COMPLETELY overwhelmed

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by USMCTCHR, Jul 14, 2007.

  1. USMCTCHR

    USMCTCHR Companion

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    Jul 14, 2007

    There is SO much to do and plan for. One of my major dilemmas is that our district hires most of the new teachers right before school starts or even a week or two after!! (after they get their enrollment numbers in.)

    I'm almost positive I have a job, but haven't signed a contract yet. (So, I don't want to do a TON of work and not get hired or get called for another grade level.)

    What can I do now to help me if I DO get hired. I know the standards and for the most part, what order I would teach them in.

    Should I go ahead and type up what my procedures would be, rules, etc. So at least I am prepared to start the class?

    There are so many things I know I want to do, but REALLY can't prepare for them because it's a possibility I'll get called for a different grade. (or not at all!)

    Is it inevitable that my first year be total chaos? :confused: I'm a VERY organized person, so it is driving me insane that I can't have everything typed up and ready to go! I am going in to talk to the principal in about a week, so I should know more then. But, I'm starting to freak out! I want to do meaningful lessons, but they do take awhile to plan. I think I am most worried right now about classroom management and having procedures, etc. in place so that I can start off strong with those. Any suggestions?
     
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  3. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Jul 14, 2007

    That's a tough spot to be in, but one many teachers are in- often many times. I would go to the library and check out the children's or young adult section. Start reading books that look like good read alouds. If you are dying to go shopping, tubs, bins, small containers, etc. are useful at every grade level.
     
  4. Mrs.Gould

    Mrs.Gould Comrade

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    Jul 14, 2007

    I know how you feel, and I already know what I'll be teaching in the fall. This is my first year at a new school. I taught 6th for one year before, but only English. This year I will be teaching ELA, Math and Science. I am also a very organized person and already find myself going crazy about all the things I need to do. I just keep reminding myself that when I got hired the first time, I only had the last two weeks before school started to do anything and I had a great year! So, even though I know it's hard, try not to worry! You'll be amazed at what you can do in such a short time when you know it needs to get done! Good luck!
     
  5. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Jul 14, 2007

    This happened at our school last year. I think she was hired at the end of the week & started on Monday. A couple of us went in & helped her get situated over the weekend.

    Hopefully, if this happens to you, you'll have a supportive team. Think about your procedures, what would be the same no matter what grade level you will teach? Keep your rules general so that they cover everything and most of all relax.
     
  6. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    Jul 14, 2007

    There are many things you can work on that would be transferrable - I'd caution against doing to much content-based work until you know you're grade level! :)

    But don't worry, that actually still leaves a lot!

    Think through procedures - how do you want your class to run? How will you handle supplies? Pencil sharpening? How will you get the classes attention? There are many threads here that could help you get your procedures in place - and that would be a big chunck of work done.

    Think through how you will organize your teaching - you will have many different preps *eek* (my hat is off to all elem teachers) - do you want to use binders? folders? tubs? Will you create your own lesson plan template on the computer? (you could go ahead and do that) will you use a program? will you use a paper planner? How will you organize/store your handouts?

    How will you organize/display your classroom library?

    How will you assess student learning? Will you use total points or weighted percentages? Rubrics?

    Shopping: can't imagine any classroom running without glue and colored pencils - you can shop the sales for generic supplies/storage if you're itchy ;)
     
  7. USMCTCHR

    USMCTCHR Companion

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    Jul 14, 2007

    I guess I SHOULD be more concerned about actually GETTING the job first! :rolleyes:

    Thanks! It helps to know it can be done.
     
  8. USMCTCHR

    USMCTCHR Companion

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    Jul 14, 2007

    I do have an idea about morning work, procedures, homework, etc. I suppose I should type up my procedures. I thought about preparing some first day activities because I could change those up a little if the grade level would change.

    I'm terrified I'll get called for kind. I would take the job, but I feel there is SOOOOO much more prep work for that age. (Much more detail and I don't have much experience with that age. Plus creating centers would take FOREVER!)

    I do think I am going to go buy some bins and other supplies I know that I can use at anytime or even at home.
     
  9. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    Jul 14, 2007

    Some advice to the perpetually organized (which I am SO not) - there is something to be said for 'going with the flow' and not over-planning. You want to be able to adjust yourself to the needs and mood of your class. I found my first year, many times the class was moving at a different pace (sometimes slower, sometimes faster) than I had planned for. I began to plan a little less and make my plans more 'flexible' - I'd plan units/lessons more like 'day 1' then 'day 2' with what we'd be doing, but not so much as to when those days would occur. Good luck! :)
     
  10. dumbdiety

    dumbdiety Comrade

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    Jul 14, 2007

    Get your procedures and rules done. Content, obviously, can't be done until you know what grade you have!
    But at least you KNOW you'll be in a room somewhere! My first year was last year, and I was literally hired the day BEFORE the kids came in! I walked into my classroom for the first time with my students and since I had NO idea I'd be on my own (this was a special student teaching program where they threw you under the bus...) I had NOTHING ready! But I survived! You will as well! :)
     
  11. amarshall

    amarshall New Member

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    Jul 15, 2007

    Just think of the uncertainty as an introduction to this career field! Every day there is an element of uncertainty awaiting you, but even the hyper-organized can adjust and survive! I was hired 2 days before students came. All summer I collected books, racks, bins, and dollar store teaching supplies--borders, posters, awards, etc--with the hope that I would have my own classroom. All of these little preparational steps helped me make the most out of the limited time that I had to create an inviting and productive learning environment! Good luck :)
     
  12. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Jul 15, 2007

    I am a hyper-organized individual who adjusts and survives. To say the very least, I am a perfectionist.

    I would say pray diligently and keep your mind open to the possibilities. Are there a few schools you're interested in? After you get hired- and if it's just a weekend's worth of time- make sure you get the first few days planned to cover procedures. Your setup can improve over the course of the first month. To prepare, read Harry Wong's First Days of School because that is adjustable to ALL grades.
     
  13. k5justme

    k5justme Rookie

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    Jul 15, 2007

    Think about this... Your unit will probably already have many of the things you are thinking of planning. They will have rules, procedures, etc. Don't go out and spend a ton of money when you are not sure what grade/grade level you will be teaching. Remember you can do soooo much when you are pressured to do so and MOST teachers are more than willing to help out the new girl/guy. You will probably have more help than you need. No one wants to see you fail. Best of luck! You will be awesome with your go getter attitude!
     
  14. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    Jul 15, 2007

    My district is the same way-military town-so they're never sure about enrollment. I was amazed that I got hired July 10th. A lot of teachers are hired the day before school starts, find out they have to teach a different grade when they get to school the first day, or get hired 6 weeks after school starts. I have a job, but if enrollment is low I might have to transfer to a different school or grade. They told me I definitely have a job though. I haven't signed my contract because I'm trying to get my certification in Idaho now! I hope if I have to move that they keep me in 3rd grade, because I've bought a ton of books!
     
  15. USMCTCHR

    USMCTCHR Companion

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    Jul 16, 2007

    Thanks for all of the advice!

    I guess I'm not the only one in this situation. It drives me insane as I like to have everything completely planned and ready to go. I like to look for and plan exciting lessons but now feel like I'll be spending the first bit of my year teaching out of the text so I can catch up.

    There is just SO much out there and so many great ideas that I wish I could get started now. So many people have told me that the first year is a huge mess up anyway. (I'd like to not believe that!)

    I have to actually get a job first! LOL I'll keep you updated. Thanks for all of the advice!
     
  16. collteach

    collteach Comrade

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    Jul 17, 2007

    USMCTCHR---BREATHE!!! Believe it or not, you WILL do a great job with the time you have to prepare! In my first year, I was teaching 7th grade, a level I had NO experience in. After all of the beginning of the year orientations and meetings, I only had about 3 days to get everything ready. I managed to do it, although I did have to tweak some things throughout the year.

    YOU WILL BE WONDERFUL :) Just enjoy, you will never have another "1st year" of teaching again!
     

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