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Posted: 6/22/2001 7:26:22 AM EST
I just negotiated my first teaching contract, and have accepted a job as a Magnet Instructor for Pinellas Academy for the Technical Arts in St. Petersburg, FL. I move in 3 1/2 weeks. I will be teaching 10th-12th graders Business Managment and Business Entrepreneurship as well as supervise the Senior Intern Program. Any advice from the experienced???
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 7:36:36 AM EST
I teach Jr. High and High School age sped. If you were from California I would have done my best to discourage you because they make getting a credential here just not worth the effort. Tips are always be prepared for your lesson. Down time is a killer. Keep 'em busy and you will be happy. In your situation it is nice because if they give you any guff you ship 'em off to the office. Don't take any guff by the way. The best thing I can tell you is to keep your lessons relavant and interesting. Everyone thinks kids like the cool, laid back teacher, but they dont respect him/her. They respect teachers who have their stuff together and provide them with usefull and interesting lessons. BTW, find a mentor at the highschool so that you can learn from their mistakes. Make sure it is a mentor that you respect though. Good luck. Sounds like a fun gig. [:)]
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 7:36:44 AM EST
My wife just finished her third year of teaching. She teaches 7th grade science. I think that if she were to give advice to a first year teacher it would be to set firm ground rules and expectations from the start. Also, try to be a hardass right off the bat. By that, I mean, don't try to be the students friend right off the bat. My wife did this her first year, and had a difficult time getting the students to calm down and focus when she was trying to present a lesson plan. Her second year, she tried to act kind of tough right at the start of school, and the students respected her more and didn't try to test her quite so much. I congratulate you on your choice of profession. My wife would agree that you have a hard road ahead. The pay is low, the hours long, and you will work with difficult administrators, teachers, PARENTS, and kids. However, despite all this, it is very rewarding as well. Good luck this year.
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 7:42:07 AM EST
I completely agree with starting off strict and laying the law immediately. I did this during my student teaching and it was quite effective. I was able to slack off after the second month and we could "enjoy" each other, however, out of the 3 classes I taught I had to stay completely strict with one class. They will walk all over you otherwise! Thanks! Keep the advice coming!!
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 7:42:13 AM EST
Congrats. I also congratulate you on your choice of profession. As soon as you get to Florida, get a CCW permit. Very pro RKBA state.
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 7:44:05 AM EST
Larry, Thanks! I hope to join a range as well as work towards my eventual goal - which is to do pistol competitions. I love the Sig!! :)
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 7:54:15 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/22/2001 7:52:27 AM EST by LARRYG]
Originally Posted By SigChick: Larry, Thanks! I hope to join a range as well as work towards my eventual goal - which is to do pistol competitions. I love the Sig!! :)
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Yep, Sigs rule. I have 2, a P220 and P228. Love 'em. For the money, Ruger P series aren't bad either. By the way, on your way down I95, stop off at Tybee Island (near Savannah) and say hi.
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 7:57:03 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/22/2001 7:55:30 AM EST by SigChick]
Larry, That is what I've used...Sig 228. I love it! For a girl I think a Sig rules, in particular, due to the fit in your hand. I will be traveling w/my parents, who are moving me, so I don't know if a stop is possible. However, I appreciate the invite!!
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 8:12:08 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/22/2001 8:23:09 AM EST by 95thFoot]
Be a hardass- be strict, but fair. Always hold your students accountable for what you cover in class. Always be prepared- know the text, material, and lesson plans for the whole year in advance, if possible. Your preparation -or lack of it- will show- Don't ever wing it. If you are challenging, your students will respond, and you'll have a better time, too. Students and teachers EARN respect, they do NOT automatically deserve it. Also, make sure the administration will back you up if there are any egregious school conduct violations, such as fighting, threats, etc. in the school, where you are present. If not, go find another job in another district, ASAP. Also, don't let the principal ever see you in the office, unless it's to pick up your paycheck - or to pick up the state award for best teacher of the year. Principals and superintendents do not like dealing with teachers' problems at all (esp. classroom discipline), so, you are on your own, NO MATTER WHAT THEY TELL YOU. Don't dump discipline problems (and their perpetrators) on the front office- that's a good way to make enemies, really fast. Keep them in your classroom, and deal with them yourself. The office has enough to deal with already. I would even be wary of older teachers' ideas and advice- keep your own counsel. Don't complain, always be pleasant, and remember, what works for other teachers (even what I'm telling you), might not work for you. Nonetheless, a good mentor and helpful relationships are beneficial. Network like crazy, too; better jobs and opportunities usually come by word of mouth, despite the ads in the papers. Most education jobs are already a done deal by the time they hit the want ads. (Administrators, however, have to go through the motions of interviews, etc., in order to look fair.) NEVER bring anything to school on you, nor say or write anything to ANYONE in the school, that could be misinterpreted. You are under a microscope at all times. Back when I was teaching German, in my first year, a well-meaning relative in Germany sent me over a stack of youth magazines, (BRAVO, etc.) in a big envelope that I stuck in my briefcase, and brought to school, w/o looking at them first. (I thought I'd go over them in study hall, to see what aricles I could cut out and use in class.) Well, while I was helping out a student in class, some others saw the mags in my briecase and started looking at them. Lotsa nudie teen pics, it turned out (YIKES!!)--- teen mags had got a lot racier in Germany since I was a kid there...oy! Reaction? let's just say... even in liberal MA., people are still pretty puritanical compared to Europe. I managed to salvage my rep as a good teacher and person, despite that incident, before it got too far, but I had to do some fast explaining to my dept. head.... yes, they shouldn't have got into my briefcase, but more importantly in today's political climate, I shouldn't have even brought them to school. (phew...) Good luck- and be prepared!
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 10:24:16 AM EST
95th foot, Sounds like you are a GREAT teacher! Thank you for your input. All sound advice. How long did you teach German? Are you still teaching?
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 10:32:36 AM EST
Hey Larry G, do you use Ricky Duffy's range across the Talmadge(if they actually decided on the old name, I didn't keep up) in SC, or do you go to Richmond Hill? I work at the 'Stream by the airport.
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 12:49:22 PM EST
Originally Posted By SigChick: 95th foot, Sounds like you are a GREAT teacher! Thank you for your input. All sound advice. How long did you teach German? Are you still teaching?
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Thanks-I'm not a great teacher, just a veteran one, who learned how to survive. I taught for eight years. (I had been a history teacher before that, but went back to grad school for an MA in German.) The kids were great, (mostly), even the parents were cool, very enthusiastic (German in MA is usually an elective, so, anybody who is in the classes usually really wants to be there.) but the administration...ugh...Maalox time. Politicians masquerading as educators...grrrrr..... >:^( I am not teaching right now, as A) budget cutbacks meant I had to find a new job every year... (that got real old, real fast..) and B) we now have three small children- so I stay home to raise them (Missus is a doc- very busy practice). Lots of fun, but lots more work than teaching(!!). When they get older, we'll see about going back into teaching- I like things the way they are, just fine. If I ever get back into teaching, I not only want to teach German and history, but set up a rifle team at school. Even in Massachusetts!
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 2:34:02 PM EST
7th and 8th grade science here. What 95thfoot said!!!! Scratch
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 3:16:04 PM EST
95th foot, You are absolutely right about the difference in kids when they "choose" to take your class. The classes I will be teaching are a choice by the students too, as well as the fact it is a magnet program. Each student has to have a 3.2 to even qualify for the program. That, I feel, should help. Are you thinking of home-schooling your kids? If so, what are the pros & cons...in your opinion? My younger brothers and sisters were home schooled until 8th grade and are all honor students. The two oldest also had excellent grades in college as well. Just curious as to your thoughts.
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 3:39:39 PM EST
It's good to see other educators here, but I'm a bit on the other end of the scale. I teach 1st and 2nd grade in Southern Oregon. Just finished my fifth year of teaching and I have to say that I love it. There's something about watching that light go on in kids and seeing the excitement as they realize that they are in fact learning. I have learned a lot in the past five years, but I have to say things haven't really gotten any easier (work-wise that is). The more you learn the more responsibilities you take on. My first year was spent just keeping my head above water, now I'm the tech support person for our school, I'm on site council, I've been working on a elementary level math grant, and am part of the district report card committee. As far as advice, I'd just second what some of the others have said and that's lay down the law on day one! I substituted for a year and figured I was just there for a day so why be a hardass. I'll just play it cool and be their buddy. WRONG! Kids, even the good ones, are looking for limits and if you don't set them down in stone from the word go they'll walk all over you looking for them. This isn't to say that you can't have a sense of humor. I tell all my parents that my first priority isn't reading, math, or writing. It's teaching the kids to love learning. If I can do that then everything else is easy. Beating a kid over the head with school only teaches them that they'd rather be some place else. Once they've got this in their head you've got an uphill battle all the way. Good luck with your profession. It's a lot of hard work, but it can be addicting as hell! Oh one other thing about teaching... these summer vacations allow for a lot of shooting!!!
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 4:04:01 PM EST
This is just a suggestion it is not intended to be mean spirited in any way. That said, as the son of very successful business owners, who had to sit through business classes taught by instructors who had never signed the front side of a paycheck, seriously consider bringing in successful business people from the community (who started their business from the ground up) to do question,answer sessions with your students. The insight they will get from this will be beneficial to them even should they never enter into business.
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 5:48:30 PM EST
Originally Posted By SigChick: 95th foot, You are absolutely right about the difference in kids when they "choose" to take your class. The classes I will be teaching are a choice by the students too, as well as the fact it is a magnet program. Each student has to have a 3.2 to even qualify for the program. That, I feel, should help..
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And you are also teaching upperclassmen- the behavior problems will be mostly non-existent, but it might be a different challenge, as the seniors will "already know everything" especially if they have been already accepted at the colleges of their choice. They will be half-adults, and half-children, sometimes simultaneously! :^)
Are you thinking of home-schooling your kids? If so, what are the pros & cons...in your opinion? My younger brothers and sisters were home schooled until 8th grade and are all honor students. The two oldest also had excellent grades in college as well. Just curious as to your thoughts.
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Fascinating- I used to teach (one year) German at a posh WASPy, yet very PC/liberal boarding school here in MA. All sorts of last-names-as-first-names, as well as "three-namers" went there, and in the school's recent magazine there was grudging admission that the latest crop of students coming in who had the highest class ranks, were mostly products of home schooling, something which does not fit the liberal Kennedy nor old-line Eisenhower conservative types that run the school, and it has created a lot of controversy. I say- go for it! As for our own family, I would like to do it, but my wife is against it. The kids like the public schools that they attend, and I volunteer at AND observe closely what goes on in the schools. (I'm the only male these kids see during the day, other than the custodian!) As a former teacher, I know and use the educationalese lingo with the teachers and administrators, and this signals that I know what really goes on...somebody has to keep their feet to the fire- perhaps I might even run for school committee at some point - "Hey- let's bring Eddie Eagle to our school!" :^O
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 5:53:13 PM EST
Originally Posted By Scratch: 7th and 8th grade science here. What 95thfoot said!!!! Scratch
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Oy... teaching middle school...tough gig. My hat is off to you- here's another bottle of Maalox, too, BTW- you might need it... I know middle school teachers that chug-a-lug the stuff.... :^)
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 6:02:11 PM EST
How many of you Teachers are Members of that Socialist Front Group, the NEA? Just Wondering.......
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 6:20:57 PM EST
I'm not a teacher, sorry. My mom is one, in NV. But the coolest was the guy who shot in our club's Action Pistol match (D-class) with a glock. He teaches in one of the less well thought of areas around here and we were giving him good-natured ribbing on his reasons for shooting AP. (Action Pistol==unsanctioned IPSC)
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 6:45:59 PM EST
I just finished my 6th year teaching 7th, 8th and 9th grade computer courses. I also teach for the local community college. No, I am NOT a member of the NEA, there is no way they will ever get one cent of my $$$$$. As several other have mentioned, be a complete hard ass the first couple weeks of class before you start to lighten up. Also, get real friendly with the lunch ladies, it is a good way to get an extra cookie, or other treats. Get friendly with the custodian that cleans your room. You never know when you might need a favor. Never ask the principal for $$$. Instead, ask the secretary who handles the finances for the school. All the principal does is sign the purchase orders. And the last person to never tick off? The computer tech person. hehehehe, tick them off, and you get your computer fixed last :) In my classes, we do some house plan drawing assignments. Often times I will casualy ask where the skeet range or rifle range is at. More often than not, it leads to hunting stories, or good places to go shooting. I was the talk of the school for a couple days when one of the kids at school was in the pawn shop the day I bought a pre-ban and I didn't see them in the store. Word spread pretty fast that a certain teacher "bought a machine gun" hehehehe Anyway, good luck at your new job!
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 6:52:20 PM EST
Originally Posted By spider: Hey Larry G, do you use Ricky Duffy's range across the Talmadge(if they actually decided on the old name, I didn't keep up) in SC, or do you go to Richmond Hill? I work at the 'Stream by the airport.
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It's called Southeastern Shooting Center now, the one in S.C. I haven't found the one in Richmond Hill yet. I used to be over at the airport all the time flying all over the country on my job.
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 6:56:31 PM EST
My father was a Marine for 31 years, before he became a fourth grade teacher. For some reason his first year they gave him all of the "problem" children. The first day he explained to them how he had learned how to kill people for thirty-one years, but had learned how to teach for only four. He told them that if he became too frustrated he might instinctively fall back on what he knows best. He said the children were angels that year! If you start out tough you can become nice and fall back on tough. If you start out nice they won't beleive tough.
Link Posted: 6/23/2001 6:27:52 PM EST
Lousy I like that. I am a Corrections Officer. I am tired of dealing woth scum bags. I am thinking of teaching in a private HS.
Link Posted: 6/23/2001 6:41:59 PM EST
Originally Posted By Bowser: How many of you Teachers are Members of that Socialist Front Group, the NEA? Just Wondering.......
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....Got awfully Quiet around here, didn't it? Ask One Solid Question and they all Clam Up.....
Link Posted: 6/23/2001 6:52:53 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/23/2001 6:51:28 PM EST by 95thFoot]
Originally Posted By Bowser:
Originally Posted By Bowser: How many of you Teachers are Members of that Socialist Front Group, the NEA? Just Wondering.......
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....Got awfully Quiet around here, didn't it? Ask One Solid Question and they all Clam Up.....
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I am not teaching any more, but when I was, I was NEVER a member of the NEA, nor of the even worse Massachusetts Teachers' Association (Ted Kennedy's PAC), BUT I can tell you why you haven't heard more tonight or last night- most teachers are either asleep or correcting papers/ doing lesson plans. Or attending additional courses and workshops to maintain their professional certification. Or working another job to make ends meet. ("Do you want to fries to go with that shake, sir?") Teaching is an exhausting job w/ little respect or remuneration. Consequently, many who go into it nowadays are urban liberals who want to "save the world", starting with your kid. Guess who runs the teachers' unions?...
Link Posted: 6/23/2001 6:59:23 PM EST
Originally Posted By MitGSX97: I was the talk of the school for a couple days when one of the kids at school was in the pawn shop the day I bought a pre-ban and I didn't see them in the store. Word spread pretty fast that a certain teacher "bought a machine gun" hehehehe
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To do that and have it known in suburban Boston would be a career-killer. I know several gun owners who are also teachers, and they have always kept it VERY quiet, at least since the Vietnam era. It's a different world nowadays in MA.... You are a very fortunate person to be where you are, and the rest of your post had some great advice, BTW- a lot of great stuff. Keep up the great work!
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