to get required education courses needed. I totally intended on teaching 6-12 social studies. Then I started subbing and I started of the year on a long term sub teaching 5th in a neighboring district, then moved to regular sub in the district I currently live in. During this time I realized I actually hated being in middle and high school classrooms and loved being in the elementary classroom. One of the schools I was subbing at invited me to apply for a job they were posting and starting tomorrow will be teaching out of field in a fourth grade classroom. As you can imagine I am working feverishly to pass the elementary certification exam so I am no longer out of field.

    I highly recommend substitute teaching if you can, not only will it help you realize where you want to be, but is also a great way to start practicing your classroom management and transition skills. I also highly recommend picking up jobs in classrooms that have co-teachers. A number of my non-formal mentors are from classrooms where I picked up the shift of an absent co-teacher and their advise and encouragement has been invaluable.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2016
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  13. futureteacher13

    futureteacher13 Rookie

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    Mar 5, 2016

    I have been a Paraprofessional for 6 years, mainly working in middle school Physical Education. I started out working in Elementary School in Physical Education as a Paraprofessional. My schedule doesn't allow me to observe other teachers, other than the ones I work with on a daily basis. So, I observe them as much as possible, which is everyday, and I also ask them for tips and advice regarding classroom management. As far as transition skills, I have two friends who are elementary school teachers (1st and 4th grade) themselves, and I'm always asking them for advice on transitioning from being a middle school Paraprofessional to being an elementary school teacher. Thank you so much for your advice and congrats on getting a position in 4th grade! :) You will do fantastic! :)
     
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  14. Mr. Nobody

    Mr. Nobody Rookie

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    Mar 6, 2016

    I agree about seeing if you can work in/volunteer regularly so you can get a good feel of being a teacher. When I was starting out, I observed my friend who had been a teacher for 8 years and had an unusually (as she revealed to me much, much later) well behaved class that year. I stayed for one day and thought teaching would be a breeze. :rolleyes:

    Aside from that, I would highly recommend you ask questions! (Most) seasoned teachers are more than willing to help, but I've noticed a lot of new teachers are afraid to ask questions. Instead, they'll tend to gravitate toward other new teachers. It's great to bond with and learn together with other new teachers, but it's just as great to talk with teachers who have more experience.
     
  15. futureteacher13

    futureteacher13 Rookie

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    Mar 6, 2016

    I was an elementary school PE Paraprofessional for 7 months (2009-2010 school year) before being moved to the middle school setting as a Paraprofessional for the 2010-2011 school year!
     

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