First Year Teacher - Non Accredited School

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by amarie21, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. amarie21

    amarie21 New Member

    Jan 12, 2018
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    Jan 12, 2018

    I'm a first year teacher, and I am looking for some advice.
    Looking back, I realize I should have done my homework on my school a little better, as I had no idea the school that hired me was non accredited. Back-tracking to when I was job-hunting last year, I was convinced that I wanted to teach high school, not middle school, but I applied to both because I loved the middle school where I student taught. However, when I interviewed with my current school, I was so drawn in by the warm and welcome feeling I had at the time. I had such a good feeling from this interview that when I was offered the job, I took it, even though it was a middle school.
    However, I've been stressed ever since the beginning of the school year. Some of it is normal first year teaching stress, but now I'm starting to wonder if I made the right choice. I didn't know my school was non accredited until a few days before I started, and now I'm faced with three observations from someone at the state level on top of my normal observations. I know I'm not perfect, and I am still learning, but this added stress is really getting to me!!
    I feel like I can't be the teacher I'd envisioned. I have all the low-level students, and a lot of my students are at a 4th grade reading level or below. I wanted to help students that I know aren't going to pass the state test, no matter what I do, because they need to know how to read. However, my principal basically told me to focus on the bubble students that have a chance. Is this normal for all schools? How can I just ignore students that are still struggling with phonics? I know all teachers are pressured by high stakes testing, but I didn't become a teacher to merely teach my students to pass a test.
    Recently, I asked my principal about a student I have that is on a first grade reading level. I was curious if the reading specialist at my school may be able to work with this particular student. My principal sent out an email, and the reading specialist basically said the student wasn't succeeding due to behavior issues. I have some challenging students, but the one in question, to me, acts like a typical middle school student. I feel so disheartened by all of this.
    All rambling aside, I suppose my questions are as follows:
    1. Should I stick it out and stay with this school next year? I absolutely adore the other English teacher I work with in my grade level, and we work so well together.
    2. Should I put out applications and interview at high schools this spring? Just to see what else is out there? My husband (also a teacher) encouraged me to do this.
    3. Should I do my best with state observations and hope I get valuable feedback?
    I don't want to give up when it's only my first year teaching, but most days I wish I would have accepted a high school position instead. If I do go to another school in the future, I definitely will be looking at accreditation.
    Any advice will help. I'm a big, incomprehensible ball of stress!!!
  3. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

    Jul 28, 2017
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    Jan 13, 2018

    I think you answered #1 and 2 on your own. Finish up this school year, but start looking for something that will actually make you happy next school year. I also think the answer to #3 is obvious. Even if you are not staying, try your best. What else would you do? That said, "try your best" to me does not necessarily mean "put on a dog and pony show". Do what you normally do to the best of your ability.
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Jun 10, 2007
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    Jan 13, 2018

    I would be hard pressed to work at a school that wasn't accredited.

    It's not unusual to have students who are far below grade level, especially in certain settings and with certain demographics. It's very common to be directed to focus on the bubble kids.

    Observations are a way of life in the world of teaching these days. Even accredited schools can have lots of people coming in to observe and monitor. My previous school had a lot of state personnel watching us. You just get used to it. Ideally you should be doing what you always do whenever you have visitors like this.
    vickilyn likes this.
  5. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

    Jul 19, 2014
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    Jan 14, 2018

    The answer to all of your questions is "YES!" Give your all this school year, do your best (your would at an accredited school, I assume), since you can't change the state observations, learn from the experience. Their observations may actually help you grow as a teacher. You will, of course, not make that same mistake twice when looking for a new job, right?

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