Should I quit student teaching?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by curiousmind95, Oct 16, 2017.

  1. curiousmind95

    curiousmind95 New Member

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    Oct 16, 2017

    Hi everyone. This is my last year of college before I graduate in May. I have been in my teaching internship for two months now. Everyday... it stinks. No, it's not my mentors or the kids (they are all wonderful!). I just feel miserable, not confident, and insecure. Everything just feels so awkward and nothing I do seems to be right and how I think it will/should turn out. I have taught two lessons so far to middle schoolers and I just get so nervous and feel stupid in front of the class. I taught a horrible mock lesson to my peers at seminar and felt like an idiot. Now I'm with fourth graders and I still feel the same. I have the knowledge but it just doesn't come out right and I never model it correctly at all. I don't know if this is truly meant for me. I am afraid of continuing and becoming a terrible teacher. I feel like I should drop out or change majors. Should I go talk to my advisor about this and ask for my options? Or what do you all suggest? I just don't know what to do at this point. Thanks. :sweat:
     
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  3. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Companion

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    Oct 16, 2017

    You can't give up what you have been spending all those years preparing to do just like that. I would say 100% finish up the internship.It's normal to be insecure in the beginning, but it will get better once you have your own classroom. If, once you have your own classroom, you still don't feel happy, then maybe explore other options, but you're so close to the end, that it wouldn't make sense to quit now. Practice makes perfect, and after delivering a lesson multiple times, you'll get a better hang on it.
     
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  4. svassillion

    svassillion Rookie

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    Oct 16, 2017

    I felt incompetent when I student taught. I didn't feel I measured up to the peers in my program and in retrospect I didn't take on a whole lot of responsibility during my student teaching that I could have taken advantage of. While I worked on my M.Ed. I taught afterschool and it went okay, but I didn't get a great review at the end of the year because I wasn't meeting my potential. My second year teaching afterschool was a complete turn around I believe because I knew what I was doing and had more confidence. I feel like the same thing happened my 1st and 2nd year of teaching. The first year I felt odd being the teacher and didn't have my stuff together, but my 2nd year I felt like I soared. I think what you're feeling is normal and for me at least it took the second time around to feel comfortable and confident in my role.

    Keep in mind too that nobody expects you to be a model teacher at this point. Admins aren't going to expect your first year to be great. You've spent your whole life in the classroom as a student, it can be a hard transition into the teacher role. Eventually though, you get comfortable knowing 25 kids are watching/listening to you and you'll improve the pacing and decision making. I learned this summer that teachers make roughly 1500 decisions a day which is more than any other profession. That takes some time and experience to get used to. If you're worried, you're normal!
     
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  5. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Oct 17, 2017

    Have you discussed your concerns with your mentor teachers? They may have good advice for you.
     
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  6. vickilyn

    vickilyn Maven

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    Oct 17, 2017

    Have you had any observations yet by your supervising teachers from the university? If not, you may want to ask for a quick observation to make sure what you are feeling is what they are seeing. In all honestly, when push comes to shove, they will be the people you will need to convince of your teacher worthiness. I would think getting a head's up sooner rather than later could be a very good thing, giving you time to fix anything not working, or taking the pressure off because what you are feeling isn't what they are seeing. Otherwise, you can stew about it until you are at your wit's end, only to find out that you have worried for nothing, or you should have enlisted their expertise sooner.
     
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  7. ShellyAve

    ShellyAve Rookie

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    Oct 24, 2017

    Okay, DEEP BREATHS! What you are feeling is natural. It is one thing to learn how to teach, but actually doing it is an entirely different beast. I know that two months of struggling seems like a lifetime, but you really haven't had much opportunity to overcome these issues and gain some confidence. Talk to your adviser, talk to your mentors. Get some advice from them on what they think you specifically can do to improve as they likely have a better handle on it then we can hope to. Beyond that, look for opportunities to practice! I used to practice my lessons in front of a mirror and record my sessions to watch them back and see where I was losing them. Ask your fellow student teachers if they'd like to start doing mock lessons. At the very least finish out this internship and see how you feel. You've put in a lot of effort to give up now!
     
  8. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Enthusiast

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    Oct 24, 2017

    I think I was more on the opposite end, thinking I knew everything. That has its own unique disadvantages, and requires you to overcome those notions of grandeur.

    You’ve already come this far, might as well finish. This way if you ever decide to go back to it you would not start over. My suggestion would be, after you finish the internship, get an aid position so you can get used to seeing how other people operate in a classroom. Then steal what they do.
     
  9. Been There

    Been There Rookie

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    Oct 25, 2017

    Have you had many opportunities to observe an excellent veteran teacher presenting a full lesson (from beginning to end). I believe student interns should seek multiple opportunities to observe several different highly skilled professionals teaching a variety of subjects. Also try to arrange brief meetings afterwards to ask the teachers any questions about what you observed. Only by having observed quality teachers in action beforehand will subsequent practice be of value.
     
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  10. scholarteacher

    scholarteacher Connoisseur

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    Nov 8, 2017

    I'll be brutally honest--not against you in any way, but for your benefit. The way teaching has become these days, I always tell college students that if teaching is your calling, and there is nothing else you want to do, go for it. But if you have any doubts, get out while you're young and can pursue something else. I've always been considered a rock star at my schools, but we have admin now who thinks I'm a has been who can do nothing right. I can retire in 4 years, and I don't know how I'm gonna make it. People who observe me aside from admin tell me I still "got it", but according to admin, it's their way or else. They belittle us all the time and have a fit if we don't do everything exactly like they would do it. Good luck to you making the decision that's right for you.
     
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  11. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Comrade

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    Nov 8, 2017

    I’m so sorry that your admin are unsupportive. I’m lucky in that every admin I’ve ever had has been totally supportive. Maybe you kindly state to your VP or P that would like to hear what you’re doing well as opposed to just what you’re doing wrong.
     
  12. Been There

    Been There Rookie

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    Nov 8, 2017

    I retired almost 3 years ago, but my memories of sick admins like yours are so permanently etched in my brain! I can relate to every word in your message. Unfortunately, as you know, there is nothing anyone can suggest to save a sinking ship headed by an incompetent captain! Your advice to curiousmind95 is dead center and shows that you are a realist like me!
     
  13. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Comrade

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    Nov 8, 2017

    I'm starting my student teaching soon and I completely understand what you are saying. I go to my placement once a week and I was so nervous the first time I taught part of a lesson (and it was just going over a Do Now) and I just felt awkward about forming relationships with the students. Over the past few weeks, this has improved for me so much. Yesterday I taught a lesson for the fourth time and it was much better. I also feel less awkward around the kids and I am just trying to be myself. But I will probably still be nervous next time. ALL of my classmates feel the same way.

    About your lessons, I would ask your mentor teacher for feedback. I would also go over what you are saying to the students the night before. What has really helped me is writing down a "script" of what I might want to say for some parts of the lesson that I feel iffy about. (For me, this is the beginning of the lesson.) I also write down the solutions with all the steps for math and include questions I want to ask students. I think preparation is key when you feel nervous. I am nervous every single time I get in front of the class and I probably will be the rest of the year but preparation has really helped me!
     
  14. miss_roxy

    miss_roxy New Member

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    Nov 13, 2017 at 9:28 PM

    When I did my first teaching practicum, I was totally nervous, awkward, and insecure. I felt just as you describe. I always felt like I was messing up something, somehow. But that's learning!

    In my opinion, student teaching feels nothing like real teaching. I learned more in my first few weeks as an employed teacher than I did in all of my practicums combined. You will develop your own routines and relationships, and eventually relax into your own style of teaching.

    Stick it out, you've come so far. Even if you decide after graduation that teaching isn't for you, having a completed degree counts for WAY MORE on your resume than "almost" having a degree.
     
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  15. Obadiah

    Obadiah Habitué

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    Nov 14, 2017 at 7:15 AM

    The fact that you are concerned indicates that you do have what it takes. It's the beginning teacher who thinks s/he knows it all who's in trouble. I'd recommend finishing out the semester. Beginning teaching or beginning any profession is tough. Keep in mind 50-75% of the students will learn no matter how they are taught (Sousa). I might also suggest that you might be your hardest critic; this is normal, and this is good. Stress is also normal and good. It's how we deal with self critique and stress that makes or breaks us. Evaluate your self-evaluations and confer with your mentor and college advisors. Just as with students, mistakes that teachers make are valuable--it's how we learn and grow. Everyone makes mistakes because everyone needs to learn. I've learned from my mistakes all throughout my career. I've never stopped learning, and the day I do stop learning, that's the day I should quit teaching. Stress is also valuable. It's part of daily life. It indicates that something is amiss, and we either correct the problem, learn to adjust to or accept the problem, or ignore the problem as being unrealistic. Whichever route, stress furthers our success. Dealing with stress also includes relaxing. A few deep breaths while concentrating on relaxing, especially in the shoulder area, are relieving and strengthening. Taking time after school to meditate a few minutes is also helpful. Basic nutritional and exercise needs, when kept up to par, are rejuvenating, and I would recommend avoiding the current fad of taking those stimulants found in dollar stores--they are counterproductive and even dangerous. In eleventh grade, my friends and I in algebra class had a saying that keeps ringing through my mind to this day, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going!" The key is, do not quit. Grab your grit and go for it. Quitters never win, but winners never quit. Alexander Bell tried hundreds of experiments before he finally succeeded. Einstein was the college oddball, until...well you know the rest of the story.
     

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