Featuring Justin Barry '04
(Profiled: December 2011)
How did you connect with this job
What attracted you to this
What are the most gratifying
aspects of your job?
What has been/was your biggest
challenge as a first-year teacher?
How did your time at GCC prepare
you for the teaching field?
What advice would you give to a
current pre-service teacher in order to better prepare for his or her future
What job search tips would you
give to GCC students?
This job was posted on www.pareap.net
shortly after my graduation in January 2005.
I worked at an inner city school in Pittsburgh while finishing up my
undergraduate work. This school had many problems and the students ran
the school. There was little accountability for student actions.
Because of this experience, I knew exactly what I did not want in a
teaching position and what I did not want in a school. I researched my
current position at Mastery Charter School-Lenfest Campus and found that
there were many attractive features about the school. For instance,
students were held accountable for demonstrating skills and had to
follow a strict code of conduct. In addition, students lived by the
model “Excellence, No Excuses.”
I am able to reach students on a personal level as a special education
teacher. There are so many needs, and I see day to day that the Lord is
using me to make a difference.
During my first year in 2005, I started my job mid-year, filling in for
a teacher on maternity leave. The most difficult part was making the
adjustment midyear— jumping right into teaching. I had to get to know
the school’s policies and know how to hold the students accountable in a
very short amount of time.
Grove City College provided the academic and spiritual foundation to be
a great teacher and leader. I am prepared, knowing my content knowledge
and confident to hold fast to a Christian worldview.
Get in the classroom well before your student teaching experience!
Whatever you do, find teaching experiences to put yourself in front of
students and in front of adults (summer camps, workshops, etc.). This
will give you extra practice and help you determine if you really want
to be a teacher.
Find databases in your area that will help you search for jobs. Use
networking skills to promote yourself. You cannot be passive in this
job market and in this economy.
More information about
Justin's graduate school experience
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