I have been asked "Why do you want to be employed at your hometown schools?" I could give many answers but feel like I am rambling. Please help.
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As someone who does teach in his hometown school, I can say that there are some positives and negatives. As a kid, I figured out that I wanted to stay around my hometown and that I wanted to teach at the high school that I attended. As a teacher at that school, I can say that I am happy to feel like I'm doing something that benefits my community (at least I hope) and am proud to carry on the tradition that I was part of as a student. However, of course, things look a bit differently as an educator than they did as a student... the bloom comes off the rose a bit as they say... and also as for anyone who would be a young teacher that is considering teaching in their hometown; they may wish to consider the fact that they are not all that far removed from their past in that town and that school... Hopefully there is nothing there that would give cause for concern; but still worth considering.
If you think of teaching as a mode of participating in your community or as a way to give back to your community, then teaching in your home town makes perfect sense. Rather than adopting a new community by teaching in a new town or city, teaching in your own home-town is a way to give back quite directly.
Having a knowldege of the local issues for teens and children in your home-town also helps you relate to the students and vice versa. I grew up in a rural area and did my first teaching in an urban area. Though my dedication to the profession would have been the same anywhere I taught, my ability to relate to my students certainly suffered because I did not have the same background and kind of childhood my students did.
Being a good teacher is also about being a part of the community in which the school exists. You already know the community, so you can relate to students in a way in which other teachers, who live in other communities, cannot.
Working in the hometown school might be a good way to start a career in education. Teaching is a hard job. There are many issues a new teacher has to explore as he begins his path in education. If a young teacher needs to begin in a place that is comfortable for him, then the hometown might be the place to start.
My grandmother always said: If it was good enough for me, it is good enough for you. Modern translation---value what one has. The hometown holds loyalty, friendship, familiarity, family: things to hold in high regard in the early stages of a profession.
A new teacher needs a good support system. Familiarity with the school system is certainly a plus for that issue. Knowing the students, and faculty encourages the new teacher to ask questions and find answers from people he trusts and that offers much needed security. Many times a former teacher will take his old student under his wing and make life for both more interesting.
Being close to family and friends offers a new teacher a life outside of school. If a beginning teacher finds himself in an unfamiliar school and town setting, isolation and even depression could filter into the new career. Saving money in the beginning might mean living at home or in a place that one knows where to find the best bargains.
Of course, there is something to be said for broadening the horizons and striking out for new places. However, there is nothing wrong in visiting those places and then living and working where the person already knows the layout of the land: home.
As Martha Stewart says, "It's a good thing!"
I worked at a small-town school for years, and a sizable percentage of the people there were locals. For many of them, it was a matter of opportunity--the school system was one of the few organizations hiring college-educated people. But I also think that a lot of them took pride in working at their old school, for the reasons mentioned already in this thread. A lot of them were coaches and club advisors for teams and clubs they had participated in when they were kids. From a teacher's perspective, its pretty gratifying (if also a bit odd at first) to have former students come back and work as your colleagues, and that happened a lot too.
Like many college-age students, I was ready to get out my small hometown and begin a new life away from my parents at an out-of-town college. I did just that, and spent the next 35 years attending school and teaching there. I have since relocated to my home town, and though I am not currently teaching at my old high school, I always thought it would be great to do so. The comfort level would be high; teaching the sons and daughters of my former classmates would be terrific; and the chance to teach at my alma mater would be a fulfilling way of paying back the school for the excellent education I received.
I think loyalty and a desire to give back to the community would be the biggest draws to returning to your hometown to teach. Additionally, I could see a sense of nostalgia playing a role in someone making this decision as well. From a less positive perspective, I could also see someone who had a bad school experience wanting to return home to either make things better for future students or to prove themselves in a way they couldn't as a student.
My answer to your question would be that yes, I feel a sense of loyalty to the school system which I attended. As part of my answer, however, I would talk about the great education I received from warm, perceptive and knowledgeable teachers. By emphasizing the education which served you so well and the people who lovingly provided that education, you focus on what you really want, which is to be a part of that same system and be one of those caring teachers. You want to provide what was given to you. I agree that being familiar with the strengths helps you build from the best part of the school, and you would be in a position to come in and help sooner than someone from outside the area who would have to learn all the things you already know.
My answer would be as follows.
First, I would say that there is a sense of loyalty, because the school is in the town in which I grew up. Therefore, there is a sense of love for the school and the people in the town.
Second, I would say that I am familiar with the strengths and weakness of the school system. Therefore, I would be a good candidate on how to work on the weakness and enhance the strengths of the school.
Third, I would say that I know the type of students that are in the school and how to reach them. The reason for this is once again rooted in the fact that I know the town well.
As someone teaching in my local community, I love feeling that I am able to help the people in the area I live. I love knowing the quality of the school system my children will attend. The only downside that I can find isthe lack of privacy off hours. At each community festival or grocery store, I can almost always be sure to run into a student or parent. While normally this is not a big deal, this can be tough when you are trying to have a special night out.
A sense of belonging is a natural and fair support for a teacher when starting the career or at some point in its development. Teachers share and offer in their job, loyalty is due. As a young teacher in my hometown I felt that I could make my parents proud of my work, I can help the families I grew next to by dedicating my energy to educating their children or grandchildren . Meeting parents and discussing different issues that come up in school, very often did I hear them remember of my own family and this helped the bonding. Connecting to the people present in school is a must for any teacher especially in elementary schools and having this advantage is a plus, of course. No mention of the disadvantages, which are few, because the question does not not ask for them.
I think ultimately by being in our 'own schools' we are giving back to our community. Nothing could be better, especially if we plan to continue living there, put down roots and also bring up our families in such a milieu.
I have taught in this middle school for 13 years. I live onemiler from the school. I enjoy running into my students in different places. I get to see them and sometimes their parents in a different arena. To me there isnothing like it.
Being a high school dropout I wouldn't. Too many people there would remember me and I would remember them. I obtained my degree and credential late in life.
If however you had a great experience at your hometown school it might be very good for you. You already understand the pecking order and what make things work there. Polotics and connection are what make the school go-round.
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