Need my Fears Eased...

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by DonnyDB5, Apr 18, 2017.

  1. DonnyDB5

    DonnyDB5 Rookie

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    Apr 18, 2017

    I'm a 25 year old male currently working on my masters degree in NYS. My undergrad/certification is in English 7-12. I am absolutely terrified to get a full-time teaching position because I'm afraid I'm totally going to fail!

    I've been subbing now since Nov. 2016 for an amazing district and all the teachers that know me in the district refer to me as an "excellent sub" or they tell me right out they're requesting me as their substitute because "I'm so good." I guess I can't see what it is I'm so good at because I just have so many doubts about myself and what I'm capable of.

    My student teaching experience went really, really, really well, but I chalk that up to the fact that the majority of the material I utilized was handed to me by my cooperating teacher(s). My supervisor that observed me during my student teaching called me "superb" and referred to my instruction as stellar.

    Not sure why I'm so scared, but when the time comes for me to teach English full-time I just feel like I'm going to fail and receive "ineffective" observations from my administrators. That's by far my worst fear!

    Also, when I do get my first full-time job, how will I know where to begin? How will I know what to plan, or even what to teach?! Good God I'm a nervous wreck!
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Apr 18, 2017

    Is this a humble brag?

    Most of us were nervous about our first full-time teaching jobs. It can be pretty nerve-wracking to stand alone in front of a bunch of students who are all looking to you to teach and lead them.

    You say that most of what you taught as a student teacher was given to you by your cooperating teacher. How much of your own stuff did you actually create and teach? Did you write your own lesson plans?
     
  4. DonnyDB5

    DonnyDB5 Rookie

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    Apr 18, 2017

    No, it's really not. I have terrible anxiety.

    And yes, a lot of ideas for plans were handed to me and provided for me, but in the end I wrote my own lessons and made said ideas my own. I needed lots of guidance, however.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Apr 18, 2017

    When you get into a classroom, you shouldn't expect that level of guidance. You might get lucky and end up with a mentor teacher who wants to help you through all of it, but that's not the norm. My best advice to you would be to try to get confident about your new gig and learn to make use of the resources available to you.
     
  6. mathmagic

    mathmagic Connoisseur

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    Apr 18, 2017

    I don't see this as a humble brag at all; these were my same thoughts throughout subbing. I heard lots of great comments, nothing but positive reviews, but struggled with confidence at many times. I think it's true with many who have anxiety / confidence issues.

    OP, I think you'll discover that the first year will be a learning curve, no matter how strong or weak of a teacher you are. Connect up with some type of mentor, whether given one or if it's just a colleague, that you can ask questions and learn from, and you'll see that you'll grow quickly over that first year and continue to after that.

    The anxiety, or the "feeling like I'm not doing well enough" combined with "I'm getting strong evals" may still continue, but just do your best to keep in mind the "celebrate the successes, find one thing to improve for next time" mindset, and you'll be fine. I'm not rid of the thoughts, despite three years of strong evals, but that mindset is becoming slightly more a part of me, which has made the lows not as low :)

    Keep up the good work!
     
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  7. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Apr 18, 2017

    You know, I think everyone has had lessons and plans that didn't go well - and beyond the first year. You learn as you go. Nothing will prepare you as well as you'd like and you will really only learn by trying strategies. You could select a known behavior plan (ask for advice from others), read up on your state standards, find out if the school uses a particular writing curriculum, ask fellow teachers that you meet (and you seem to click with) for advice and look through your curriculum materials that will be provided to you. Hopefully before the first week of class. My one biggest piece of advice would be to always have extra lessons on hand that could be applicable to many topics. Plan more than you need (though don't spend extra hours to do so) and try not to have downtime.
     
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  8. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Apr 18, 2017

    OP, I think you'll do great. It seems like you have classroom management handled, and that's often the biggest issue for new teachers. Sure, planning great lessons and teaching them well is not that easy, but it's easier learned than classroom management.

    You think to give yourself credit, keep learning, stop stressing and you'll be great.
     
  9. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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  10. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Phenom

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    Apr 18, 2017

    I'd start compiling lessons that you could use with a little tweaking in several grade levels. ELAR standards tend to build on each other. Look up your state standards and start learning them inside out.

    This will also help you in interviews in grade levels you did not student teach in. You'll have something to talk about. It sounds as though planning for yourself is a weakness, but it's easily remedied.
     
  11. WordLover

    WordLover Rookie

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    Apr 19, 2017

    I am beginning again after several years, having returned with an MAT English. I have recently finished a replacement leave position that was a rigorous workout. Universities do no prepare us for classroom management so I recommend buying The FIrst Days of School (Harry K & Rosemary Wong) and Doug Lemov's Teach Like a Champion. These show how to establish procedures and methods so that classes are calmer and engagement is fostered. Figure out what procedures, routines, and policies you want and put them on PP slides. Introduce them to your classes, rehearse, and reinforce. I'm looking for my next position and I feel better prepared. I also recommend that you create positive self-talk for yourself. Each day, I would thank God for my opportunity to be in this field and rev myself up to forge full speed ahead. It does help to know that all of us start with some amount of nerves.
     
  12. rpan

    rpan Companion

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    Apr 20, 2017

    It's ok to be mediocre or have some failings as a first year teacher. It's perfectly normal to pass student teaching with flying colours but it's a whole different kettle of fish when it's your own classroom and your own students. Don't spend time worrying that you will fail or be lousy at something - it's normal for a first year teacher. Spend your time worrying about what you can control - preparing your lessons, knowing your curriculum and how you are going to teach it, have a behaviour and classroom management strategy plan in place etc.

    if you get bad feedback, don't see it as a failure and definitely don't be afraid of it, but see it as an opportunity to improve your pedagogy.
     
  13. Tiffany Teach

    Tiffany Teach Rookie

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    May 10, 2017

    I FEEL EXACTLY THE SAME WAY!! I fully understand how you feel. I have mentioned these same fears to my family as well as the people I work with. My cooperating teacher actually told me that its normal to have these fears because English is such a vast and difficult subject. He mentioned that once you actually start teaching it will slowly go away. I still feel like I don't know what I'm talking about half the time. There is so much to learn when it comes to English. I've just accepted that I'm a human not a robot and that I don't know everything. Sometimes my students as me questions I don't know the answers of so I will say, "Good question, I don't know. Let's look up the answer together." Then I let the students take out their phones and search online for the right answer. I'll also look it up on my laptop. It's a great learning moment for the whole class. Don't sweat it though. You don't have to be the smartest person in the room just because you are the teacher. Learn from your students and don't be afraid to be wrong or to make mistakes.
     

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