What are the best and worst parts of your job?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by PalmKing, Nov 21, 2016.

  1. PalmKing

    PalmKing New Member

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    Nov 21, 2016

    Aloha! I'm a freshman in college, elementary education major and next semester I'll be doing an observation class, where I go into an elementary classroom once a week and helping out. I'm really excited but also really nervous that the stresses of being in the classroom will turn me off to teaching. I love working with kids and consider myself a pretty upbeat and outgoing person but I know that teaching is not just running around, making paper snowflakes with kids.

    So, as experienced teachers, what are some of your favorite and least favorite parts of your jobs? What are some aspects of teaching that you were not expecting while you were still in college?

    Thank you so much and have a happy Thanksgiving!
     
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  3. minnie

    minnie Habitué

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    Pros: seeing that "light bulb" moment when your students finally get it. Hugs from students who need one. Laughing with your students.

    Cons: Parents
     
  4. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Best: Creating lessons that engage kids and really takes off, seeing all of the kids actively engaged in learning and enjoying it (even if they would never admit it), working with professional teachers to help students succeed

    Worst: Ridiculous admin and district directives that amount to spending hours just filling out "paperwork", the mistrust and lack of professional respect that the admin and district pays to teachers, certain parents who enable or in some cases encourage students to behave poorly because they just don't care, grading.

    Aspects that I wasn't expecting: classroom management is HUGE. It's not fun, and in some cases can be incredibly stress inducing. Make it your number one priority to master (and you still probably won't master it, but it will make things easier if you get fairly good at it). They won't teach you this in school, you need to buy as many CM books as you can, read them all, and test out the best techniques in your classroom with consistency.
     
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  5. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Nov 21, 2016

    Hello and welcome! :)

    I'm in my 5th year teaching. I've taught 1st and 5th (what I currently teach). Here are my bests and worsts so far...

    Best: Building relationships with the kids. Seeing growth. When I get a kid who scores 0% on the math pretest and then after lots of struggle, hard work, and extra help gets 75% or 80% on the chapter test, it's suddenly all worth it. Giving kids opportunities to succeed and seeing them flourish. Building a classroom community and sharing laughter, excitement, problem solving, and inside jokes. Every day is different. I get to be creative and try out new things in the classroom. The books! I love sharing books with my 5th graders. Read alouds. Teaching small groups. Making connections with kids. Learning from and working with other dedicated and motivated teachers. Making a difference. Feeling so much purpose and passion in my career.

    Worst: It's very hard to turn off. The guilt is a real thing - I feel like I should be working even when I know I need time for myself and my family and friends. I am never caught up on work. Ever. There is literally always something more I could be doing. I just get better at prioritizing as time goes on, and better at being ok with never being done. Also, if you're in a school that's not a good fit due to admin, student population, etc, it's hard to get through the year. I'm dealing with that for the first time this year, and it's my fifth year. The parents can be very difficult to deal with. The class size. Classes are over 30 in intermediate in my state, and that can be very stressful to deal with.

    The Unexpected: It really matters where you teach. I thought I could just be happy anywhere. Turns out, that's not true. I don't mean you need to teach in a high performing school system to be happy - actually, I've found I'm not happy in that kind of school. Every person is different, and the sooner you learn that and use that knowledge to find where you fit best, the better. Classroom management is incredibly important. Communicating with parents effectively is more important than I was ever taught in my teacher preparation courses. The grade levels I was sure I'd be happiest in (2nd-4th) are grades I've never taught (though I did student teach in 2nd), but I've been very happy with 1st and 5th - you never know where you'll fit.

    You're smart to come here and reach out. I joined this board when I was in my credential program, and I've learned so much from the teachers on here. Best of luck to you as you begin your journey! My biggest advice - work with kids as much as you can and gain as much experience as you can. During college I worked in after school programs during the year and day camps during the summer. It was invaluable experience that helped shape me as a teacher, and I am so grateful for it to this day.
     
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  6. PalmKing

    PalmKing New Member

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    Nov 22, 2016

    Thank you all for your helpful insights. It seems like the joys and pains of teaching are pretty universal! I've started looking through some classroom management books in my school's library so hopefully I'll have a headstart next semester! Thanks!
     
  7. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Which ones are you reading?
     
  8. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Specific to elementary , I love the range of subjects I get to teach.
     
  9. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Pro: teaching, getting to inspire youth and increase their world knowledge. Working with kids who want my help. Seeing the improvement they make.

    Cons: managing behavior. I'm fine at it, but I wish teaching was more about teaching content and less about teaching kids how to behave in a classroom. It's definitely a huge part of the job, though.
     
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  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Pros: the joy of discovery
    Seeing progress
    The love of reading
    Laughing together

    Cons:
    An upper administrator tyrant
    The occasional problem parent
    A student teacher who should have steered in another direction way before she was placed for ST-almost over
    Paperwork
    My governor
     
  11. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Best: The kids

    Worst: The adults
     
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  12. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    No kidding.
     
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  13. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Nov 26, 2016

    Yeah. Actually, this sums it up very well.
     

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