Articles for Teachers
As a long time Supervisor of student teachers, the one thing that institutions of higher learning should incorporate is a longer duration for the student teaching experience. While student teaching internship gives you a tidbit of what teaching in the classroom is like, it does not, prepare the student teacher for the added responsibilities that accompany your primary obligations in the classroom.
Teaching responsibilities include a lot more than planning for lessons, classroom management, parent conferences, and discipline. There are other responsibilities that fall into the hands of teachers during the course of school day as well as beyond the school day.
Let's take a look at a few of some of these additional responsibilities.
In most school districts, every year each teacher is allocated a certain percentage of school district funds for purchasing classroom supplies and/or equipment. The teacher is responsible for formulating the budget based on that percentage as well as maintaining the budget record and receipts for these purchases.
2. Classroom Safety
New safety standards and guidelines have been established in most school districts as a result of the Columbine incident. These new guidelines have posed a new responsibility on teachers for classroom safety as well as procedures that must be followed in the event of an emergency. In addition, some school districts have enforced a requirement that teachers learn CPR procedures.
3. Student Personal Problems
With the increasing number of both parents in the household holding down careers and the expanding number of one parent households, students often come to school carrying a great deal of emotional baggage with them. Teachers have to be prepared to deal with these issues by knowing when to be a sounding board for the student without crossing the line and knowing when to send the student to a qualified professional such as the guidance counselor or school psychologist.
4. Study Hall or Lunch Duty
Some school districts require their teachers to be responsible for policing a study hall or serving on lunch duty in the cafeteria. This is a duty imposed on the teacher's time that is in addition to their regular schedule of classes.
5. Staff Meetings and Curriculum Planning
Most school districts employ a monthly faculty meeting as well as regular curriculum planning meetings. These meetings are often accompanied by a sea of administrative paperwork that is required by the state. The procedure for the paperwork will vary depending upon the state to which you are employed.
In addition to teaching responsibilities, a teacher can also assume the duties of an administrator, sports coach, advisor, or be requested to participate in the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) as well as a variety of community events.
As a first year teacher, being aware of added responsibilities ahead of time will help you to plan ahead. Most of all, remember to take time out for yourself during your first year to prevent yourself from burnout.
Theresa Xanger has over 25 years of experience as an educator and administrator at both the college and public school levels. She served as a Supervisor of Student Teachers for 8 years at the college level, and 6 years as a Cooperating Teacher, which involves mentoring student teachers in a classroom setting. For more information on teaching jobs and teacher's salary, visit http://www.texasteachers.org