I'm a first year teacher and its hopeless

Discussion in 'High School' started by Dragon02, Sep 27, 2017.

  1. Dragon02

    Dragon02 Rookie

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    Sep 27, 2017

    Its my 5th week of teaching and I feel like I don't know what I'm doing. I feel like I have to research my subject constantly to come up with a lesson for my students. I stay up at night with worry and depression and I wake up with dread every morning. At the moment I'm teaching at the lowest level, I have them do a graphic organizer with vocabulary , then I show a powerpoint and lecture(puts kids to sleep) then I have them do review questions out of the book , then a day of review and then a test. I feel that my way of teaching sucks. I don't feel like I'm doing my students justice. There are state standards, and I don't think I'm hitting every point. I'm torn between teaching from the book or from the standards, or if I should just teach what I think is important. My kids are great, well behaved, and I get along with them famously . I believed I have established rapport. I just don't know what to teach or how to teach it. Any one else go through this in their first year? Am I alone in this ?
     
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  3. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Sep 28, 2017

    You have to teach to the standards but change your pedagogy. You have well behaved students, that is more than a lot of first year teachers have. There are so many lessons out there for every subject that you can modify. Find a teacher blog, teacherspayteachers, Pinterest etc.
     
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  4. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Sep 28, 2017

    Google subject/topic project based learning and see what comes up. No one reivents the wheel every lesson.
     
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  5. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Sep 28, 2017

    In addition to what's been said, you might also look into cooperative learning (Kagan is a company that offers a lot of resources for this). No matter what content you teach, you don't want your students to be bored and simply working straight out of a book. See if you can find a way for them to learn the content with more interaction and engagement.
     
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  6. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Sep 28, 2017

    Baby steps.

    First, your students are well behaved and you've built positive relationships. This is HUGE and is a sign that you are a great teacher. Very little teaching can happen without great classroom management. Congrats!

    I agree with @bella84 - Google "Kagan cooperative learning" and see if you can find a few routines you can start incorporating into your lessons. Try out one in one lesson, reflect, tweak if necessary and then try it again in another lesson. Slowly start to build your repertoire of engagement strategies and over the course of the year you'll see changes.
     
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  7. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Sep 28, 2017

    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
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  8. Dragon02

    Dragon02 Rookie

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    Sep 28, 2017

    Thank you, I just seem to get a long with them very well and they respect me. I just want to do right by them and give them a quality education, I want to know what I'm doing
     
  9. Dragon02

    Dragon02 Rookie

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    I feel like I am reinventing the wheel : /
     
  10. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Sep 28, 2017

    Stop doing it
     
  11. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Sep 28, 2017

    What subject do you teach?

    You don't sound hopeless at all to me -- just like a new teacher with high standards for his/herself!
     
  12. Dragon02

    Dragon02 Rookie

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    Sep 28, 2017

    I teach high school Government
     
  13. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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  14. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Sep 29, 2017

    Aw, hugs, Dragon02. What you're going through is painful, true, but pretty normal.

    In addition to the links that AlwaysAttend has posted, you can also find out what other civics teachers in your state are doing by Googling "lesson plan ___ ___", where the first blank is filled by the name of your state, the second by the grade level, and the third by the specific topic. For instance, if I wanted to find a lesson plan on civil disobedience for grade 10 in Nevada, I'd Google "lesson plan grade 10 nevada civil disobedience".
     
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  15. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    Sep 30, 2017

    Government is my favorite class to teach, but my first year it was my hardest because I too had to learn as I went. I also taught US History so I taught government with a focus on history where I would talk mostly about the Constitution and why it is so unique. I have resources but the thing that made my class fun was me. I always over hyped things while I was explaining them and I always tried to figure out how I could make things apply to the students. One of my favorite things to do was an examination of supreme court cases that applied to students.

    I used this list here:
    http://www.nytimes.com/learning/teachers/featured_articles/20080915monday.html?mcubz=0

    and made discussion questions that go with the articles. I would break the students into groups and have them present each case. Always a lot of fun.

    iCivics is good for some worksheets but be careful because the kids can find the answers online. I always made sure they only did those while in class. Let me know what unit your on and maybe I can help.
     
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  16. anon55

    anon55 Comrade

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    Sep 30, 2017

    I agree. Classroom management and having good relationships with students is the hardest part. Content is the easiest thing to change and improve upon. The fact that the kids like and respect you means you can now work on improving the content. However, keep in mind that there's only so many hours in the day and being a first year teacher is exhausting. You are conscientious about improving which is great, so keep trying to find new things but know that you've already won over half of the battle.
     

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