Grove City College Career Services Office
  Career Services at Grove City College  
Grove City College  |  myGCC  |  iModules  |  JobGrove  |  Education Dept  |  CSO   
 
Education Career Services Menu

Find ECS on Facebook!

For Expert Advice from school districts and college career services offices, check out:
AAEE Career Corner


Job Search Handbook

Seniors, stop by

HAL 100 to pick up your copy.

 

 

 

 

 

Featuring Currie Gibson '12

Position: Kindergarten Teacher
School:  New Augusta Public Academy South, Metropolitan School District of Pike Township
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
(Profiled: July 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 a
re some of your challenges in this role?
♦  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?

♦  What are the challenges and rewards of teaching or working in another culture?

How did you connect with this job opportunity?

The state of Indiana signed in full day kindergarten for the 2012-2013 school year so there were many kindergarten openings in the state. Since I live in the suburbs of Indianapolis, I applied to many schools in the area including the MSD of Pike Township. I completed a field experience at New Augusta Public Academy South (NAPAS) during college. I also happened to know several teachers in the district who put in a good word for me in the HR office which helped bring my application to the forefront.


What attracted you to this position?

When I completed a field experience at NAPAS during college, I really enjoyed the school atmosphere and felt that I would like to teach at a school similar to it. (However, I didn’t know the Lord would provide an opportunity for me to teach at that school 3 years later!) The school population is rich in racial, cultural, ethnic, and socio-economic diversity, and I felt a strong calling to teach in an inner-city or rural setting. While having a diverse population in Indianapolis, I knew that the school had some excellent teachers as well as a strong revenue base to provide their teachers with substantial resources.


What are the most gratifying aspects of your job?
The teachers at NAPAS are excellent!  They are dedicated to providing effective instruction and to supporting their students and each other.  God was so gracious to place several Christian colleagues in the school that I am privileged to work with and even pray with in a public school setting.

It was also incredible to see God's faithfulness over the year in the growth of each child.  When I think about some of my students who entered kindergarten not knowing how to write their name and left kindergarten being able to read on a 1st, 2nd, and even 3rd grade level, I am amazed at their progress.  When I reflect on how much each child learned over the course of the year--academically, emotionally, and socially--I feel truly blessed!

What are some of your challenges in this role?

While I felt support from the excellent teachers at NAPAS and even my own wonderful family, I felt like the administration did not provide support for the teachers. Effective leadership is essential to having a successful school, and the lack of it in our school resulted in grumblings, feelings of insecurity, ineffective management, and more work for me and the other teachers. It was also hard to find the delicate balance of love, sternness, patience, and perseverance when managing a classroom of 25 five-year olds by yourself.

 

A colleague of mine told me at the start of the year that “student teaching—even if you did years of it—would not prepare you for your own classroom,” and she was right. It is a lot of work to plan, prepare materials, and teach lessons all day, but when you also deal with all the business aspects of the classroom (ordering materials, extensive communication, writing curriculum, documentation, etc.) the workload multiples.


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

I felt like GCC prepared me well for knowing about the various aspects and terminology in education which was helpful in interviews. Being able to think and plan more naturally in the Madeline Hunter model was useful when I had to turn in weekly lesson plans. A current trend in education now is using the workshop model in reading and writing; being somewhat familiar with these models was essential to my survival as a teacher in this district. Having trained myself over my college years to make quality units, worksheets, and materials also helped me when I had to do that all the time all year long!


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

While there is a lot you can do to prepare for your classroom in college, also know that going into your first year of teaching will not be like skating on ice, but more like off-road biking! It can be fun, but it will be bumpy and you will get dirty. Having a good supply of quality resources was helpful for me—blogs of teachers I liked, quality picture books listed by theme or skill, consistent clipart I used, newsletter templates, worksheet websites, etc.

 

Also, take the time to learn the information now while you’re in college by reading the research and doing a variety of observations and field experiences. You never know what situation you will be placed in or what materials you will have, so the more you are exposed to, the more ideas you will have to draw from later.


What job search tips would you give to GCC students?

As Mrs. Snyder is constantly encouraging and reminding you, it is important to be prepared with your materials (resume, trifold, portfolio, etc.) in advance. Through Mrs. Snyder, interviews, and online research, I created a document of 100+ potential interview questions. I wrote down or thought about thoughtful answers for almost all of them. This helped me feel more prepared for interviews, and every interview I went to asked at least one if not many of the questions on my list. Be prepared to ask good questions, too. In every interview I had, the interviewers were always impressed by some of the questions I asked them.

What are the challenges and rewards of teaching or working in another culture?
In a school that is only 14% Caucasian, I was definitely in the minority. I know several parents were skeptical of a young, new, “white” girl being their child’s teacher. However, through hard work and dedication, I was able to show the parents I was qualified to teach their children, and in turn, the majority of them came to highly respect me. Sometimes it is difficult to communicate with parents who raise, discipline, and love their children so differently than I had been raised or what I think is biblically right. I also found that sometimes I had to step out of my comfort zone to do an activity with the students or families that was more relatable to them.

 

Back to Alumni Profiles

 


Education Career Services
Grove City College | 100 Campus Drive, Grove City, PA, 16127
PH: (724) 458-3397 |
2010 Education Career Services
Maintained By: Deb Snyder | Last Updated: August 2014