I'm getting so frustrated.

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Julie9789, Oct 9, 2010.

  1. Julie9789

    Julie9789 Companion

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    Oct 9, 2010

    Long rant. I apologize ahead of time.

    This has only just ended my first 2 weeks of teaching. I replaced a teacher who gave 2 weeks notice to pursue a job in another field (not that she gave up, she had been teaching for 10 years). But I'm getting so frustrated.

    1. I got laryngitis my first week. Friday my voice was hoarse, but manageable. That weekend I proceeded to lose my voice. However, Monday-Wednesday I pushed through. It appeared that my "Teaching voice" worked halfway where my regular voice didn't. Thursday and Friday my doctor made me stay home to get better (update: it's half back now...hurry up!!!!)

    2. My principal sat in on my Math class (GT) for like 5-10 minutes here and there the whole past 2 weeks. Then he pulls me in his office on Wednesday and says that he's not seeing any improvements, nor is he seeing the great things that my references talked about. So he wants all of my lessons to him by Monday, start of school (8:15am). Not once did he consider the fact that I had no voice, that I was new to math (my ST school was departmentalized and my teacher didn't teach math)

    3. He told me I wasn't using my resources (math office, reading specialist) to plan my lessons and that basically they sucked. Last I checked, the Reading Specialist, who is in my room for all of reading, helped me plan out my lessons. She has yet to say anything negative to me about my lessons. Constructive? Yes. Negative? No. She's been with me every step of the way because I have a class that's split groups B and D (B being average). My D's are split with 3 ESOL, 2 that get pulled for Phonics, along with several others. I'm learning.

    4. Back to the resources. Yes, I had off Thursday and Friday. No, I wasn't off gallivanting around town. I was home, sleeping. I was trying to get better. Besides, I wasn't planning on being out Friday, so I was trying to get sub plans to my team leader. I didn't even have my teacher guides to plan for the following week.

    5. The teacher I replaced was very disorganized. She didn't believe in binders...so all papers were shoved into the teacher guide books. Her grading system consisted of 3 digital gradebooks for each subject (classwork, homework, tests) and half the grades for each student were missing! So interims went out my first Friday and I never sent mine. I talked to my Team Leader and he said to talk to the principal. The principal said to go back and put in "excused" for every hole. I don't want to do that. That will round all their grades and it won't be a fair portrayal of their grades.

    My principal told me my contract is on the line. We're going to discuss it this upcoming Friday (after 1 week). If he hasn't seen any improvements, I will not receive my contract offer. I'll continue to be the long term sub until they find a new teacher to take over.

    So now I don't know what to do. The more and more I think about it, the more I think this isn't my best fit school. The more I think that this principal really only did hire me so he could have more time to find a suitable full-time teacher. I came about this position because I accepted a pre-k assistant position to get my foot in the door with the county. This position came up suddenly and shocked everyone, including the P. So he offered me the position, having promised me a position should one come up throughout the school year. I don't know what to do about these lessons. Do I half-ass them and turn them in Monday? Do I not do them at all? Do I turn them in 1 day at a time? I wish things were easier.
     
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  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Oct 9, 2010

    What?! You've been teaching for two weeks, yes? Two little weeks and your principal is already speaking to you like this? I'm terribly shocked. While I'm glad he is observing and speaking to you, this "improvement" that he is looking for has left me baffled.

    Ah, do as he asked regarding the lessons. I hope others will have advice. :unsure:
     
  4. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Oct 10, 2010

    Principals talk to each other. If you do a half $#%^ job, you will give him the excuse to can you, and talk you down to other principals. Is that what you want? Do the kids deserve you doing half a job the next two weeks? Have some pride and blow him out of the water with what a good job you can do. It isn't a good situation and I am baffled by such quick evaluations but you need to step up to the plate.
     
  5. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Oct 10, 2010

    Insane. I'd rather deal with the most challenging students I had, than an incompetent P like that any day. Sounds like a bully and I doubt anything you will do will please him.

    If it were me, I'd find a way out of the contract, then again, I don't know, but suffering with a bully is hard for all the months to come.

    So speak up, professionally defend yourself until the end, document, don't let him intimidate you. Again document and I'd try to go to a higher up or experienced person who could give me more advice about how to handle someone who has it out for you.


    My P was the same way. I was also weeks into the job. Started a week after 2nd quarter, and she hounded me for not doing something that wasn't in the schedule nor did any other teach do it. (Teach 3 minutes after the students walk in). They have morning work, are quiet and on task, all routines and procedures were in place. But she found something to chastise me about in front of the students.

    But who starts teaching a lesson before all students are even in class and before the pledge is said, etc??

    Insane. The other teachers backed me up and said they don't start instruction until 20 or more minutes after the students walk in.
    The teacher of the year at the school also told me I was right, and she doesn't see how it's possible to teach 3 minutes after students walk in.

    Anyway, some people are impossible. I spoke up and professionally defended myself, contract or not, blacklisted or not, I'm nobody's master or slave. I'd leave the field or district before I allow a P to use their power and contract scare tactics over me, which she certainly did.

    Sorry for the vent, but I hate bullies!! They will find any impossible thing to nit pick.
     
  6. Julie9789

    Julie9789 Companion

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    Oct 10, 2010

    Like I said, the previous teacher was highly disorganized. I can't find half the teacher guide books (like Science...forget it, I'm going by the kids books and making stuff up as I go...thankfully I taught a little of it last year). So when it comes to making worksheets, I don't have anything to go by.

    I haven't been assigned a Mentor Teacher so I don't even know who I'm supposed to talk to. The "seniority" member of our team aka Team Leader has been here 3 years.

    I tried emailing other teachers and haven't gotten any responses.

    Yes, he told me that he hasn't seen the greatness that my references spoke of. Well, they saw me for a whole year...you've seen me 2 weeks.

    Honestly, I thought I was doing a good job. The kids were learning, their assessments and homeworks have been great. I had 2 days to plan my first week of lessons. I had 2 days to plan my 2nd week and try and get grading in for interims (again, fail). I have yet to catch up and feel that what I can plan today will work for tomorrow, you know? I feel behind. I feel like I need just like a week off so Ican catch up and feel organized.
     
  7. Julie9789

    Julie9789 Companion

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    Oct 10, 2010

    Oh to top everything off...these kids are sooo disrespectful. Yes, they're GT and Yes they know what they're doing. The one student, the ring leader, told another teacher that they were testing me. She asked him if he should back off because I am under a lot of pressure and he told her No it's better this way. !?!?!?!!?!? I have behavior and CM under control thanks to a school-wide program. It's just the consistant chatter. All they do is talk. I've done everything from handing out levels (their form of a warning) to just sitting back and waiting for them to finish their conversation (3 minutes is the avg). Lights off, clapping patterns, 1 2 3 eyes on me...nothing works. They'll clap...but they keep on talking. It's frustrating. I've even taken away recess which I hate doing because I know that is their 20 minutes of freedom.

    Hopefully my voice will be back by Monday and I can step it up and take verbal control. We'll see.
     
  8. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Oct 10, 2010

    I don't agree with how the P approached it, but I do understand him observing and giving you feedback about what's going on. It is October and even though it's not your fault someone else left, the school year is continuing to march on. Our new teachers have instructional coordinators, reading specialists working with them to make sure they are on the right track-I think that's a good thing for the students. We don't want to find out in February that the teacher isn't teaching.

    It would never even be a question for me-I would never do anything halfway. I would do as scmom stated and just knock them out this week, even if it took all day today to write plans and plan activities. It's hard starting without the prep time most teachers get, but you did accept that in the position. If you have the objectives to be taught-find your own resources to go with them until you find all the TE's, etc.

    Most teachers go through a time of getting tested by their kids. I have to say it bothers me that you say the P told you to do progress reports one way, but you arent' going to do them that way-maybe that was a red flag for them. As to the student talking-do you give them activities where they can discuss things together-pairs, groups. I find that if they have times worked into the day where they can do that even for a minute or 2, it's less likely for them to talk when they aren't supposed to. Good luck.
     
  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Oct 10, 2010

    If you are to turn them all in on Monday, that's what you need to do. Not half-a**, but done to the very best of your ability--your students don't deserve half-a** and you are better than that. It will take time, planning things for the first (or second or third) time always does. Take one subject at a time and map out your week. Can things change? Yes--in fact, they almost certainly will, but you need a road map. You also need to show your principal that you are professional who will rise to this challenge. Don't dwell on what you perceive as roadblocks (not feeling well, not finding resources, etc) focus on what you were hired to do. There is lots of support and expertise here; post your ideas and we can help you iron them out.
     
  10. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Oct 10, 2010

    I am sure your post was mainly a vent. As some of the others have stated, I think you should do them to the best of your ability.

    I was hired unwillingly by my P a week before school started my first year. I was on her "s" list. I was told I was awful (even though she was never in my room). She told me that if I want to keep my job, things better get better. I knew in my heart I was doing what I could and all I could do was keep doing my best. As much as I wanted to quit and say a few words to her, I swallowed my tongue and just used it as fuel for my fire. Fast forward 1 year and my peers voted for me to be voted for teacher of the year on my campus. My P had to recognize my abilities then...
    Also, I've been asked to do math presentations to teachers in our district and my room is always being observed by principals and teachers from other districts.
    I never said anything rude to her. Never gave her a reason to not like me.
    The best part is knowing that she knows she did me wrong. The best part is reflecting and knowing I "made it" when she thought I couldn't. The best part is knowing I didn't burn any bridges and would be hired by another school in my district if I wanted. The best part is when she comes to me asking me to help others.

    So... yes, it sucks right now, but you can turn it around and have her eat her words.
     
  11. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Oct 10, 2010

    I think if you don't do everything as closely as you can to what the principal has asked you'll greatly hurt your chances of a decent job after this. Principals do talk. Sure, you might want to leave this school and particular P as soon as you can, but you want to know that if another P contacts this one you'll have positive feedback from him.

    Coming in once the school year has started is extra tough. Being sick almost immediately makes it that much worse. But in my opinion you're just going to have to devote as much time as you possibly can today to generate some amazing lesson plans and follow all the advice given.

    Talk to the specialists he suggested and document it. Send that along with your lesson plans.

    Good luck to you and hopefully the P will back off a bit once he sees you're doing all you can to follow his advice and get things to where he wants them to be.
     
  12. StarrShine2

    StarrShine2 Rookie

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    Oct 10, 2010

    If you need help with the reading component, PM me and I'll try to help you out.

    Otherwise, I think you should keep trying your best and push through even though it may be difficult.
     
  13. Julie9789

    Julie9789 Companion

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    Oct 10, 2010

    Thanks for the advice.

    I'm not saying I'm going to half teach the lessons. I'll be able to get more resources as the week goes on to teach these lessons, so the kids won't suffer...only my plans that I have to turn in. I'd never half teach a lesson to the kids.

    I'm just saying it's the weekend. I've been working on these for 3 days now and I can't email my resources because they won't check their emails until tomorrow when it's too late. I have Monday's lesson completely planned, but that's the page I had brought home anyway (Thursdays plans used the same page)

    This county is very set on their curriculum and I don't know how else to go around the curriculum to get the lessons written with what I have. It's multiplying with decimals for GT. Here's a run down of each day's lesson:

    Monday - multiply a whole number by a decimal using standard algorithm.
    Tuesday - multiply decimals by decimals using a grid
    Wednesday - use partial products and standard algorithm to multiply decimals by decimals
    Thursday -introducing variables and solving algebraic expressions (with the fits I've had with having to do multiplication by partial products...I can't wait until I throw letters at them in math)
    Friday - no school
     
  14. Julie9789

    Julie9789 Companion

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    Oct 10, 2010

    It's been very hard the past week to get my point across to the P and my students without a strong voice. I probably got taken advantage of more than once. I haven't been able to stand up for myself and ask the Principal to consider the fact that I am sick, or the situation that I came into.

    Another thing he told me - I need to have my math vocabulary visible to the students....uhh, the vocabulary cards are posted on the bulletin board right next to the chalkboard. I don't know how much more visible they can get.

    You better believe I give my students time to talk to one another. I love group work. I did an action research project on it last year - cooperative learning and student achievement. The previous teacher was one that if there was indoor recess, their choice was heads up 7 up or math worksheets. She had them sitting in groups of 7-10 and never once let them talk to one another. It was packet after packet for everything. I hate packets...but it seems like that's what this math curriculum requires. It's a 5E lesson plan if anyone is familiar.
     
  15. Momma C

    Momma C Comrade

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    Oct 10, 2010

    My mentee is having a similar experience -- but has not been "threatened" with job loss. His main problem is the lesson plans, too. As his mentor, I have been trying to find ways to teach the skill in different ways. I googled "math projects," and I found tons of ideas -- many with lesson plans already written. Don't make it hard on yourself -- until you have established yourself, borrow ideas that have worked for others. In fact, I have my mentee's plans to work on today. He is an alternative-route teacher and has to be out-of-town at seminar this weekend. Let us know how it all turns out for you.
     
  16. Julie9789

    Julie9789 Companion

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    Oct 10, 2010

    Momma C - I haven't gotten my mentor teacher yet. I don't know if it's because I'm not considered a teacher by payroll yet, or what, but aside from working with the reading specialist, I've been on my own. I was told when I was offered the job that I would get one, but I never did. I email teachers all the time in the school for help and get no responses.
     
  17. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Oct 10, 2010

    Perhaps talk to the P. Say that you are giving your all and want to be sure you have all the resources available (this will be your chance to let him know what you have (or lack thereof). Let your P know how hard you're working and even specific questions on how to display the math words. Ask when you can expect to get a reading specialist.
     
  18. Momma C

    Momma C Comrade

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    Oct 10, 2010

    I just reviewed your state's education website - looking for suggested teaching strategies and didn't find any. (May not have known where to look.) So--- go to www.mde.kas.ms.us
    Go to Department and Telephone Numbers; then, Curriculum and Instruction. You will find suggested teaching strategies for each skill. This may help.

    My bad-- it's www.mde.k12.ms.us
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2010
  19. Julie9789

    Julie9789 Companion

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    Oct 10, 2010

    Thanks, but your link doesn't work.
     
  20. Momma C

    Momma C Comrade

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    Oct 10, 2010

    Try typing it in and not just clicking it -- that's what I had to do.
     
  21. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

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    Oct 10, 2010

    Let's do you one better... what topics are you teaching this week? People should be able to give you some suggestions.

    I'm assuming that you know about this link...
    http://mdk12.org/instruction/curriculum/toolkit/index.html
    This is what I found when I searched for MD's standards.

    VA's SOLs are probably very similar. You can take a look at our site:
    http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/sol/standards_docs/science/index.shtml#resources
    If you click on "Scope and Sequence" it has lesson plans written out for our standards, sometimes with cute activities.
     

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