Thankyou, sir, for creating time off your busy schedule to grant me thischance to briefly interview you as I seek more information about theteaching profession. As I had expressed earlier in my emails, I amlooking forward to teach in a native reserve school in mission afterI take my early retirement from the navy where I work as alogistician.
Tostart us off, I would like you to share your duties and day to dayexperiences and challenges as a math and counselingteacher at St. Joseph’s School?
Letme first say that I am humbled to have received your emails since fewpeople would bother to find out from the horse’s mouth what theteaching profession is really like. My primary duties are toimplement the math curricula, design measurement tools for students’progress, be a good role model to them, help them solve theiremotional and social problems, help provide solutions tostudent-teacher conflicts and to liaise with the school academicboard to improve learning conditions for students. One majorchallenge is that children of native background and heritage havelearned from their parents to perceive the education system as asystem designed to indoctrinate them. Consequentially, some studentshave developed negative attitudes towards some of the things thatthey are taught in school. My personal experience as a 6th-grademath teacher andcounseloris that some students who underperform tend to believe that thegovernment has fiddled with the math curricula to make it toodifficult for them to grasp. This misplaced notion is even worseamongst older students. In response, I advise the teaching fraternityhas to be patient with students and devise means of making subjectsmore appealing to the students. I also tell students and parents thatthe education we offer is customized with the aim of preserving theirNative culture at the same time empowering them to achieve theirmaximum potential when they become adults.
Whatare the necessary steps do I need to make so that I can make asuccessful transition, and what are my chances of getting a teachingvacancy?
Mythirty-one years in the teaching profession grants me a chance tohave a modest panoramic view of the industry. I have seen a trendover the years, whereby professionals from other careers are takingup teaching as their second career. I have also seen a reverse trendof teachers ditching their profession and taking up other careers.Some site underfunding and budget cuts to the sector by thegovernment. This reverse trend almost guarantees a sure chance ofgetting a vacancy as long as you meet the required qualifications.
Forsomeone who wants to shift professions and join teaching, I wouldadvise that at least fifty percent of their undergraduate degreeshould be relevant to the subject that they would like to teach. Youshould also enrol for or an alternative certification program foryour subject study enhancement. Other requirements are anunderstanding and knowledge of programs for special populations andan annual Child Abuse Reporting Certification. With your currentprofession as a logistician, you can perfectly serve well as a mathteacher going by your current career as s a logistician.
Whatdo you think motivates professionals from other careers to take upteaching in low-income districts in particular schools in nativereserves?
Someprefer to teach in native reserves so that they can further instilAmerican civilization amongst the natives while some just enjoy andappreciate interacting with culture. If you don’t mind, whatcompels you to take up teaching as your second career?
Iam personally compelled by the urge to make a positive contributionback to a society that I believe is the most disenfranchisedhistorically, both socially and economically. From my research, I amaware that children are best influenced during their middle childhoodyears of 6-14. This is the time they get to develop their sense ofidentity and become psychologically alert about their socialenvironment. I would like to help them develop interests,competencies and self-confidence [ CITATION Ecc15 l 2057 ]that would lead towardsindividual advancement and self-appreciation as Native Americans. Imust also admit that being paid a salary while giving back is morethan rewarding to me.
Thatis quite noble you. I rarely meet people with such high levels ofselflessness and social conscientiousness. I would then ask that youcheck with the National Centre for Education Statistics from whereyou will be able to find out which districts register a high numberof high-needs schools. These are the schools that are struggling toretain teachers. Your services will be best appreciated in suchschools.
Iwill also finally recommend that you have a talk with a good friendof mine who was a banker before joining the teaching profession. I amsure you will find his experiences quite informative.
Iappreciate the reference and your time to speak to me, sir. Throughyour insights, I am better informed and even more encouraged to makethe career switch as soon as I will be ready.
Eccles, J. S. (2015, March 21). The Development of Children Ages 6-14. Retrieved October 10, 2016, from The Library Book: https://www.thelibrarybook.net/pdf-the-development-of-children-ages-6-to-14.html