I begin before the beginning. A paper must be written and research papers always need to be introduced before they really begin. The first few paragraphs exist only to set up the real beginning where all the ideas that must be conveyed exist. The introduction is like the bread that presents the sandwich. Without an introduction this paper would be too messy; the meat of the sandwich would get all over the place. As I look down at all my sociology notes taken throughout the year, I familiarize the topic to myself once again. My mind thinks out-loud: I must write about my future career and the inevitable problems I will face; I must discover some of the unintentional consequences and relate them to what I have learned over the semester. As I ponder this research paper topic, I soon realize that it may be more difficult than I expected. You see, I have no clue what type of sandwich I want; maybe a turkey and cheese, or a BLT, or maybe just a traditional. I’m in my second year at UH and have still not declared a major nor due I have any idea of an intended major, so how am I going to write a research paper about my future career. I can barely look toward the future within college much less after college. I understand that no one really knows for sure what they will be doing in their future career. If they did end up perfectly in the career they had planned on submitting themselves to, I believe that they were too close-minded. They probably did not consider the twists and the problems that society gave them on their way.
The last sentence that I just wrote caused me to realize that maybe I’m missing the idea of the paper. This is not a research paper about my preferred career, and to be more direct, nor do I need to have any knowledge about any specific career. Instead of observing my aspirations and desires for my future, I must observe the possible dilemmas that will be faced. The main idea that I’m trying to express is that I need to be conscious of these dilemmas and prepare how I will come to a decision when faced. It doesn’t matter what career is chosen because every career has its set of problems.
It may seem impractical to prepare decisions for dilemmas that I do not yet have knowledge of, and although this is true, it is, if not practical, at least reasonable to prepare my mind. By applying the theories learned throughout the semester I can make ethical decisions when faced with unintended consequences or simply steer clear from them to begin with.
How do I determine what types of problems I will need to deal with? Our society is littered with social problems. I believe it is safe to assume that every social problem our society deals with as a whole will exist, or at least represent, the dilemmas that we face in our careers. In the experience of my career, I will coexist with many others to form the society within my career. Some problems within my career’s society will be well known and seem commonplace, and almost habitual, to deal with. The reason this is bad is because these kind of problems have become habitual to deal with. Instead of making thought-out decisions about the problem, ignorance and precedent make the decision for us, leaving the “decision” maker with no second thoughts about it. Well-known problems that are treated like this will loose their importance and soon create indifference. Other problems within the society of our careers may be more subtle and, not only harder to notice, but harder to confront. This is difficult because the consequences created by the problem are difficult to fix and usually become accepted as part of how the society works. An idea of fatalistic resignation is formed and the victims of the problem consider it just an unlucky misfortune. This is very ignorant since the way society works runs parallel to how we, as individuals, act. Then again, this ignorance can be traced back to the paradox of society in man and man in society.
Most, if not all, of the world’s social problems exist in our careers: race, gender, poverty, education, drug abuse, crime, etc.. The issue of race can be seen as a problem in a number of different views. Racism is one type of problem the existence of race can give to our careers. An individual’s opinion about a certain race cannot be changed, only influenced. Actions that the individual makes while interacting others can only be monitored by force of law and not even effectively without infringing on that individual’s freedom. Therefore, those who are biased toward certain races create a problem in our careers that leads to unfairness.
Another view that race can be presented is the issue of a “pride of race”. A “pride of race” causes pressure on the individuals of that certain race to live up to its values and expectations. In our careers, an individual may be acting how their race expects them to act rather than making decisions based on their own judgement. The problem can even deepen when those individuals believe that they are using their own judgement and the “pride of race” has enslaved them into the person they have become. The issue of sex runs practically parallel to the issue of race. An individual’s greed, although not considered a social problem per say, will cause many people to face dilemmas in their careers; dilemmas that cannot be decided by law, but must be ethically decided by the accused.
Obviously there are many problems that develop in our careers and not even a paper could get through all of them. Problems occur in so many different ways for many different reasons and others can even be difficult to acknowledge. Now that the existence of problems has been established, I must press on.
Problems are expected. It is obvious that the society within your career will have problems. We are people and we have not yet created the perfect system that can run smoothly without flaws. Problems create consequences. As an individual, I must use caution when faced with either a problem or the consequence it has caused. As an example lets say that I’m employed in a career that has been stereotyped as a male profession. One of my co-workers happens to be a woman. I know this women only professionally and have worked with her for a year and a half. She does her job well, maybe even better than I do (as a male). I respect her for her commitment to the company. You can probably see where I’m going with this example. Lets say that my boss is a male and that I have worked under him since I’ve been with the company. I go out to eat with him weekly and even occasionally play golf with him on weekends. I can tell by his comments and actions that he strongly agrees with the stereotype of his company that it’s not traditionally a female position. One day he offers me a higher position and a raise if I would terminate her employment and take over some of her work.
Now there are a few issues in this example that needs to be noted. The first, and most obvious, is the issue of sex. Obviously this woman has done nothing to deserve what my boss wants. I well know that my boss just want to get rid of her because she is female, and maybe because it would cost the company less. Another issue is the idea of greed. A career serves an individual the opportunity to move up on the economic ladder. Greed can take over a person and override their normal values. What they have always considered unethical suddenly does not apply. Surely many people get laid off so no one would notice, and once I’ve terminated her, I won’t ever see her again. Once greed takes over, this situation seems trivial. What must be remembered is that she is a person just like I am. It’s not trivial; it’s wrong, and problems like this happen all the time. Situations like this example is why all social problems continue to exist, especially in our careers. Even though most problems are much more complex and the issue cannot be this easily identified, the same, most of the time more, ideas apply.
Most of the time there is no clear-cut line between what is ethically right and wrong. Our careers may face us with dilemmas that place everyone as a victim and the only way out of the dilemma is to lay the entire burden of the problem onto one individual. Make just one person suffer and the rest survive instead of having everybody slowly suffer from the problem. This highly debatable situation is known as “life boat” ethics. When a decision cannot be made, a Procrustean view may take its place. This is where the individuals of the society are molded and reformed to fit in with the problems.
So far I have bubble-wrapped the instincts of humans. How horrible can people be to each other and what is their reasoning for their actions? In my future career I will come across many “goal-oriented” people. They may be stopping at nothing and no one to reach it. Although, it may not necessarily be to reach a goal. The means to get to it may be what gives them pleasure and the goal serves more of an excuse for their actions. This creates many problems. It first off directly affects those who are victims of this person’s ruthlessness. Also, this person enjoys the process of reaching their goal but once they have arrived, he or she does not enjoy or even desire to serve the goal’s purpose. This results in the goal being worthless and no one ends up benefitting.
Now as a young college student I have high ambitions that are quite innocent from the career world we will soon face. College students all over the campus have dreams of becoming great lawyers or owning their own business or becoming a great sociologist. We want to do what we want and to do it well. We want to take pride in our careers. It is most important for us to hold on to our pre-career ambitions before they had a chance to be corrupted by the many problems that exist. Many people get sucked into the consequences of the career world and loose their old ideas. Yes maybe they are employed at a better position, and yes maybe they have three houses and a Ferrari, or maybe not. If we can’t prepare ourselves for the problems and if we can’t free our minds from the control placed on us we will end up working in “bad faith”. Our careers will no longer be our ambitions but instead be an obligation.
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A Career in Teaching
Teachers have become an essential part in children’s lives. No matter the type, teachers have turned into a redundant need for schools and education. They have one of the most important occupations, to prepare the individuals that grow up to become leaders and citizens of this world. Requirements for teachers vary, and with different wages and fields, teachers help students learn about life.
Teachers come into children’s lives to help them learn and grow through life and education, teaching a variety of skills; some of these include academic, social, emotional, and motor skills (“Elementary school teachers”). Through these taught skills, students can learn how to become smart, functioning individuals. Many teachers take the the extra time to help struggling students, through additional help, tutoring, or meetings with parents. Teachers take the time to focus on each student and often figure out their strengths and weaknesses. Their occupation revolves around helping children grow and become better. They often teach life lessons, such as what to do after school and how to handle college. Also, life skills like how to read and write, or write a check. Teachers have one of the most helpful occupations and teach the necessary tools for students to succeed in life.
Becoming a teacher requires many different things. One of the most important requirements needed for teaching includes having good people skills. A person that wants to become a teacher has to talk to children and have a high amount of patience. Teachers have to work with both children and adults in an orderly fashion. Also, an easily angered person does not fit the best option of people to become a teacher. Teachers must remain calm in stressful situations and stay grounded to handle the situation. Aspiring teachers need to earn a bachelor’s degree at the very least, which they can obtain through at least four years of college. A teacher can choose from a wide variety of majors that relate to teaching topics. Also, achieving a teaching degree requires that the student take part in student teaching. During student teaching, a college student will go shadow a real teacher and learn how to interact with children and the way that an average teacher’s day goes. One must also have a state license or certificate in order to become a teacher. In achieving this certificate, a person must take a general teaching test called a praxis. Also, to obtain a state teaching license, a person must obtain a background check (“Becoming a Teacher”). Becoming a teacher takes a wide variety of needs.
When becoming a teacher, many different pathways and careers exist for a person to pursue. Three of the biggest occupations of teachers include elementary school teachers, middle school teachers, and high school teachers, or secondary teachers. Special education and postsecondary teachers have also remained widespread, but not as popular as regular schooling teachers. In 2014, all teachers earned an average of $42,440 annually in North Carolina with special education teachers receiving the highest pay (Employment and Annual Wages). Some of the best habits for affective teachers include finding joy in others’ success, to embrace humility, and maintain passionate and playful(Wormeli). The paths to become a teacher often vary.
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Elementary school teachers work with children from kindergarten to sixth grade. These teachers design the courses and lesson plans that they teach and prepare students for higher schooling. Elementary teachers usually teach every subject to one group of children. These teachers spend an average of thirty-six hours in the classroom, with extra hours added for the time spent outside of the classroom grading papers or supervising school events (“Elementary School Teachers”). The median pay for elementary school teachers in 2014 exceeded $53,760. Also, in 2014,1,517,400 elementary school teaching positions existed (“Kindergarten and Elementary”). The employment rate for these kind of teacher in North Carolina ranges from 27,340 and 144,200. Elementary schools have an industry employment percentage of 16.16 (“20-2021 Elementary”). Elementary school teachers can make a huge difference in a young child’s life and teach them all of the basics.
Middle school teachers also occupy a large portion of the field of education. These teachers educate children from grade six through grade eight. Middle school teachers prepare children for high school and teach further skills. The median pay for this occupation in 2014 averaged $54,640 (“Middle School Teachers”). Middle school teachers usually work five days a week for nine or ten months out of the year. Usually having summers off, unless working at summer school, middle school teachers use those months to work odd or part time jobs. Middle school teachers design the lessons and usually teach only one certain subject. These teachers often work for more than forty hours with the time spent teaching and the hours they put in outside of school, grading papers and working on lesson plans (“Secondary and Middle School Teachers”). Middle school teachers mainly prepare children for high school and teach skills needed in the everyday world.
High school teachers remain essential in with lives because of their job to prepare students for life after graduation. These teachers get students prepared to go to college or for real jobs. High school teachers teach grades nine to twelve. 961,600 people taught in high school positions in 2014. The median pay in 2014 averaged $56,310. High school teachers design their courses and teach one certain subject. Often teaching a wide variety of students, for instance one class may only contain ninth graders, but a mix of eleventh and twelfth graders in the next class (“High School Teachers”). High school teachers have the important job of preparing students and giving them the skills they need to achieve post graduate life.
Some other professions of teaching include special education and postsecondary. Special education teachers specialize in the instruction of students with certain disabilities, including physical, mental, learning, and emotional disabilities. These teachers create their lesson plans based on the capabilities of the individuals that they teach. Special education teachers will often work with therapists or a teacher’s aid to help them with the impaired students. Also, these teachers must work with student’s parents to discuss the child and how to assess them. These teachers usually average thirty-six hours in the classroom per week. Special education teachers may stay in one school or travel to hospitals, homes, or institutions to help disabled children (“Special Education Teacher”). Special education teachers get paid the most out of any teaching profession, at an average, annual wage of $61,350 (“Employment and Annual wages”). Special education teachers have to have flexibility with their students and must work around their disabilities. Postsecondary teachers work in colleges and universities. These teachers design the courses taught and often only average twelve to sixteen hours in the classroom per week. Postsecondary teachers become apart of a certain department based around their field of teaching. They spend a minimal amount of hours teaching in the classroom and only work about nine months out of the year. With summers free for postsecondary teachers, they often spend the time traveling, or composing books and articles, endorsed by the university that they teach at. Postsecondary teachers prepare college and university students for the jobs that the students strive for.
Teaching careers will likely increase in demand within the next couple of years. The job outlook from 2014 to 2024 for all teaching careers predicted to rise at 6%, the average outlook for most jobs. The large numbers of incoming students enrolling in school has made the predicted job outlook rise (“Elementary School Teachers”, “Middle School Teachers”, “High School Teachers”). For elementary school teachers the predicted employment change from 2014-2024 landed around 87,800 (“Elementary School”). Middle school teaching employment change from 2012-2024 supposedly should level around 36,800 (“Middle School”). While high school employment change became predicted to land around 55,900 (“High School”). The elementary field has the highest predicted amount of incoming teachers.
For Lori Broome, a third grade teacher’s aide, an average day can stay very busy. She begins her day with morning duty rotations, which may consist of outdoor car duty or indoor monitoring of students, but on non-duty weeks, teacher’s assistants may grade papers or do other needed tasks. For two weekdays, Mrs. Broome, alternates helping two other teachers. She stays with one all morning, then switches to the other teacher in the afternoon. During times when she does not stay with another teacher, Mrs. Broome assists children who may risk falling behind, through reading, math, or homework help. Whilst working with the morning teacher, she mainly works with small groups, doing math or reading. After lunch, Mrs. Broome takes her students to recess, then to afternoon enhancements, such as physical education, art, or music. Then, she goes to help her afternoon teacher with sorting, filing, grading or passing out papers, while the students take their afternoon enhancements. To finish off the day, she puts homework, important documents, or other needed papers in the student’s folders. Then, she helps children with activities or with work they may lack in, while they wait to go home. Some of these activities include working with small groups, reading out loud, and do science projects. Mrs. Broome’s day often stays very busy and remains packed full with things to do (Broome). Most teacher’s days stay busy and work stays a number one priority.
Ensuing a teacher’s aide career, Mrs. Broome’s job only required a two-year or associate’s degree. She took general education classes to fulfill her elective requirements. Not completely knowing what she wanted to do as an adult, Mrs. Broome only finished with an associate’s degree, which happened to exceed the minimum of what she needed for a teacher’s aide position. As a teacher’s assistant, Mrs. Broome’s job does not require work or hours outside of school. Occasionally, she takes papers home, but often has no work outside of school (Broome).
Mrs. Broome faces many satisfying moments and other not so satisfying moments as a teacher’s aide. She says that one of the absolutely most satisfying moments of her job happens when she can “fill the gap”. “The gap between teacher and student, the gap between the student and peers, the gap between student and home life” (Broome). Mrs. Broome loves choosing to help children. Another satisfying part of her job happens when she can build up children’s self confidence and give them the attention that they seek, in which they often do not get at home. She has learned that often times when the students misbehave, it usually occurs due to them seeking individual attention. She enjoy spending one on one time with each student and teaching them social skills that may help them to get along better with their peers and function better in the classroom. One of the more dissatisfying parts of Mrs. Broome’s job deal with the state standards and having to oblige by them. Not having the availability and time to help children who fall behind before tests occurs too often and remains a very disappointing part of teaching for Mrs. Broome. Students do not have enough time to adequately prepare for standardized tests, because some students require more attention in studies than others. She says that if she could change something about teaching that it would revolve around the tests and the state standards (Broome). As a teacher, difficulties arise that a person often cannot make different or change.
One of the most challenging parts of Mrs. Broome’s job deals with the fact that time never stays sufficient enough. Knowing that students need help and with a little extra encouragement they could succeed, but unable to provide them with the time to help remains devastating for Mrs. Broome. Also, knowing that without help the child may eventually just give up and start to hate school, learning, and often themselves. She says that not having the ability to “save” all of the students enlists as extremely challenging.“ ‘No Child Left Behind’…great motto, but there are some that should be left behind so that they can stand a chance to catch up” (Broome). It can devastate and challenge an individual at the same time, not having the ability to help.
Mrs. Broome got to teaching in what she calls a very unconventional way, but that she definitely had the needed skills. She says that to become an educator a person must love children and make that their number one priority. If you love a child, you accept them, no matter their quirks and annoyances. Mrs. Broome believes that many teachers have never had the love for or have forgotten how to love the “whole” child. Some of the important and needed skills that she discussed include grace, acceptance, love, kindness, lots of patience, and a great sense of humor (Broome). Many teachers believe that different requirements and skills remain needed, some more than others.
Teaching, a constant commitment that never stops. “You eat it, you sleep it, you love it, you hate it, you worry about it, you brag about it, you praise it, you praise yourself for what you do, you amaze yourself, you disappoint yourself, others astound you, others disappoint you, you make a difference. You have the power to change a life. You have the power to make another human being better, but you also have the power to tear another human being down” (Broome). Mrs. Broome views teaching very highly and takes her job very seriously as most people should. She believes that teachers change the world. A teacher’s world may change by a student, just as much as a student’s life can change by a teacher (Broome). Teachers make differences every single day in student’s lives.
Teaching, often called a hard and strenuous job, but if done in the right way it can will remain enjoyable. Many different types of teachers have varying wages and requirements. Teachers change children’s lives, hopefully for the better. They help children learn, figure out themselves, and possibly become something great. Behind every great man, woman, or leader, a great teacher stands. Without teachers, the earth would fill with senseless people who lack intelligence. The world would have no new technologies, leaders, innovators, or developments. Teacher’s have created incredible human beings needed for this world to strive. They educate students and make the earth better.