1. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    Calling all Teachers!

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Andrae Smith, Oct 15, 2013.

    Hey y'all! I was just wondering how many teachers (current, retired, or aspiring) we have here on the forums.

    So, are you a teacher? Have you been? Do you want to be? What is your subject and why? What grade level do you (want to) teach? What made you decide to teach in the first place?

    Finally, for those with experience, what has your experience been like as a teacher ? Do you have any tips for future teachers?
     
  2. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Are you planning to become a teacher? ;)

    I finished my pedagogical studies last spring, and have worked in high schools and vocational schools alongside my uni studies, so I haven't got a heap of experience. My subject is English, but I'm hoping to minor in French as well 'cause it's always better to have proficiency in more than one language.

    Why? I knew I wanted to study English, in which case you become either a teacher or a translator. The former just felt more interesting to me. My dream is to teach English to IB students.

    One of the most important things I've learned so far is that there is much more to being a teacher than teaching. You need really good social skills, you have to be able to educate those kids in every area of life, not just in your subject. And you have to be quite fearless and confident.
     
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  3. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I'm currently training to be an English teacher, specialist subject is English Literature at A-level and foundation degree level.

    What made me want to teach? Good question. I love my subject, and I would quite like to earn a good wage. You are not allowed to say that second one, but I am. I do honestly enjoy my subject, I do feel a desire to help people in my subject, but the pay is also pretty good, so it works out for me.
     
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  4. mister m.
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    mister m. Member

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    After uni I moved to Wales, as a language assistant. It was a good break, but by the end of the year, some colleagues told me I would be a good teacher. I believed them, went on for the training, and there I was, Mister M. giving detention.
    More seriously speaking, I love my job, actually, I love what it should be, not what it is. The current situation in England makes me want to escape more than to carry on. Many of my colleagues have the same feeling. We are not teachers anymore, we are employees of a government run business.
    Digital result matters more than the kids individual development.
     
  5. Dresden260
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    Dresden260 Corrupt Diplomat

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    I am currently in College to get My History Eductation degree. I'll then go back for my masters XD SO MUCH SCHOOL... Oh wait
     
  6. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    Why yes, yes I am. I see you and I are a lot alike. I spent most of my first year in college trying to learn computer science, but eventually came to the realization (or final acceptance) that I have a passion for teaching. I love English, and I've always excelled in reading comprehension, critical reading, writing, and literary analysis. And I love writing itself. So why not be an English teacher.

    Really I'm sort o fascinated with language mechanics. I'm In my second year of college now and my new major is English literature. And as it happens I am minoring in French (Spanish would be more useful where I am but French teachers always seem to be in demand over here and I love the Language), so that I'll be able to move between the two languages. My dream is to teach AP/IB students in high school as well as coach Shot Put and Discus. Of course I realize I'll probably start out subbing and then in middle school or something like that. >_<

    I definitely know what you mean about needing more than the ability to teach the subject. I've tutored English and french for a few years (though less french in the last 2 years), and I've coached before. The one thing that has always helped me more than knowing the material thoroughly is knowing (or learning) how to connect with my pupils.

    @Lemex I really love this line:
    But seriously, I think a love for the subject is a huge motivation.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2013
  7. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Thanks. I love English too, but I wanted for my sake to point out that teaching isn't absolutely altruistic. People often think it is, but it's not. Teaching is a career. You also need to face the ugly side of things occasionally, especally with high school children, and with my own, slightly older students who are young adults. You need a strong stomach I can tell you. Just as a daily experience I've found that one day can be the best day of your life, while another day can be one you drink to forget.
     
  8. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    That really is good to know (to see spelled out so plainly). Just coming out of my teenage years myself, and having walked solely on the high road, I'll admit I may still have some blinders or biases around youth interactions and behaviors.
     
  9. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Which is why if I ever teach, I would prefer to teach older students (upper-level college and beyond). They tend to be more mature and more interested in the subject matter. Most freshmen and sophomores are just taking intro-level English classes to fulfill a course requirement.
     
  10. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I wouldn't ever want to turn you away from it. I personally love the little tingle of pride and joy when you feel when you know you are helping someone and making a difference. There is a burning in someone's eyes when you can tell, yes they are finally beginning to really appreciate a writer, and even starting to like them. Maybe, you think, maybe they'll go out and buy the writer's books, read them for pleasure, and let those books become a part of their soul. But also, yeah, there is the bitterness of reality too. I'll not go into anything specific here for the sake of decency, but I was like you once.

    The thing I'd really suggest is volunteer at a school, observe some lessons and try to hover around the teachers as much as possible and ask them questions about their life and working style. This will not only help you get onto a teacher training program, you'll also be more aware of what it is you want to end up doing/teaching.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2013
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  11. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    @Lemex Thanks for the wisdom and advice there. I will remember that and get right on it. I actually have been planning to do just that!
     
  12. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Ever thought of teaching in some college or university? Like, linguistics or literature? ‘Cause that’s an option too and the students are a little more… manageable. Then there’s teaching English to immigrants, of course, which might be interesting (though I’d imagine knowing Spanish would help there…)


    That’s cool. You’ll notice how different it’ll be to teach them a foreign language and then their mother-tongue.


    It starts with subbing, which is a little stressful ‘cause you don’t know your class. You get thrown into some random classroom, and the kids know you’re a substitute teacher. Time after time they think it’s somehow possible to get away with acting like a bunch of squirrels on Red Bull when there’s a sub, so it takes a while to get “acquainted” with the class and show them you’re not a doormat. On the other hand, sometimes you get a really, really sweet class and great kids (or teenagers). I’m looking forward to having my own class someday, so that I’d get to know the people there and they’d get to know me.
     
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  13. MainerMikeBrown
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    MainerMikeBrown Contributing Member

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    The closest I've ever been to being a school teacher is when I volunteered at an elementary school for a school year helping third graders with their classwork. It was a good experience for me, as I got to experience what it's like to be a volunteer in the educational field.
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    For a long time I planned to teach math and science at the high school or undergrad level after I retire from the software industry. I still might, although I;m considering other options, Besides, I have no intention of retiring anytime soon.

    I do enjoy helping people find their own learning path. I am not someone who wants to feed knowledge into people like stuffing sausage casings. But increasingly, the institution of education is rote learning oriented rather than process-centric, thanks to the growing role of standardized tests. That does not sit well with me.
     
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  15. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This a US phenomenon? I know you guys have at least SATs.

    Standardized tests have been in sharp decline for a long while over here. More work for teachers, more challenges in assessment, but at least it gives a chance to pupils who don't generally do well in standardized tests. Multiple intelligencies and all that...
     
  16. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    @KaTrian I have considered it, But I feel like teaching in High School has the potential to be the most rewarding for me. I don't just want to "teach English" but really help break the current institutional trend of rote memorization and regurgitation in my sphere of U.S. I want to teach students to "question everything" and to appreciate/value their own thoughts and opinions. That is not to bolster their ego, but to get them to see that the conventionally accepted analysis of "authorized" critics of a text is not the only lens that matters. If I can help them to see that they can learn from everything and that education is about thinking and learning and re-imagining the world, then I'm doing my job.

    Of course that is a tall order and more of an idealist view on things. But it's my vision and I'm sticking to it. I know the reality of teaching is that I probably won't make that kind of difference in students lives or have the time to get that invested, but there's a chance that a few students will take something away from the class besides how to pass a classically-structured, standardized exam. And if I can get into coaching as well I can help push students to challenge themselves and believe in their own ability to maximize their potential.

    Which is why I have to agree with @Cogito 's last statements. BTW Cog. I don't know how you can love software so much. I had only basic programming classes (learning Java), and they handed my but to me. Maybe it was just the class setting; we had to work so fast, learning wasn't the goal, just figuring out what I need to finish each assignment and make the program compile.

    @We Are Cartographers How much experience do you have with Drama?
     
  17. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    So you love the story of history huh? Does any particular period happen to be your favorite? And yeah, that master's degree is becoming essential to set yourself apart now that everyone needs a bachelors as a minimum (associates is like the new h.s. diploma). I'm majoring in English Literature, but if I can convince myself to take more formal education on creative writing I might just make that my focus for my Masters.
     
  18. Dresden260
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    Dresden260 Corrupt Diplomat

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    WWII is my Speciality. Although Anything to do with German Armour will keep me in a lecture for several class periods...
     
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  19. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    Really care to share what the fascination is? Why does it interest you (what about it)? That's the type of stuff that bored me to tears. (No offense!) >_<
     
  20. Dresden260
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    Dresden260 Corrupt Diplomat

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    I'm going to state my opinion. (Don't shoot me if you have a different opinion.) Germany Should have won the war. Plain and simple. The Armour they possessed outclassed everything the Americans, British & Soviets threw at them. Albeit the Soviets should have never been involved in the war in the first place. At least on the Allies side. Germany need oil and there just so happened to be oil fields next to Russia. Instead of listening to Rommel and several others and go through Africa He decided to attack Russia. Russia was only in the war on the term of them gaining land and making money.
    Now if Germany didn't attack them with a different form of a blitz they could of had all if not a majority of their forces fighting the Allies.

    Going back to the armour aspect... The King Tiger & Tiger were the best heavy tanks the germans possessed. There were some plans for super Heavy Tanks called the Maus. (The plant was firebombed and construction was delayed for 8 months) The supposed rumour was it took for shermans to kill a tiger. Still heavily debated. The Battle of Kursk was and still is the largest tank battle and in History some 7k tanks taking part. The Elefant (Favorite Tank Destroyer) Has the highest kill to death ration of war (confirmed) 300:10. 91 of them entered the battle of Kursk 35 left functional...

    Once again I could rant for days XD I don't have the space here.
     
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  21. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    I won't shoot you! (you probably have body armor anyway >_<) No but seriously, I agree. They should have won, and would have too. But Hitler didn't pay attention in history class and essentially made the same mistake that Napoleon did. He tried to fight a war on both sides, and underestimated the difficulty of invading Russia, and it cost Germany the war. It was good for the rest of the world, but it was a tactical case of history repeating itself. :p
     
  22. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm an English teacher at a university in Turkey and I teach a few electives from time to time because my first degree was social history. I've taught young kids in the past and enjoyed it, but I guess I haven't got so much energy now and prefer 18-20 yr old students. I don't think I could cope with a classroom in a state school in England--my sister did for many years, as a music teacher, and the conditions and atmosphere didn't enthrall me, let's say. I really like learning and teaching, although for me, it is/was always the content of the course and pleasure of finding out more, not the way the teacher taught, that was important for me. I suppose ironically I never rated teachers much but still liked lessons!
     
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  23. Lydia
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    Lydia Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm studying to be a primary school teacher (or elementary? Not sure what it's called). My main reason for wanting to teach is because I love being around kids. And knowing that I can teach them something and help mold the person they'll become is great too. I'm not sure yet what age I prefer to teach, but I guess as my experience grows, I'll find out.
    Before I made the decision of going for a teacher's degree, I was doubting between this or history. So eventually, I might still go for the latter and be a history teacher... it'd be the best of both worlds.

    As for any tips... it really has to be what you want. You have to be dedicated. Getting your teacher's degree (at least over here) isn't the easiest thing and it really has to be your passion. Also, social skills and confidence are important. I have no problem standing in front of a class, but I do get nervous with the teacher or anyone else sitting in the back judging me.

    And with that, I probably should go to bed seeing how I have to teach tomorrow. :D
     
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  24. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Lydia, I expect you'll become less nervous about being observed in time. It took me about 7 years to be relaxed with someone in my classroom making notes on me, although occasionally if the lesson starts to go off track it can still be nerve-wracking with a visitor present! I agree with your comment about the dedication--teaching also takes a lot of physical as well as mental energy. I walk around the class a lot and by the end of the day I've probably walked several miles. Good luck with your career!
     
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  25. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Dresden, be careful of interpreting history with the outlook of today. It doesn't work. I disagree with just about everything you wrote, but hey, it's a free world. I don't want to take the thread totally off topic.
     

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