Fifth Grade Teacher/Team Leader (Male, Age 27) in Columbia, MD

This is a REAL-LIFE job profile written by a Male aged 27 who works as a Fifth Grade Teacher/Team Leader in Columbia, MD. This professional kindly spent a bit of their time to complete our job profile survey so that prospective job seekers like you could read their insights. Please excuse any punctuation or grammatical errors in this profile.

At a Glance

Current Job

Basic data on your current job

Job TitleFifth Grade Teacher/Team Leader
Salary$55,000
Other Compensation None Set
Hours/Week
Company Size(not answered)
LocationColumbia, MD
Years Experience6 years

Career Ratings

Opinions on your CAREER overall (i.e. not just your current job)

Years in Career0
Education(not answered)
Income Rating0 / 10
Interest Rating0 / 10
Work-Life Rating0 / 10
Fulfilment Rating0 / 10

Table of Contents

Current job Q&A

Describe the type of organization you work for.
The public school that I work for is in a large county. It is one of the biggest in the state. It serves the purpose of educating students.

Describe your job role and responsibilities.
I am in charge of teaching my fifth graders every subject. I also have the responsibility to be a leader/mentor to my two colleagues who also teach fifth grade. I serve on multiple committees. Aside from teaching the students, it has also been required that we have numerous informational nights for the parents as well.

Please list an additional benefits (beyond compensation) that you receive.
Healthcare benefits

Do you feel you are under/over or well/fairly compensated at your current position?
Under comensated

Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Please explain.
I enjoy working with my students and my team mates in fifth grade. I meet with my students everyday, all day. I meet with my team mates in a formal meeting setting about twice a week and informally each day. I dislike having to meet as a full staff as information being presented is not always differentiated based on who needs to hear it. I also dislike meeting with people who hold positions that are important and those people are incompetent.

Do you work collaboratively with supervisors/managers?
Yes

Do you work collaboratively with your co-workers?
Yes

Describe your work location (e.g., office, home, theatre, in the field) and what you like/dislike about working in it.
My school is a pleasant place to work inside of. The building was recently renovated so it is up to standards including technology. The commute to get to work is not that great however. I would prefer a shorter commute to work to and from school.

Please rate each of the following aspects of your current job on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest/best):
Income: 2
Benefits: 6
Hours: 7
Co-Workers: 3
Supervisors: 4
Job Title: 8
Level of Responsibility: 5
The Actual Work: 1

A day in the life of…

Please describe a typical workday for you in your current job:

5am to 6am
6am to 7am
7am to 8amSpent planning for the day. Had to write the agenda on the board for the day, xerox the different materials needed for the students. I checked my email. I also needed to finish getting my sub plans ready for tomorrow and making sure all the materials were ready for that.
8am to 9amI worked with my para-educator to make sure that she was prepared for our math time. I had to check my email and send a few emails with regard to team procedures and preparation of our forms for the children to go to middle school. I had to find the principal interim and make sure she knew I wouldn’t be in school tomorrow and see what the procedures were in case of inclement weather.
9am to 10amThe children arrived and I had to take lunch/attendance, greet the children, answer numerous questions, and talk to them about why we were at school despite the snow. I began the math lesson and sent students to instrumental music. I answered children’s questions and circulated throughout the room.
10am to 11amI brought the children down Gym after reminding them that our day was shortened due to the inclement weather. We went over the knew schedule. I had to remind them to bring their books and lunch because they wouldn’t be back in the room until 12:20. During my planning time, I met with my teammates and discussed lessons and team specific items. I emailed my principal interim back. I answered two phone calls about school leaving early. I graded a lot of papers and double checked my materials for the sub, if indeed there is school tomorrow.
11am to 12pmAt 11, I brought the children from Gym to a computerized reading test at the computer lab. I went and decided to eat lunch with a few friends who had their lunch break during this time. I went back to my room after eating and prepared the Scholastic book orders and then continued to grade papers.
12pm to 1pmI brought the class to lunch and then picked them up at 12:20. I had to help them clean up their area before they could leave the cafeteria. We went back up to the room and I had students pass out a lot of papers that were now graded. We talked about the inclement weather and whether there will be a V-day party tomorrow. The patrols packed up and we spent about 10 minutes packing and cleaning the room.
1pm to 2pmI went out with the car riders and made sure that each got into the appropriate car and all were picked up. After this, I had to go clear off my car and head home, thankful for the shortened day provided by mother nature.
2pm to 3pmHome to rest and take my decongestant. Gathered the garbage and made a few phone calls related to an upcoming vacation. Watched television.
3pm to 4pmBegan doing first load of laundry and cleaning around the apartment. Watched television and sorted through drawers in my desk.
4pm to 5pmPrepared a meal to eat and watched television. Began second load of laundry while folding the first.
5pm to 6pmRead through materials in a cook book to find some new recipes to try out. Watched some television and completed the crossword from the internet.
6pm to 7pmSecond load of laundry into the dryer and the third into the washing machine. Ate some dessert. Watched a little bit of television while perusing materials for a diet program that I am currently a member of.
7pm to 8pmCleaned the kitchen from top to bottom while listening to music. Watched the snow fall and turn to ice. Went outside to lift up windshield wipers so they wouldn’t freeze to the window. Set my alarm for the next morning.
8pm to 9pmWent online to check favorite websites, folded second load of laundry and put third into the dryer.
9pm to 10pmChecked home email account and found this website forwarded from a friend. Began the Career Project questionairres.
10pm to 11pmFinished loads of laundry, got clothes ready for the next day while listening to music. Checked work web page to see if there is work tomorrow or not. Checked to see if a substitute picked up my job. Finished up this questionaire.
11pm to 12amGo to sleep and watch tv in bed until I fall asleep.

How you got your job

How did you get your current job?
University of Maryland set up a job fair with my current county.

What was the application process?
submitted application at job fair and had to be accepted into the county prior to interviewing with specific schools.

Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail?
As stated above, I needed to be accepted by the county prior to interviewing with specific schools. Once accepted, it was up to me to set up interviews with schools that I was interested in. The process required being proactive in locating a position that was comfortable for me.

If you can remember, what questions were you asked during the interview?
Some of the questions dealt with my comfort level with diversity, how I would out-reach to parents in the community, how I would differentiate my instruction for different levels of my students. I was also asked how willing I was to work with others in my grade level. Those were the main questions that I remember.

Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain.
You can never have enough preparation for teaching. My fourth day of teaching was September 11th, and there was nothing that any training could have told me to prepare for that. Initially, I would say no, but as I have continued to stay with my county, the opportunities have arisen to prepare me for the future.

Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
My udergraduate studies and courses at the University of Maryland were the training sessiosn for me prior to teaching. They entailed field work with different grade levels and types of schools. Once I was accepted as a teacher, the trainings have continued. Our county believes that in order to stay current, you need to have continuous learning opportunities and my county provides many of those for me.

Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain.
No. Although the education department at the University of Maryland is rated in the top 20 in the county, I don’t feel that the required courses were all worth while. There wasn’t enough hands on experience in the classroom provided. Some of the content of the courses were so far-fetched and impractical for the population of students that I work with. I was also not aware of the significance of standardized testing at the elementary school level during my college experience.

If applicable, do you feel your internship experience helped you prepare for your job?
See above.

If someone wanted to go about getting a job similar to yours, what would you recommend for him or her to do?
That person would need to go to college and take courses in education. The best thing for prospective teachers is experience in the field. He or she needs to immerse him/herself in the field to see if this is actually the path to follow. Teaching is a much more demanding job due to accountability for test results and meeting Annually Yearly Progress standards according to government regulations. During the interview process, you absolutely need to impress the administration with strong character and a willingness to work collaboratively with others.

What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours?
You need to be flexible. The environment in your class can change on a daily basis with children moving in and out. The students in your class are on different levels so you need to be flexible with your grouping and meeting the needs of all of your students. Priorities of the administration and the leadership team at your school can change pretty consistently as well, so you need to be flexible in adapting. A teacher wears many different hats throughout the year and on a daily basis.

Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
absolutely

What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
See all of the above comments.

Long-term career plans

Is your current employment part of your overall career plan? Why or why not?
It is part of my plan, although I don’t know if I am going to stay at this particular county for the rest of my life. Teaching is what I do, so that won’t change, but the location (particular school) and possibly the county for which I work may change in the future. There are numerous reasons including long commute and uncooperative administration that contribute to this general feeling.

What are your current career goals?
As of right now, my goals are to continue up the pay scale at work and continue my education so that I can stay current with the best teaching practices.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?
N/A

Prior work history

Please list your most recent jobs prior to this current job:

TitleLengthSalaryDescription
Prior Job 1Secretary1 year$6.85/hourWorked as a student secretary at the department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Sent out applications for the graduate program and answered phones.
Prior Job 2Deckhand4 months$5.50/hour?Worked on ferry boats crossing the Great South Bay on Long Island.

Educational background

Please list your educational background:

High School GPA:3.76

GPASchoolDegree
College (Undergraduate)
or Technical/Vocational
3.57University of Maryland, College ParkEducation, BS
Graduate or Professional
(Masters or Doctorate)
3.92McDaniel CollegeCurriculum and Instruction, MS

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