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Featuring Justin Barry '04

Position: Special Education Instructor
School: Mastery Charter High School; Lenfest Campus
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Graduate School: University of Pennsylvania; Temple University

Graduate Program: MS in Chemistry Education; M.Ed. Special Education

Information on Justin's graduate school experience

(Profiled: December 2011)

 

  How did you connect with this job opportunity?

♦  What attracted you to this position?

♦  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 classroom?

♦  What job search tips would you give to GCC students?

 

How did you connect with this job opportunity?

This job was posted on www.pareap.net shortly after my graduation in January 2005.

 

What attracted you to this position?

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.”

 

What are the most gratifying aspects of your job?

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.

 

What has been/was your biggest challenge as a first-year teacher?

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.

 

How did your time at GCC prepare you for the teaching field? 

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.

 

What advice would you give to a current pre-service teacher in order to better prepare for his or her future classroom?   

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.

 

What job search tips would you give to GCC students?

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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2010 Education Career Services
Maintained By: Deb Snyder | Last Updated: August 2014