George Young is a fourth-grade teacher working for the Sacramento County Unified School District. Young wears multiple hats as he balances instruction of the mind as well as connecting with his students beyond the classroom walls. With his teaching credential from Sacramento State, Young has soldiered on, faithfully teaching for 35 plus years.
What does your job entail?
“I teach California Common Core reading, math, writing, science and social studies to my class of 9 and 10 year-olds. I need to provide enrichment for advanced students while supporting those who need extra scaffolding for success. I need to find ways to connect children with the world around them. I’ve always tried to find ways of bringing social, scientific and cultural elements into our class. When possible, I bring my class beyond the four walls to see, touch and experience what lies beyond the book. I’m a lecturer, facilitator, counselor, arbitrator, coach, negotiator, disciplinarian and friend, as needed by my children.”
What parts of your job do you enjoy?
“I enjoy making the curriculum exciting and enjoyable for my kids. I love revealing to them the unseen connections between what they are studying and their daily reality. Stories and analogies enliven the lessons and keep my kids engaged throughout the day. Current events are made exciting and help build tomorrow’s citizens. Most of all, I enjoy being there with my kids and for my kids. I tell my parents, “The day I don’t want to be in this classroom is the day your child deserves a better teacher.” That day hasn’t happened yet in over 35 years.”
Do you have any advice for someone wanting to pursue a similar career?
“Only become a teacher if you are ready to envelope yourself in the young lives awaiting you. Don’t do it for the pay, benefits, vacation days or Christmas coffee mugs. Prepare for the unexpected. Learn to accept little disappointments. Don’t be afraid of the challenges you’ll encounter. Do you really want to become a teacher? Become a teacher for the right reasons. Go into teaching if building a child’s confidence, seeing the joy of understanding in a young face and getting a hug completes your day.”
Paulo Acoba is a California native raised in the Bay Area and living in the Central Valley. He enjoys distance running, cycling and grassroots motorsports. He holds a degree in management from the University of California Merced. Paulo has been writing for Examiner.com since 2012 and covering the Fresno area.