Discussion in 'General Education' started by blitz1030, Dec 14, 2009.
Dec 14, 2009
Which level (elementary, middle, high school, or college ) did you decide to teach and why?
I chose elementary ESE over high school because I want to make a difference in these student's lives early in their educational career. I saw many children who were older fall through the cracks because they did not receive appropriate services when they were younger.
I was originally certified JK-grade 6, because there was "no way" I wanted to teach anyone older than that. Two summers ago, I took additional qualifications to certify me up to grade 10 because, in spite of my early certainty, I know that working with older studetns is where I belong.
I went with the lil ones because I didn't want to babysit hormones in Jr. High & I just didn't to do high school.
Originally I went with elementary because I didn't think I'd like the middle school or high school aged kiddos. After being in the middle school for 4 months, I found my niche in middle school!
I didn't choose...it chose me .
I agreed to cover for a position for a short term because the P was desperate. The classes had run of 4 teachers and 6 subs...by October. She just needed somebody with a heartbeat to cover the class. I told her I would come in and do my best, but she had to find somebody permanant by Christmas. I had no idea how much I would enjoy middle schoolers...and 7th graders in particular. I started an ACP so I could stay on (I had been at a community college prior to that, as an adjuct and in research and testing in academic support). If you had told me just months before I took that position that I would be teaching middle school and loving it, I would have probably assumed you were on some sort of mind altering substance .
They do have a way of grabbing your heart and not letting go, don't they? Teaching my grade 7 and 8 English class is just a small part of my job, but the kids make it my favourite part of the day.
I ADORE 7th grade. They're my favorite. I love everything about them, including what most people see as a bad attitude. They're in this amazing transition in life and it's wonderful to watch them try to spread their "grown up" wings, and help to guide them as they begin their path to adulthood. They can still be fun and silly like little kids, but they can think and reason in a way younger kids cannot. I cannot think of any age group I would rather teach.
High school and I FAR prefer Juniors n Seniors at that.
I like exploring the more advanced applications and concepts as that's what I did in engineering. Some of my fellow teachers have nicknamed me "the professor."
I really enjoy a smart student who will come after me and challenge me to prove to them the why's or why not's in a respectful way. I especially enjoy students who spot details that I never noticed before.
Yes, I'm the authority in the room, I get to make the rules, etc, etc, etc. But I really like a student who can challange me in a respectful way and I haven't seen that happen until Junior/Senoir levels.
Second grade G.T. chose me. That was the only opening in my current district which paid $5K more than the other district. The Superintendent who hired me told me I'd have to be certified to teach G.T. and I had three year to pick up 18 hours. I went to grad school picked up my Masters in G.T. in two years, and I haven't looked back. Somehow, I've always felt that God has placed me where I needed to be.
I thought I wanted to teach the little ones, but I was WRONG! I like teaching the older elementary students. I wouldn't mine getting my middle school certs in math, but if I do I know that I'll be stuck in middle school forever. No one wants to teach middle school around here.
I teach secondary math, and it's absolutely the right path for me.
I've taught just about every course we offer from Math 7 to Intro to Calculus. To be honest, I love the material in the upper grades. Though I must admit I'm loving being back in Geometry after an absence of about 20 years.
But if I couldn't teach math, I would love to teach American history. Not that I know enough of it to teach it, of course. But I would love to explore it.
Elementary Special Education - I love working with students in small groups or one-on-one and seeing progress. I also love the challenge of coming up with strategies to help meet all needs.
I started with elementary because I couldn't imagine teaching only 1 subject. I changed to middle school after working with my church youth group kids and I just love the age group. It was also easier to find a job in middle school!
I'm certified 5-12.
Always expected to land in a 7th or 8th grade classroom.
Interviewed at my dream school for 11th and 12th ... offered the job, took it.
LOVE LOVE LOVE juniors and seniors.
Originally thought I would want early elementary, but after 3 years of subbing, found I really enjoy high school level. I use humor a lot, and high schoolers "get" me. I agree with everyone here about 11 and 12 grades. But my freshman are awesome, too.
I teach high school because 1) I really don't care for little children and all their crying, snot, and pants-wetting, and 2) I really love my subject area (Latin) which is usually (but not always) taught at the secondary level.
I love History and Politics. In Elementary School they only cover my subject for 30 minutes a week. I need a lot more time than that to talk about my beloved history
Dec 16, 2009
re: what do you teach
Thanks for all the responses. I am in school right now and I am having a difficult time picking the age group I want to teach. I love love love math and science, but I also like working with the younger kids. I am leaning towards middle school math/science. If not I would definitely want to teach the older elementary kids. I enjoy middle school math because of the real life applications you can use. It seems that (tell me if I am worng) middles schoolers are at the age where they are learning more difficult things, but that teachers can still use hands on projects and not just lectures to teach math. For example....using candy for statistics, making quilts and geometric figures for geometry, etc.
I love algebra and geometry, but am nervous about having to take calc 3 and 4 to get the math teaching certificate. So I guess I am just going to have to go for it.
What about the college level ... I feel shunned
I mentioned college!!!!! Adjuct math professor was my first "real" job.
sorry....or college too
yes college should be an option too.
ok...now I feel better
I always saw myself teaching K or 1st, so I picked EC... in IL, that goes through 3rd grade. I enjoyed cliinalcs in K and 1st, but also really enjoyed my ST in 2nd. My CT then told me she though I'd be really good in 3rd.
After I graduated, I spent 2 years in an autism school before i got my first "real" teaching job, ECSE. LOVE the preK age kids. Didn't like that job but loved the age, so I did 2 years of daycare/preschool (3's turning 4). After an LTS in 4's PreK, I've decided that 3's and 4's are really my favorite age to work with.
That being said, I'm also doing some RTI work with Kinders during the afternoons this year... I'm enjoying that, but in a different way. I still do with them a lot of teh same stuff I do with my PreK kids, just on a slightly higher level (they want me to be doing the EC "stuff" that they're lacking, so that works for me!!!)
I ca tie shoes all day, but do NOT put me near those hormonal whiners I see in theo lder kids! I did jr highs at church camp this summer (they must have been desperate, they know how much I dislike that age)... decided there isn't much difference between PreK and Jr High except that Jr High kids are bigger, but PreK listens better.
My certification is for K-8. When I did my student teaching I had 8th grade Language Arts classes. I absolutely hated it! I went home crying everyday because I was so miserable. (Didn't hurt that my cooperating teacher took advantage of me and had me doing a LOT more work than the other student teachers.)
When I graduated, my first job was a long term sub in K. It was such a great change. Now I've been in 1st for 4 years and can't stand the thought of doing anything different!
You are so right! Middle schoolers are just like preschoolers. We even have the same rules: no touching, don't take other people's stuff, stop whining, stop look and listen....
I was telling my grade 7 and 8 class about this comparison the other day. They were slightly offended, but more bemused to think that I consider them little kids in big, gangly bodies.
Yet it's such an apt discription . I often times compare 7th graders to two year olds. The next stage in life is visable, but just out of reach. A very frustrating place to be.
Most people find calc 3 and 4 are actually easier than calc 1 and 2.
Also, many states are starting to let you test out for an additional endorsement. In other words, you get one endorsement say secondary chemistry on the basis of your education and Praxis. To add a secondary mathematics endorsement, all you have to do is pass the Math Praxis.
Speaking of which, I need to sign up for the physics and chemistry praxis tests.
I chose elementary because I don't have any desire to teach anything else. I'm not strong enough in any specific subject to teach it all day, not do I have a big interest in any one subject. Plus, I'm an early/middle childhood major (PK-6th grade), so I really like the little ones!
I am in a K-8 school but I am in an Intermediate grade or middle school grade
It was the only job offer I got and I ended up LOVING it! I was scared to death to teach older than 4th grade but I really like where I am and what I am teaching. I loving teaching my other passion history! After this I think I could go older if I was teaching American History but I really like where I am at.
Dec 17, 2009
Re: calc 3 & 4
Yeah, that is what my brother said (about calc 3 & 4). He has a masters in engineering and said he would help me through any difficult problems. It just seems odd that those would be easier.
I have thought about doing the testing out of math (that is an option in NC) as an add on because I already have 30 credits in science. I am just a little confused if I can go for elementary and then if I find out later I don't like it then I can test out at the middle school levels. Or will I have to go back and take middle school educaiton classes?
Thanks for responding, good luck with the physics and chem.
I think this is what has me so undecided about a path. I am really strong in math/science, but I love reading and history also. I love the idea of teaching 3rd-5th but I am really afraid I won't be able to get a job in elementary. So I am leaning towards 6th-8th math/sci.
Oh I wish it was an easier decision.
Let me just say, if those are the areas you are interested in, your chances of finding a job will be MUCH higher! In college, professors were always telling us that secondary math and science is where the jobs are. It seemed like every semester someone gave me a lecture about how I should switch majors.
If I were you I would go for secondary math and science. You could always go back and get elementary certification someday. Also, many schools have people teaching multiple subjects. In 7th grade I had the same teacher for Language Arts and Math.
I chose secondary English because I had a passion for only one subject, and I am NOT a little kid kind of person. I wanted to teach seniors and maybe college. I did two years of high school, and I really liked it.
Then I moved to the middle school to take a one-year job just to stay in the district. (My high school job was eliminated.) Once I was at the middle school, I really enjoyed the kids.
Now I can't imagine teaching anything other than 7th and 8th graders, and I love 7th graders the most.
Calculus is a different way of looking at math problems and it takes time to get your mind around doing integrals. In Calc 1 and 2, you're brand new to it so it's more difficult. By the time you reach calc 3, you've been doing integrals for a while and have a better foundation to build from.
As for testing out, I don't think my state (Tennessee) lets you test out to add a secondary endorsement to a primary license. I could be wrong though and I know nothing about North Carolina.
That's interesting...from my experience that is not the case.
You'd be astonished how much history and reading could be integrated into math or science...
I suspect a lot of states do as California does: to add a secondary endorsement to an elementary credential by taking the secondary teaching methods coursework and doing whatever it takes to add the specialized subject matter. There might be a few more courses going the other direction, but surely there's as much overlap as there is difference.
I suspect you have more experience at this topic than I do. In my college run, I failed calc 1 the first time through but scored A's in calc 3 and 4. I have talked to a number of others who had similar views, but these are just the people I've talked to and I'm certain you see more of it than I do.
I found multi-variable calculus to be easier than single variable. I think it was because a good number of the actual procedures were not entirely new...they just had some extra steps added to them. What material was new, wasn't all that difficult. Of course, I'd call all of math "easy" up until abstract algebra , but I'm weird.