Dangerous Silence: How Arkansas Failed Me in My First Year of Teaching

Discussion in 'General Education' started by FourSquare, Sep 5, 2018.

  1. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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  3. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Phenom

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    A good chunk of those things were ones that anyone should ask about before starting ANY job, not just a teaching job. Crying “but nobody helped me” doesn’t get you far with most people.
     
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  4. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Companion

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    Sep 6, 2018

    I feel bad for her, but it seems that she went in with rose-colored glasses. She assumed that everyone would help her and she really did very little leg work on her own, which she admits. I have been an arts teacher (theatre) and while I did receive a stipend, it it no way covered the time I spent running the program. As a former performer, I really don't understand how she could not expect or understand how evenings and weekends would be expected--isn't that what you do as a performer? I do think it sucks that the District Orchestra thing was so badly run, and there was some definite bullying there. And a lot of things she is complaining about, especially in terms of charter schools, is well documented, even outside the education community. Teaching is very much a "figure it out for yourself" type of profession, which is not a good thing, but that is what it is.

    As for you being demonized for expressing an opinion, that is a whole other problem. We all are entitled to our opinions, we all should be adult enough to accept that not everyone thinks the same.
     
  5. ms.irene

    ms.irene Groupie

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    Yep, sounds like what I've heard from people who work at charters.

    "In-service training was a general meeting about “let’s all introduce ourselves and learn how to write a purchase order,” three days of “how to be an arts-integrated school,” one day of “how to use Adobe,” and a day of “get your classrooms ready!”"

    ...that is WAY more in-service training than I have ever gotten from any of the four school districts I have worked for.
     
  6. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    I'm very happy to work in independent schools, but I will not touch charter schools. Too many nightmares out there. I have a friend who works at inner city charters and will get $30k bonuses for doing so, but he gets fired every year because the charter school has to be restructured because of "issues" and so he has to be rehired or go to a different charter school. No thanks... so that interested in that kind of work environment even if it offers a bonus.

    As for this person, she should have been better educated into what she was getting into. It was a bad situation, but had she better educated herself about the teaching role, expectations, and laws/policies she wouldn't be in this mess (maybe some other person would be but... some work places just really suck).
     
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  7. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

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    As someone who earned my certification via AR, I can tell you that it is not something that one should enter into without a lot of research and factual information from the state DOE. This writer of the article was gullible and not well versed about what she was getting into. That pretty much breaks my rule #1. You have to know enough to know when you are being told the truth versus being sold a bill of goods, and that takes some serious research. I have no love lost on charters, but then I was raised to believe in the positives of unions. Not having a functional union instead of some non-union posing as a union would have tipped the scale for me. I worked very hard to earn my state's certificate, and the amount of work was hard, but necessary. Teaching isn't for the faint of heart. It isn't a cake walk where you get paid for just sitting in a chair all day. I would say that the writer in question did all the research after everything went terribly wrong, instead of researching and making an informed decision before accepting the job. Teachers do help each other, in my experience, but no one is paying us to teach the new teachers, whether AR or right out of college, every single thing they feel that they don't know. We aren't getting paid extra to train the new teachers while teaching the legitimate students in our care. I have bent over backwards to help, but have also walked away when I felt that the other person wanted me to do their work for them. Hey, they graduated from college just like I did - we should have learned how to learn, if nothing else. That may make me seem hard and unfeeling, but a part of me resents those who want me to do the work for them when they should know how to train themselves.

    My opinions on these matters are mine to have, but no one has to share them with me - I am just wise enough to stand on my own two feet and have the strength of my convictions. I will not attempt to force my opinions on others, but what is shared via post is going to have varied opinions, and the writer should realize that when posting.
     
  8. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    It’s not my job to teach a teacher how to teach. I have my hands full getting reluctant students to learn.

    If asked, I have no problem answering questions, but I can’t possibly seek out new teachers and share everything they need to know AND do my own job.

    I don’t remember expecting others to reach out to me. I do remember standing outside my partner teacher’s door and getting the nerve up to ask what I thought would be a stupid question.
     
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  9. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Sep 8, 2018

    This is how I feel, thank you.
     
  10. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    I saw "charter school'' and wasn't really shocked. The entire article could just be "DON'T WORK AT A CHARTER SCHOOL.'' I do find it quite interesting how many teachers think that just because they know the subject or content matter "Well I worked as a scientist'' that means that they can teach and perform miracles in the classroom. Wrong! You know and love science? Great! Now here are 25+ hormonal and unenthusiastic teenagers... get them to learn something. That's the challenge. One of my professors at the college told me his story. He started as a High School Social Studies teacher, but like "many,'' he said, he was more interested in his subject matter than the students he taught so he obtained his PhD and started teaching at the college level. It's an entirely different ball game... though I think a lot of undergrad students are getting worse these days too. I really don't feel bad for people who are untrained in teaching who think they can become teachers as if it's so easy. I really want to see people like Betsy DeVos, who do nothing but criticize teachers, do it.

    :roll:
     
  11. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Unless you're tapped as a teaching mentor or coach. Then you should be willing and able to step in and help. But yeah a lot of new teachers (young -- like just graduated) NEED to be willing to ask for help if needed... I think a lot don't want to. They are uncomfortable talking with other teachers and think they can solve all of the problems on their own... then they find that they are overwhelmed, stressed, and aren't on top of their teaching game... and then they just slip under the radar and resign at the end of the year. And then they are replaced and the entire cycle starts all over. Or you offer help / tips and they just refuse it because they want to play the victims and complain. I love my friend, but I have to say this was her and it got annoying. I kept trying to offer classroom management strategies and she just kept saying "Oh, I don't think that will work.'' Ugh.
     
  12. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Enthusiast

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    I think the idea of a charter school has merit, but the implementation doesn’t tend to work out. There are some charters that are great, but many unfortunately go by the way side due to mismanagement.
     
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  13. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Enthusiast

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    This is surprising to me because even after I graduated with my Bachelors and Masters degrees and completed my teaching credential program I would still ask my more experienced colleagues for help. I still do occasionally because I want what’s best for my students, which means I should be using the best tools and resources at my disposal.

    I don’t pretend to know everything and don’t want to mess up my students’ educations in any way, so I always try to seek ways in which I can improve. This was ingrained in me throughout my teaching credential program, where my professors constantly repeated the mantra, “As a teacher, you never stop learning and good teachers always self-reflect.”
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
  14. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

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    Learning by asking specific questions from experienced teachers is not the same as bemoaning the fact that those same experienced teachers didn't come to her aid without being asked. Or, as we have experienced on other threads, are those experienced teachers responsible to "train or teach" these newbie teachers? At some point shouldn't our strongest skill set be that we have learned how to learn, able to teach ourselves almost anything within reason? I do believe that teachers should be lifelong learners - not because they are forced into it, but because, on reflection, they recognize that there are skill sets they need to improve upon. Instead of looking for the Nobel Prize winners, show me someone who loves to learn and make it relevant to their skills as a teacher. That is the teacher I would want my child to have.
     
  15. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Enthusiast

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    Right, I’m not saying or advocating that teachers should ask for help on everything, but that they should feel it’s okay to ask for help when they need clarification or some advice — that it’s okay to seek out help.

    I don’t think it’s a realistic expectation for teachers to know everything, so it’s confusing to me when new teachers try to do everything on their own. In my case, I keep a notebook of all the tips my colleagues and professors and other teachers — public and private — have given me. It’s basically a compilation of everything I think is useful and it is tremendously helpful to me.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  16. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Phenom

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    I watched a retired Army colonel get taken out by a class of 7th graders. It was a long and painful year. He left (not rehired) at the end of that year. The Army doesn’t prepare you for 12 and 13 year olds.
     
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  17. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I wish more of the general public could teach or work for a year in public schools. We'd have an entirely different funding situation and set of job expectations (number of students, required curriculum) if more people knew what real classrooms were like.
     
  18. ms.irene

    ms.irene Groupie

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    I honestly remember being a new teacher and feeling so overwhelmed at first that I was afraid to admit how much I didn't know. Then, when I finally did ask, a lot of times I would just get responses like "yeah, I still have/had that problem too" and not get a lot of concrete help. At my second school, I decided to go in and be upfront about when I needed help, and I guess it made me seem like a complainer or incompetent, and I got non-renewed. I feel like teaching is the one career where you are expected to learn on the job, and if you don't learn fast enough or the way admin expects, you don't get asked back. It is beyond tough and I get why so many new teachers don't make it.
     
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  19. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    And a lot of times, procedures and inner workings of schools are not written down. There are many unspoken rules of school culture that new teachers have to pick up on quickly, or again, risk looking like they don't know what they're doing.
     
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