Provide background and information about a career that required a college degree or special training.

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Teaching is a job that requires at least a bachelor's degree and special certification, depending on which state you live in. My official title is a general education teacher, but I am also the gifted and talented facilitator on my campus.  I have a bachelor's degree with a double major in English and history and a minor in education.  I completed a semester of student teaching and also had to take certification tests for the state of Texas for English, history, reading, and general education for grades 6-12. 

As a middle school English Language Arts and Reading teacher, my job responsibilities include lesson planning, instruction, monitoring student academic success, and communication with parents and administration. A typical work day lasts from 8:15 am to 4:15 pm, and the work week lasts from Monday to Friday; of course, teaching often results in work after hours grading papers as well.  The job itself is phenomenal--if you enjoy working with young people, leadership, and collaboration.  The potential income for this job greatly depends upon the district you work for, but in Texas, a beginning teacher's salary starts at $33,755, but many districts also offer signing bonuses and matching annuity programs. 

A huge bonus for being a teacher is the vacation time; having the same holidays as your children and getting most of the summers off is a definite perk.  My advice to a person interested in the teaching profession would be to consider which area they would most like to teach and to major in that area in college; it is also a huge asset to have experience with a second language like Spanish when applying for teaching jobs because it makes you more marketable to diverse districts.  One mistake that people commonly make that impedes their opportunities for advancement is to be set in their ways; the field of education is constantly changing with new data, technology, and teaching strategies.  A successful teacher must be willing to be a life-long learner.  I highly recommend the field of teaching; it is an incredibly challenging, but rewarding career path.


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