should I just quit?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Kenz501, Dec 2, 2017.

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  1. CherryOak

    CherryOak Companion

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    Dec 6, 2017

    How many education books have you read in the past year? Have you attended conferences? Are you considering your next course? I hope it's a bunch. You aren't going to find sufficient assistance online or in others. Take your career by the horns, so to say. As much as us adults talk about being there for one another, it really comes down to personal responsibility and determination. Identify a weakness, forgive yourself, happily research solutions, practice, master...repeat.
     
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  2. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Dec 7, 2017

    All I can add is that there old adage about the best laid plans of mice and men . . . OP, I don't know if teaching is will make you happy, nor do I know that it won't. I do have a strong feeling that you struggle to stay focused, and getting help isn't wrong, but spending all of your time "researching" possibilities without the follow through to engage and implement the recommended changes may be very frustrating and counter productive. All the research in the world about your "problems" will fail if you can't find ways to incorporate the strategies so that your teaching improves. We all need/desire to grow as a teacher. If we can't manage to do that, we aren't happy or productive.

    Many people on the spectrum benefit from life coaches who can help them tweak and manage their executive function skills, so that they function better in the real world. There is only so much that others, especially those of us who only "know" you from your posts, can say with 100% certainty. Here's what I know:
    1. new teachers across the board need to work their behinds off to fill in the gaps between their coursework and their real needs;
    2. if you struggle with depression symptoms, you need to get help:
    3. if you believe that anyone else can/should do the hard work for you, you will be disappointed when YOU are the person responsible for "changing the person in the mirror"; expecting others to bail you out will fail, and make you feel hopeless;
    4. despite best efforts, not everyone who studies for one career will shine there.
    The good news is that skills learned while studying for the less than stellar career don't disappear - the positives stay with you in any new plans for the future. You chose the teacher dream, maybe without sharing your special needs with people who could have seen your dream through clearer eyes - maybe not. If you want to salvage the dream, wake up and smell the coffee, then roll up your sleeves and get to work shoring up your weaknesses, while building on any strengths.

    My gut feeling is that IF you get a life coach to help you with organization, IF you take responsibility for knowing and accepting that the buck stops with you, IF you realize that there are no free rides and that you are obligated to put in the hard work to learn what is currently lacking, and IF when you ask for help you actually let people know that you did or did not understand the directions (which may require coming at the problem from a different angle), you may learn to teach in a way that makes you happy and proud. Teachers share (and "borrow") from each other all the time - it is up to you to acquire the "help" and then find ways to modify the help into something that actually benefits you. Whining won't help, neither will blaming everyone else you come into contact with. You have the responsibility of reading the staff manual or acquiring the staff manual if you don't have one, for whatever reason. You are responsible for finding ways of working around your problems - being on the spectrum doesn't mean that the world changes for you. You are obligated to find modifications that work for you, and you should be the one to put them into effect.

    Should you quit? Only you can answer that question, but if I were you, I wouldn't consider answering that question until I had sought out multiple sources listed in this post which may be able to help you find the skill sets that you need to fix the problems. Personally, I'm not a quitter, and I would try to move heaven and earth to solve my problems before throwing in the towel. Without passing any judgement, only you can decide if you are willing to find the help you need and commit to the help that you need, embracing the (often difficult) course of actions necessary to turn your career around. I do wish you the best of luck.

    .
     
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  3. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Dec 8, 2017


    I'm just upset. I feel like I've obviously missed something very simple that no one will share with me regardless of how much I ask. My lessons are bad because they aren't focusing on the required objectives, as I barely know what those are, let alone how to present them, and my classroom management is poor because the kids don't have the proper incentives. I simply don't know the formula, the method, and no one will share it with me. I know there is a method, because I've seen it repeated in several classrooms of different subjects.

    For example, if I were a foreign language teacher, I would need to follow a general pattern so that the kids would learn the material, probably something like, introduce the lesson, go over the new words, allow the kids to watch and read content with the new words embedded in it, and then give a short quiz for understanding of those new words or expressions. Likewise, if I were a math teacher, I would also have to follow a general pattern, introduce the concepts, work a few problems with the kids, explain and / or show a video of real-world application of the concepts, and then give them a short worksheet for them to practice.

    English / Language Arts and Reading, on the other hand, what am I supposed to do with that? I'm comfortable enough teaching grammar, even though it's the kids' least favorite part, but how am I supposed to teach reading, writing, and critical thinking? Even though these are skills at which I'm adept (well, at least on paper anyway), how do I break them down into their component parts (I know they give me a list of objectives but we aren't using Common Core here, and I'm a little lost on how to teach most of them)? Furthermore, how do I scaffold learning for kids who aren't going to benefit from regular instruction of these concepts? See, if I don't know what I'm supposed to be teaching, how am I supposed to teach it? True to form, I sometimes become frustrated with what to most people is extremely obvious stuff. Sorry to seem obtuse, but I really don't get it.

    I feel like I would get it, though, if I had some kind of canned (or is it boxed?) curriculum that could show me exactly what I'm supposed to be doing to teach the kids the concepts (or at least give me a good idea). I might be creative, but if I don't know what I'm doing, it will take me longer than necessary to find a solution to the problem. I know that other teachers do not have this problem, but I do not know how to explain my problem to them. Every time I try, I either get pointed to resources that won't help me because I don't know how to use them, or eventually they give up and tell me that I should have learned some things in teacher education.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
  4. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Dec 8, 2017

    Plus, we had a snow day, so now I've got even less time to teach them the necessary skills.
     
  5. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Dec 8, 2017

    I really do think that this is related to my problem. I sometimes don't notice obvious things, and I have a habit of making things too complicated unless I'm steered in the right direction.

    If someone could help me find some "canned curriculum" or "curriculum-in-a-box" that would walk me through, step by step, what to do with the kids--what activities, what objectives, what materials, etc., I think I would get it pretty easily. Maybe I was supposed to have this during student teaching, but I was afraid to ask too many questions, because the attitude again, was, "you should have picked that up in teacher education," and I didn't want to face ridicule or embarrassment for something that wasn't really my fault.
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Dec 8, 2017

    Most people do not use a canned curriculum. Even if a particular program is heavily scripted, there are many other things that must be taught, scaffolded, etc., even within the same content area.

    If you do want some canned lessons or units, people have already pointed you to Teachers Pay Teachers. You've already been handed this resource, but you're ignoring the help. I can see why your coworkers might be getting frustrated with you.
     
  7. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Dec 8, 2017

    Kenz501, you respond to every post with the same woe is me, I wasn't trained, who's going to do my work for me, etc.. Good luck with your life. I understand being on the spectrum, I don't understand your attitude or how you so obviously don't want to be a self starter.

    Honestly, if you can't teach, why would you want to remain a teacher? I have nothing else to offer.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
  8. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Dec 8, 2017

    I integrate reading, writing and critical thinking most of the time; I rarely teach skills in isolation. As an example, right now, we are finishing a unit that looks at the refugee experience. Here are the components:
    Read aloud: Refugee by Alan Gratz. (Objectives: comprehension of oral texts, summarizing oral texts, point of view)
    Non-fiction reading: a variety of articles from Newsela (articles on a variety of subjects are different reading levels), looking at specific refugee stories and mapping routes (a nice Geography tie-in)
    Fiction reading: picture books about and by refugees (looking for connections and asking questions)
    Writing: responses and reflections about their reading, writing a book review, writing news articles, opinion writing, compare and contrast stories from different times and places, writing letters to guest speakers
    Media Literacy: watching interviews and reading news articles
    Our over-arching questions were: Who are refugees? What experiences do refugees share? Why is it important to learn about the refugee experiences (these questions were formulated by the students).
     
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  9. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Dec 8, 2017

    You could buy books like that for any novel you are doing with 6th grade and probably a basal reader textbook used on amazon too. These things aren’t hard to find.
     
  10. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    Dec 8, 2017

    One thing Michelle Garcia Winner mentioned in a workshop I attended years ago is that students on the spectrum are very good at talking about what the need to do to get better at something but often are not nearly as good at actually doing what they need to do to get better at something.

    I feel like I am seeing this in you. You are doing a lot of talking. What I think you need to do is try something. Pick one or two things to work on and try them. See what works and what doesn't and try again.

    There is not script/ canned curriculum in the world that will make you a good teacher. Teaching is way more nuanced than that. As others have said you have to continually work at it.
     
  11. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Dec 8, 2017

    How did you beat out others for this job in the interview phase?
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
  12. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    Dec 8, 2017

    You'll have better luck with this question if you start a new thread. :)
     
  13. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Dec 8, 2017

    I meant "did" not "do", but it's actually a serious question for the OP. Someone must have seen something in him/her to beat out the competition, especially in a saturated field like language arts. The OP must have some ideas about how to effectively instruct students, or at least must know what to say, in order to have secured the position over others.
     
  14. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    Dec 8, 2017

    Ah! Gotcha. Ignore me then haha. :)
     
  15. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Dec 8, 2017

    Erm...it was a small school, and they needed a teacher. Plus, I was working at a youth center already, so I did have a little experience. On top of that, I'm certified to teach ESL as well as Language Arts, and I was working on a math certification. Plus, sometimes it's not what you know but rather who you know. I guess it's not fair, but people are more likely to hire the ones they know or the ones their friends know. My guess is it was some combination of skill, luck, and ironically, smart networking. I also have family in this area.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
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