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mrteacherguy mrteacherguy is offline
 
Joined: Jul 2013
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mrteacherguy
 
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 64
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Math teacher or interventionist
Old 03-03-2018, 11:32 AM
 
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I've been teaching science for the last few years, and have realized that while I enjoy learning about science, I don't really care for it at my current grade level (6th). I would really like to go back to teaching math, and have several possibilities; one in my district at a "choice" school teaching 7th or 8th grade math, and one in a different district as a math interventionist.

The idea of being a math interventionist is not one I'd ever considered. So I'm still trying to figure out what I feel about the offer.

The pay is pretty comparable for the two positions, so it really comes down to which one is going to be a better fit.

Anyone have any experience or advice they can share about being an interventionist vs being a regular classroom teacher?


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Haley23 Haley23 is online now
 
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Haley23
 
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Old 03-03-2018, 12:09 PM
 
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I'm a sped resource teacher, so not quite the same, but I do pull small groups of students all day like our interventionists do. I'd love to get into intervention and not have to deal with the sped paperwork/meetings!

Pros:
-Often behavior can be easier to manage because the work is on the student's level and they feel more successful. Although this doesn't apply to me in sped, many schools have limited student spots for intervention and therefore won't send a child with severe behavior issues who isn't going to get anything out of it/may ruin the rest of the group. You'll obviously be dealing with a lot of kids who are frustrated with the subject matter, but unlikely to be dealing with a child who is throwing chairs at you and destroying the room.

-It's nice to be able to teach to the level of students in front of you, rather than in the classroom when you have to move through the standards and/or pacing guide knowingly leaving many students behind.

-Along the same lines, it's very rewarding to be able to help students who would otherwise be lost in a regular classroom. It's great to see their progress.

Cons:
-In the schools I've worked in, non-classroom positions are often less respected, always by teachers and sometimes by admin and parents too.

-In some schools, interventionists are often pulled to sub for classroom teachers who are absent. My new admin put a stop to that this year, but last year it was happening multiple times per week. My previous school even pulled them to do things like get state testing materials ready. I'd ask about how consistent the instructional schedule is and what, if any, other responsibilities you might be pulled from teaching for.

-This may be a non-factor in secondary anyway, since you don't have the same kids all day long, but I do miss having "my class/my kids" as a classroom teacher. I have good relationships with the students I work with, but it's just not the same.

-Do you know what kind of materials you'll have in the intervention position? Would you have your own classroom/instructional space? In many buildings, rooms are shared or you may even be teaching from a cart. You may also have no curriculum/materials provided, or on the other hand you may have a scripted program that you're required to implement "with fidelity." Although scripted programs certainly make things easy on you, most teachers don't like not being able to use any of their own creativity. If these aren't questions you've already asked, I would make sure you know the answers prior to accepting a position.


Other things to think about:

How much of an "expert" do you feel like with teaching math? Are you comfortable coaching other teachers or at the very least, helping if they come to ask you how to support a struggling student? In some schools, interventionists are expected to run PD and provide coaching. Even if formal coaching isn't required, you can expect to have teachers ask you for support.

You will get out of some tasks as an interventionist, since you won't have to deal with things like grading and report cards. You may have extra free time on days where there are field trips or special activities (again, perhaps doesn't apply to secondary). On the other hand, you will be "on" when teaching all day long. You will need to plan a lot more since you will be doing direct instruction the entire day. There will never be a time when you're just giving a test or having students work independently.
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