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Discussion Starter #1
I've seen a few people put something in a post here or there, and BrassMan pm'd me... so just curious... who are the teachers here?  What grade/education level do you teach, subject, how long have you (or did you) been doing it?  What do you like/dislike about teaching?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
my own reply to my own question :)

9th and occasionally 12th grade English for 8 years now.
For the past two years I've also doing ASB (school activities).

I really dislike the amount of grading in my subject and many of my "colleagues."  The ones who make everybody else's job harder.
I really like the kids, and the subject(s).
 

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I'm about the only non-teacher in my family. My father, mother, maternal grandmother, and both sisters are (or were) all teachers.
 

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I'm not a teacher, but sometimes I feel like one.  I work with the chess club at my grandkids' school; grades 3-8. 

I also lead the HP book club; grades 4-6.  That involves what I guess you would call lesson plans and coming up with ways to challenge the kids and make it fun for them.  I put in 4-5 hours a week besides the time spent working with the kids. 

Both clubs have been a lot of work, but extremely rewarding. 
 

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Oboy I can say one of my favorite opinions:
I believe that the only "teachers" are kindergarten and first grade teachers. - They develop and motivate learning and communication and civilization skills.  They teach little ones how to learn.
After that teaching still occurs, but it lessens each year as learning skills improve.

I "teach" adults.  Some of it at the college level. This is not currently my full time occupation but it has been at times in the past.  I think that I "instruct".  It is hard to teach an adult.  They either want to or they don't and I don't have time fix it if they don't.  I admire real TEACHERS so much I cannot express it.

And even so, I learn so much every time I instruct.  I learn more about what it is that I am trying to convey.  I find that I have to know a subject better to explain it so that another can do it than I need to just do it myself.  Did I make that clear?

Just sayin.....
 

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I'm almost a teacher. My degree is a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music Education Grades K-12 with an Emphasis on Band and Orchestra Instruments. *breathe!* However, outside of my student teaching and giving some private lessons right after college, I never pursued it further. I had to pick something to major in, and I loved music and was pretty good at it, but not talented enough/driven enough to make a living as a performer, so I just sort of ended up in music ed. I liked the kids, and teaching was all right, but it didn't really thrill me and I didn't care much for some of the ancillary stuff you had to deal with.

So 30 years later, here I am still wondering what I want to be when I grow up.  ::)
 

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Another homeschooler here.  Fourth and seventh grades this year.  The only thing I don't like about it is the almost constant niggling worry of "am I doing enough for them, challenging them enough or too much?"
 

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Pawz4me said:
Another homeschooler here. Fourth and seventh grades this year. The only thing I don't like about it is the almost constant niggling worry of "am I doing enough for them, challenging them enough or too much?"
I do the same thing. It's hard.
 

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Another teacher/instructor here. My teaching years have been spent teaching adults -- ABE/GED/ESL. I mostly taught in a reading lab, but also taught math and English when we were between instructors. I briefly taught 7th and 11th grade English, but made a hasty retreat back to the reading lab (where I could have a student "sign out" for the day if he/she was not in a learning mood). I've also taught in various government programs: CETA, JTPA, Teen Parent.

In the 80's, the economy took a downturn in my part of the woods and my husband started self-contracting. We pulled a 5th wheel around the country and I quit formal teaching and began homeschooling our youngest (our older three were in college). Let me tell ya! Homeschooling is a whole other world! But my son was well-suited for it; we survived, and he's now in college.

As far as the benefits from teaching....to me, there is nothing like knowing you've helped someone achieve one of their goals. Because I prepared students for the GED, I was able to see many acquire a high school diploma and move on to their next goal. Wonderful.

As for the frustrations: I couldn't begin to list them all, but....apart from the powers-that-be (who've never taught in a classroom), setting rules and regulations that make our jobs more difficult, I guess what really tempted me to throw up my hands and leave was meeting all the adults who have finished high school yet don't have the reading skills to hold down the job were in, or read a bedtime story to their children, or help their children with their homework. You've heard the saying, "It takes a village to raise a child?" (I think Hillary said that. Please correct me if I'm wrong.) Well, I'm here to tell you that it takes a village to help a person who's fallen behind in skills required to get ahead in our society.
 

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I have been a teacher for a total of 29 years. I've taught remedial/Chapter I/Title I reading (K-8) for 26 of those 29 years, with the other three years having been spent as a second grade teacher. Personally, I believe we continue to teach at all grade levels IF the kids are willing to put forth the effort needed to learn AND if they take responsibility for their learning. Just my opinion, though, and I certainly am not attempting to be confrontational.  I have now officially retired from full-time teaching, and will be continuing in my role as Title I reading teacher (next year, grades 1-5) for four mornings a week.  I have also been the technology coordinator, Novell network administrator, and academic team coach for the last 20 years.

There are many things that I love about teaching, the most important of which is seeing those "light bulb" moments when students suddenly "get it."  I also love to see the children develop the self-confidence that is necessary in order for them to become really good readers. One of my goals with my students is to make lifelong readers out of them, and I love it when they come back to me years after I've taught them to tell me how much they love to read.

I have to admit that I've been showing off my Kindle 2 to some of my older students who already walk around with their noses shoved in their books. A couple of the sixth grade girls to whom I've shown my Kindle are already thinking about how they can earn enough money to buy one in a couple of years. (Who knows what will be available to them when the time actually comes that they have enough money?)

The drawbacks to teaching are the salary (at least in my small rural school), the time required to do all of my jobs well, and the endless number of "hoops" through which we are required to jump. (Of course, that number has grown tremendously over the years.) I am fortunate enough to be in a school where I am able to teach my way, without a lot of interference from administrators who have never taught reading. It's great to actually be treated as if I have a brain and experience.

I have had some reservations about my decision to retire, but now that I have my Kindle, I'm finding myself looking forward to having a lot more time to read. I may like this part-time employment after all.
 

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I'm a fourth grade language arts and social studies teacher. I'm just finishing up my 8th year. I love my job and feel lucky that I get to do something so rewarding every day.
 

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Only taught for about a year, long ago.

Half was remedial English, to a dozen German fifth-graders. They were failing English, and I was hired to change that. I was pleased that I got them all to about a B level. Unfortunately, I had to read the books that their (concurrent) regular school English class was reading, which were ones I had managed to avoid in my own school years because I knew they were ones I'd dislike intensely. I was right.

The other half was basic English to adults, also in Germany. These were low-level employees who had been told that their only path into management was to acquire some English skills. Very frustrating because they had no idea what was involved in learning a foreign language. They had the impression that you could take classes three times a week for six months and then fluently discuss any topic you wanted. Some of them couldn't intelligently discuss any topic in their own language, so that was an uphill battle.

Apart from that, I think that all parents continuously teach, we just don't get paid for it! :D

edited to add: I am, however, working on a teaching degree right now (after 25+ years in other fields), so I'm very interested in everyone's impressions.... pros and cons... helpful hints... etc.
 

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I have a B.S in PE and in Elem. Ed.  I am currently teaching PE to 4th-8th grade girls.  I have taught PE on and off for 9 years to students in kindergarten through 12th grade.  I have also taught 3rd and 4th grade for one semester each.  I LOVE teaching.  I get very frustrated with some parents that don't hold their children accountable for their actions. For some reason they side with the student and blame the teacher instead of believing that their child could have done something wrong. That really bothers me.   
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Reyn said:
II get very frustrated with some parents that don't hold their children accountable for their actions.
Ah yes... parents... another aspect of the job I don't enjoy. It's the rare parent I've met (especially in our commuter-heavy area) that DOES SOMETHING about or with their child. So many of the parents I contact reply to me with "I know... I just don't know what to do." Meanwhile the student is still allowed to go out, visit with friends, has a WAY more expensive cellphone than I do, sometimes plays sports, etc.

Homeschooling... I so wish I could do that. Even though I'm a public school teacher, our system has a LOT to work out :( Unfortunately I'm the money maker, husband doesn't have a teaching interest, and we'd have to pay for daycare still while I'm at work. Not only will that be costly, but finding care as children gets older and older would be harder and harder. Most daycares only due 0-preK during the non-school day.
 

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geoffthomas said:
Oboy I can say one of my favorite opinions:
I believe that the only "teachers" are kindergarten and first grade teachers. - They develop and motivate learning and communication and civilization skills. They teach little ones how to learn.
After that teaching still occurs, but it lessens each year as learning skills improve.
I want to go where ever you are. Because that isn't what happens where I am. I teach second grade in a school with almost 500 kids. It was built to hold 285. More than 99% of our students live below the poverty line. They eat two meals a day. We serve free breakfast and free lunch to every student. Guess which two meals they eat. They come to school on days with snow and ice with tee shirts, pants, shoes and no coats. Civilization lessons don't "take" in poverty, no matter the age, until survival needs are met. Parents are my biggest headache. I had a parent teacher conference and was talking about a students need to read more, at home, in the car anywhere. The mom went and got the student from the hall, brought him in and told him he was "behind in his reading but it didn't matter a cause them teacher held him back in kintergarten and couldn't do it again." The very next set of parents to walk in the door got in a fight about....I don't know about what...he told her to be quite, she didn't, and he broke her finger (in front of some one else's children), so then the police arrive. God help us all, and mean that sincerely. My students don't want Summer, the most frequent question the last week of school, out of my second graders is "why don't we go year round?"
 

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I've taught nursing at the baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral level at various times in my career. Lately, I've been teaching continuing education courses for practicing nurses.

L
 
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