absolutely love working with middle school students. They are at a
point in their lives that is full of turbulence and confusion. I feel
that I am in a position where I can help them navigate those chaotic
years. I also enjoy taking facts and concepts in history and weaving
them into stories to which middle level learners can relate.
Seventeen years ago, when I first set out on my teaching adventure, I
remember feeling incredibly overwhelmed. Classroom management was a bit
of a challenge at first. Preparing and executing lessons that were
engaging and relevant was a daily ordeal. As time went on however, I
began to step into the flow of middle school life and steadily improved
my delivery and planning.
How did your time at GCC prepare you for the teaching field?
history courses at Grove City College were rigorous, requiring in-depth
research and critical analysis. This has been a wonderful foundation upon
which to build a teaching career. The Hampton Township School District is
dedicated to providing a curriculum that is both rigorous and relevant.
My years at GCC have definitely prepared me to deliver such a curriculum.
What advice would you give to a current pre-service teacher in
order to better prepare for his or her future classroom?
as much as you can about the subject matter you are expected to teach.
Read the textbook thoroughly. Read books by well-respected authors that
are related to your subject. Watch documentaries that explore it in
greater depth. Your role as a classroom teacher is to take the facts and
information students are expected to learn and transform them into
something that is relevant and engaging. The more you stay informed about
your subject, the more natural this becomes.
What job search tips would you give to GCC students?
are literally hundreds of candidates applying for a single teaching
position these days. It is absolutely essential that you determine what
sets you apart from everybody else. There is something. You just have to
figure out what that is and sell it like there’s no tomorrow. Are you
experienced with technology in a way that distinguishes you? Have you had
a particular experience that not many other people have had (i.e. travel,
student teaching in another country, etc.)? The standard model we’ve
always used for applying to schools just doesn’t work anymore.
Administrators read hundreds of cover letters and sift through endless
stacks of resumes. Why not design a YouTube video that highlights your
creativity and innovative spirit? Email it to the administrators of the
school where you would like to teach. Compile a list of the most
compelling statements from your letters of recommendation into one
document. “She created lessons that used technology in some remarkable
ways!” “He developed a wonderful rapport with both faculty and students.”
Put these statements into an online video with music. Insert photos of
you in action. Think outside the box.
don’t limit yourself to teaching only in public schools. With the recent
funding cuts at the state level and declining local revenues, finding a
teaching position in a public school has become more challenging than
ever. Fortunately, there are other avenues into the teaching profession.
Explore private, independent, and charter school options as well. Online
teaching opportunities are also increasingly available. Investigate every
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