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Author Topic: Teaching grade school  (Read 38016 times)
prytania3
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Prytania, the Foracle


« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2012, 5:10:11 PM »

(I'm not so suicidal as to consider working at a public secondary school)

As the daughter of a public school teacher, and one who counts public school teachers as some of her closest friends, I find this offensive.

That's ridiculous. I taught high school and middle school back in the day, and I'd chew on glass before I did it again. Just because you have a parent and friends in the system doesn't mean the system isn't horrible.

Just because the system may have problems doesn't mean people who show no interest in teaching kids should do so.

Then you wouldn't have enough teachers to teach. Not for nothing but the conditions for teaching K-12 (a few exceptions noted) are so deplorable, who the hell do you think teaching is going to attract? Schools are lucky to have warm bodies in the classroom.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2012, 5:12:10 PM by prytania3 » Logged

I'm not a narcissist. I'm just angry and violent.
farm_boy
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recalcitrant and trollish loser


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« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2012, 5:37:47 PM »

Actually, most days I have no interest in working, period, but I have to eat.
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Screw you... You're not a troll. You're just posting pathetic jerkish, troll-wannabe, crap.  (mystictechgal, Member-Moderator)
zuzu_
Frakking
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« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2012, 10:41:43 AM »

I've done a ton of subbing/para work at all grade levels. I excel at classroom management. My spouse is schoolteacher, as are several of my BFFs. I LOVE, LOVE teaching and LOVE, LOVE working with young people about 13 y.o. and up.

I've concluded that I would happy working as a HS or maybe even a MS teacher, so long as I never had to speak to parents and was able to have significant freedom in curriculum design. Since that won't happen, I'd never teach MS or HS. Unless it was at a private school for orphans.

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nezahualcoyotl
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« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2012, 3:49:13 AM »

I've concluded that I would happy working as a HS or maybe even a MS teacher, so long as I never had to speak to parents and was able to have significant freedom in curriculum design. Since that won't happen, I'd never teach MS or HS. Unless it was at a private school for orphans.

I can relate to that. I've taught children at a private language school, and did some outreach work in schools during my PhD, and enjoyed both. I usually get along fine with children. Still, I think I'd rather eat glass than work in my country's public school system. Honestly, if you think the US system is bad, well, let's just start with funding: in my country, there are schools that don't have walls, or that have walls but no roof. There are anecdotes of fancy new multimedia outfits being installed... in schools with no electricity. Bureaucracy? Imagine an Education Department staffed pretty much exclusively by Dolores Umbridge clones. And that's before we get to the teacher's union, which -I'm really not exaggerating- is really a criminal organization (this isn't an anti-union rant, they've been seriously alleged to be involved in all sorts of serious crime, including murder). So despite my positive experiences working with kids and teaching (not just kids, but also as a TA), which would suggest becoming a HS would be something to consider, I'd never do it save under conditions that just aren't going to happen (like a good private school for orphans).
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'Education is like a venereal disease; it makes you unsuitable for many jobs, and then you have the urge to pass it on.'
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kaysixteen
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« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2012, 1:45:25 PM »

Who is Dolores Umbridge?
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slinger
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« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2012, 3:48:46 PM »

Who is Dolores Umbridge?

Dolores Umbridge
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airball
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« Reply #21 on: May 03, 2012, 2:00:01 PM »


I've concluded that I would happy working as a HS or maybe even a MS teacher, so long as I never had to speak to parents and was able to have significant freedom in curriculum design. Since that won't happen, I'd never teach MS or HS. Unless it was at a private school for orphans.



I'm finishing up my first year at a private school (after nearly ten years in a college and university setting), and haven't actually found this to be an issue. For the surveys we use the same books and cover roughly the same span of history, but in terms of assignments, tests, and what I do in the classroom, I have complete freedom.

The parents can be a bit stress-inducing, but in most cases they are genuinely interested in working with you to help their child. In some cases it is quite touching. Even in the annoying cases, it takes up perhaps two hours in a given semester, then you're done.

When you take into account the fact that my 9th graders can write circles around my 13th graders freshpeeps, it's a far better teaching situation.
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kaysixteen
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« Reply #22 on: May 03, 2012, 3:57:04 PM »

Airball, I hear you, but if you are teaching 9th graders who could write reams around your previous college freshpeeps, you must be teaching at a high-end elite prep school...?
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zuzu_
Frakking
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« Reply #23 on: May 04, 2012, 2:31:25 PM »

You know, that does sounds like a nice gig. And I believe it--my brother actually teaches 8th grade science for gifted kids at a public magnet school, and his curriculum mirrors freshpeep gen-ed sciences. They actually do original research for their science fairs, and they compete on a state level.

But as you might imagine, the kinds of parents that get their kids into a magnet school are often the same kinds of parents that often come with chopper blades attached. Dealing with those parents is a huge part of the job and a whole separate skill set. It's one that I don't have, and I know myself well enough to know that the stresses of that would keep me up at night.

Some people are good at it. My spouse has a reputation in his school district as being a sort of "parent whisperer," and he gets a rush out of winning parents over and/or putting them in their place without them knowing it happened.
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scout46
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« Reply #24 on: May 06, 2012, 5:04:38 PM »

If you are uncomfortable teaching children, this might not be the best idea. In higher ed, your responsibility as a teacher is to deliver the course material, period. In K-12, teachers are also part counselors, child-rearers, etc. You are responsible for monitoring for and identifying potential out-of-classroom issues (child abuse, emotional issues, learning disabilities). It's not about just "teaching" kids; it's about mentoring them and helping them grow up well. Based on what you have said, you don't seem to be interested in this.

Also, as others have said, there is a glut of people out there specially trained in childhood education, with MAs and PhDs from Teachers Colleges. Part of what a private school "sells" to potential customers (parents) is that they have the best-trained teachers. They'll all have higher ed degrees in pedagogy, not necessarily in the subject matter. For this reason they may not be interested in you, even if you had a passion for mentoring children, which you also do not have.
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ahminah
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« Reply #25 on: May 12, 2012, 1:15:08 PM »

As a former elementary classroom teacher and current professor of education, I don't think I can adequately express how offensive the OP is.  I won't bother repeating much of what others have pointed out, but I sincerely hope that any administrator considering you for employ would quickly realize you are not suited to work with children. 
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farm_boy
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recalcitrant and trollish loser


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« Reply #26 on: May 12, 2012, 5:49:47 PM »

I don't think sincere ignorance is very offensive.
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Screw you... You're not a troll. You're just posting pathetic jerkish, troll-wannabe, crap.  (mystictechgal, Member-Moderator)
kelsun
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« Reply #27 on: June 02, 2012, 1:01:21 AM »

I have been teaching at two year and four year colleges and on and off over the years, I've thought about pursuing private grade school work (I'm not so suicidal as to consider working at a public secondary school)

It seems like the path of least resistance - easier to get full time employment, easier to get international employment, and less administrative headaches.

But then I consider the downsides: getting worked like a donkey with an unbearable course load; a completely different and alien work culture; and most intimidating of them all, minor children for students.

Truth be told, I am incredibly intimidated by the prospect of teaching children. My students have always been at least 18 years old (obviously) and the thought of having legal responsibility for other people's children is none to appealing.

Then there's the culture. At least the people who work in colleges are usually laid back, anti-authoritarian, liberal minded types (like me). The thought of being surrounded by rigid (and if you will excuse the expression, tight-assed), disciplinarian types who are bullying around children makes me very nervous. I really just want to teach without all of the excess baggage.

Also, I assume this is a one-way passage: once I go in, I'm never coming back!

I'm a natural worrier so perhaps this is all an exaggeration - but I really don't know. Has anyone here had any experiences with lower ed?

 


I don't know if you can, but would you be willing to move to teach?  Prep schools that are boarding schools in New England, e.g. Andover, Exeter, Choate, etc. are exceedingly liberal.  They like teachers with Ph.D.s. They would appreciate that you have NOT taught at a public school and you would likely have a lot of autonomy. You can create your own syllabus and select your own textbooks.  You and your family can live on campus for free.  It's a nice life for some.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2012, 1:02:00 AM by kelsun » Logged
kaysixteen
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« Reply #28 on: June 04, 2012, 12:41:30 PM »

Working at such an elite prep school would indeed be a nice life, and a PhD does not necessarily hurt in looking for such work, but nowadays a place like Andover probably has 100 applicants for every job it has, maybe more.  And they do not have to hire a PhD, and often want 22yo fresh BAs too (for a number of reasons, such as not needing to pay as much, needing young adult teachers to live in dorms, wanting teachers to coach athletics as well as teach, etc,, and recall that most prep schools are not Andover, and have neither the money nor the student quality the very few 'A' tier prep schools have).  IOW, getting such a job is not a slam-dunk for any former professor or new PhD who cannot get a professor position.
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