Featuring Sam Cohen '11
(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?
actually found out about this job from a few different places all at the
same time. I originally encountered the job opening on
schoolspring.com and was working on
an application when I received an email from the GCC Education Career
It turns out that the science department chair at the high school was a
Grove City College grad. He emailed the college looking for any new graduates.
Dallastown High School has a remarkable science department which is well
known throughout the area. The school takes pride in providing the
supplies and equipment needed to maintain a state-of-the-art science lab.
They also take necessary steps in helping teachers to continue their
education by providing free classes and reimbursement plans for graduate
level courses. Aside from the school itself, I liked the location—in the
suburbs of York, PA. It is not far from Baltimore, DC, and Philadelphia
which is nice if you ever want to go to the city for a day.
The best part of my job is observing the students as they grow
throughout the year academically and socially. It is also thrilling to
know that, on occasion, I can make even the slightest difference in a
juggle. As a teacher, you have a billion different things to consider with
every individual student. Did they have enough to eat this morning? Are
they awake? Why didn't they do the homework that was assigned? Do they
realize they are going to fail this class if they don't do this
assignment? In the meanwhile, I'm attempting to beg, borrow, and steal
materials from other teachers.
an example: As you are setting up for the lesson two
days from now, you realize you need to take more time with class A on
naming compounds while class B is ready to move on to something new. Class
C thinks you are out of your mind for giving them a test that Class D
thought was easy. Class E wants nothing to do with science and is upset
that you rearranged assigned seats, while class F is not working to their
full potential and regularly has 2-5 students absent on any given day...
OH, and don't forget you have to make phone calls home, grade makeup tests,
go to IEP meetings, grade assignments (for 115 students), and get observed
by the administration. You have about 42 minutes each period, so you have
to make it count.
The first year can be very overwhelming, but keep in
mind that there are other teachers there to help you. Work with a mentor
teacher and you will be fine.
information I learned in the education psychology class has been
extremely handy. On that note, there is not much any school can do to
really prepare you for the education system. You can read as many books as
you want about inner city kids and hear the most inspiring lectures about
loving students, but nothing will prepare you like getting in a real
classroom and working with real students (and I don't mean teaching your
fellow Grovers). I had a wonderful cooperating teacher who allowed me to
make mistakes in a real classroom setting and learn from them.
a teaching internship now. It makes you more marketable and gives you good
hands-on experience working with real students. (I’m thankful I interned
with the Center for Talented Youth as a
TA for a few summers.)
collecting materials. Worksheets, books, test questions, and project ideas
are great things to have in a filing cabinet somewhere. You'll use them
eventually and this prep takes some of the stress out of acquiring new materials
be afraid to make mistakes and try something new in your student teaching.
A failed lesson is usually a successful learning experience.
sweat the small stuff. Trust God and he will provide.
all of your essay responses on file for your applications. Many school
districts are using very similar application programs that ask the same
questions. You will also need to scan EVERYTHING in as a PDF to submit
applications (including letters of recommendation).
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