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Featuring Benjamin Allen '10

 

Name: Benjamin Allen

Grad Year: 2010

Teaching Position: Teacher, 7th grade U.S. History, 8th grade Civics, 8th grade Geography, 8th grade Literature

School District: Mountain Christian School

City, State/Country: Joppa, MD

Certification: History Secondary Education

(Profiled: January 2013)

 

 

  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?

Long story short, I wasn't looking for a teaching position.  My desire was to enter youth ministry, but after 6 months of searching, applying, and finding no leads, I caved to a tip that Mountain Christian Church had several openings in their school.  I blindly walked into the school office in the month of July, motivated by an announcement that was published back in March, and asked the secretary if there were still any available teaching positions.  She double-checked her records and said all openings were filled...except they still needed a middle school social studies teacher.  This was precisely the area in which I am certified.  I applied, interviewed, and was hired within two days.  Unlike other job opportunities that I had pursued more fervently, God made it abundantly clear that this was where he wanted me.

 

What attracted you to this position?

Teaching at a private Christian school allows me to put Christ at the center of my instruction; Biblical principles are incorporated into everything I teach.  I have the opportunity to minister to students, as I originally intended with youth ministry, only in a different, more structured environment. 

 

What are the most gratifying aspects of your job?

Surprisingly, I really like working with the middle school age group.  The kids are old enough to engage in mature discussion and debate but they are not so old that they are "too cool for school" yet.  Every day is an adventure as I discover what motivates middle school students to learn.  Every day they find a new way to make me laugh because they are just...so...odd!

Also...and this is probably why Mrs. Snyder recommended me for an alumnus profile...I am working on developing a student travel program for my school.  Never expected I would say that, but having the opportunity to travel the world and explore foreign cultures with my students is extremely gratifying.  The story is that I won a sweepstakes through the Discovery Channel last year and went with their staff to Costa Rica in November, 5 days, all expenses paid.  This trip, accompanied with some professional development, has equipped me to lead student groups.  We are working on a bus tour to Washington D.C. this year and a trip to Costa Rica in summer 2014. 

 

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

Working at a private school has meant not only teaching but also developing the curriculum for the 3-4 subjects that I teach.  It is a monumental task, demanding about 14 hours a day in my first year.  Student teaching was stressful and challenging, but nothing could have prepared me for this!

 

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

Grove City College prepared me with rock-solid methods, but it also went into depth with the philosophy of education.  This has been valuable for me as I prepare lessons and activities, purposefully engaging students in multiple levels of critical thinking.  It has also been valuable for my school at large because when we discuss policy changes in faculty meetings, I am more alert to the unintended consequences of our actions than most.   

 

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

Make a plan to carve out some quiet time with God every day and pray for your students regularly.  If you are not intentional about these things, they will be lost as you get consumed in the many responsibilities/facets of teaching.

 

What job search tips would you give to GCC students?

Do not limit yourself geographically, but also know the culture of the area in which you teach.

 

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PH: (724) 458-3397 |
2010 Education Career Services
Maintained By: Deb Snyder | Last Updated: January 2014