Lauren K.

English Teacher
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Lauren K.
English and Related Literature
Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture
United States

My employment

English Teacher
Lake Forest Academy
United States

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A day in the life of a English Teacher in the United States

How I found out about the job

They contacted me

The recruitment process

I was registered with an American teaching agency; Lake Forest Academy found my information on the agency database and contacted me directly. After two phone interviews, I was flown out to Illinois where I spent a day interviewing, teaching, and observing on the campus. I received an offer a week later, and accepted almost immediately.

My career history

I started working at Lake Forest Academy in August of 2010. The school is located in the suburbs of Illinois, just an hour north of Chicago. My responsibilities include teaching four sections of high school English as well as coaching two sports, performing dorm duties, acting as an advisor to five students, and organizing a student-run club.

Where I hope to be in 5 years

I hope to teach in the UK in the next 5 years. I'd possibly like to get my MEd, but ideally I'd like to teach in interesting, new locations.

My advice to students considering work

Don't forget about the general helpfulness of volunteering. By trying out jobs/sectors before you graduate, you can refine what type of career you might like to enter after graduation. There are not many times in your life when you can afford to volunteer, but university is one of them. Explore your options by taking advantage of the York name and talk to your professors/advisors to try to get some prime volunteer positions.

My advice about working in my industry

Make connections in university. You'll have American/international classmates and professors - talk to them about internship opportunities and ways to get work experience in the US. In addition, try to get as much work experience before you come over. In order to be seen as a valuable asset worthy of gaining a work visa, you need to have unique and substantial experiences that you bring to the table.

What I do

My responsibilities as an English teacher include teaching four sections of high school English as well as coaching two sports, performing dorm duties, acting as an advisor to five students, and organizing a student-run club. I must spend at least two hours a day prepping my lessons and correcting assignments. Though the work is very time-consuming, it is also very rewarding.

Skills I use and how I developed them

I believe that the qualification and level of my degree both helped immensely. York's English Department has been ranked in the top for the country (and therefore, the world) many times, and that has proven to be a quantifiable sign of its quality. Going abroad for one's masters does certainly help show that someone is self-sufficient and ambitious, and the study (particularly close reading and research) skills I gleaned while at York really helped develop my overall evolution as a reader and a teacher.

Degree skills:
The ability to guide a discussion without smothering it is a skill I learned while at York. The seminar sessions proved to be informative in regards to proper discussion etiquette as well as analysis of the reading. I also seem to have gained a confidence that I didn't know I had. I became more passionate and lively because of my classes and academic interactions at York.

Extracurricular skills:
Developing people skills has really helped me in becoming a teacher. I've found that the ability to interact with people in a familiar-yet-professional way has contributed to my progression in the teaching field.

What I like most

I enjoy working with fascinating material and helping students to see the intricacies of the language. I also like to help foster life-long learners.

What I like least

Occasionally the time demands can be stressful, and teaching is often a pressurized profession. It's difficult to "have a life" sometimes, and it can be very tiring.

What would I change? I'd like to change the timeline of responsibilities. Often, many requirements will coincide, making it difficult to keep on top of the work.

Next steps...

If you like the look of Lauren’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Lauren a message to find out more about their career journey.

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