Training question: I'm afraid to tell them I wasn't trained properly

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Kenz501, Feb 7, 2018.

  1. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    But it isn't. Every day you are ineffective in the classroom is one more day each child you teach loses a day of education.

    If you were ice skating the only people being harmed are whoever is paying for your lessons and those who can't use the ice time you are taking. For the majority of people in the country, that would not impact their lives tremendously.
     
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  2. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    [​IMG]
     
  3. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Then why aren't your more generous with your university professors instead of blaming them. Maybe they are just learning too!
     
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  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    I don't think you are going to find the solution to everything on a discussion board. If you are willing to try what is suggested, asking about a specific issue can be helpful. I think there is some frustration on the board that everything that people have suggested leads to you saying that it won't work for "X" reason or you weren't taught "Y" at college.

    In terms of a disability, there are many teachers who have disabilities who are effective educators. I have worked with educators who are autistic who are successful. I know one educator who, for example, works a modified schedule. They feel that 1/2 days gives them the time and energy to both be effective and to have their own time at home. I'm not saying this is what would work for everyone, but my point is this person has found what will work for them.

    I think what separates people with disabilities who are successful from people with disabilities who are not is really no different from people without disability who are successful versus people without disability who are not successful. People (with and without disabilities) who are successful work hard, reflect on themselves and work to improve. I see this in students all the time. Some students (with or without disabilities) when something goes wrong are willing to accept feedback. They realize that doing bad on a test is, at least partially, a reflection on them. Other students blame their teachers, say we didn't teach it right/ the test wasn't fair, call their parents to complain that their accommodations were not implemented (even if they were the one who refused to use the accommodations). As a teacher I am going to support both students but in my experience, over time the first student does better because every time they fail/ fall down/ have difficulty, they pick themselves back up and try again and it is through that trying that they get better.

    I don't think anyone is trying to say that a person with autism can't teach. I do think that if you have never worked on your communication skills or your social skills (both which can be improved even with autism) that trying to address these while concurrently trying to learn how to be organized and how to teach may be too much. Most teachers feel like they are in over their head in their first year. It is expected that there will be a learning curve. There is no magic solution. But if you lack the prerequisite skills it is going to be that much harder.

    At the end of the day, you are where you are. I would say your best chance is to focus on what you can do and what you can learn rather than blaming others for your challenges.

    But that's just my thinking on the topic.
     
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  6. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Have you done your lesson plans for next week? Post them and maybe we can help you tweak them.

    If you haven’t done them yet, get out your standards and teacher editions and get busy.
     
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  7. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    But you know what they say... When you meet one person with autism, you met one person with autism... or something like that because no two with autism have the same level of deficits. Just because some with autism will be successful, it doesn't mean everyone with high functioning autism can even with a good attitude and work ethic.
     
  8. TrademarkTer

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    Thank you Kenz! You've just found the solution!!! After this year, take off and sub for a few years, and then decide if you want to get back into the ring. I think that is a smart decision. This may be the training you desire.
     
  9. Kenz501

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    I guess I should "stop airing my personal concerns on public forums," and try to ask my questions in ways that are less personal. Eliciting emotion is a great way to get people to pay attention, but some end up prying too deeply and giving advice that was not requested.

    Okay, whoever tried to tell me that, I think I'll try your advice. I was only including my personal experience, though, to explain my problem.
     
  10. svassillion

    svassillion Companion

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    I understand and still agree. But in this case I think the OP has the capability to improve to the point that she feels comfortable teaching. Although as Im writing this Im beginning to question if Im putting too much faith in her capabilities. I just figured its hard to get this far without some capability. So I'm getting what you're putting down.
     
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  11. Kenz501

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    I'm not sure how much faith I have in my own capability, either, but, to my credit, I did start my career in a tough environment, so maybe I shouldn't gauge it by that.

    This place is better, but my coworkers are still difficult to communicate with. I don't want to seem incompetent or needy, so I try not to ask them too many basic questions.
     
  12. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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  13. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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  14. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    You're welcome--take the time to read and find what you need to get going on your plans for the week.
     
  15. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    You remind me of a former coworker of mine. He was alt cert. But he would not follow suggestions of coworkers and kept insisting it had to be done a certain way he had in his mind it needed to be done. My partner and I suggested he make seating charts. We told him over and over. It took him over 3 weeks to make seating charts, and his management suffered the whole time. His issue was task prioritization. He only taught for a year. He is now a successful manager at a major retail chain. The job is better suited to his strengths. Teaching required too much of a kind of thinking he's just not good at. He needs a daily checklist. I shared mine with him, but he needs someone to tell him exactly what to do when. He never settled in to the daily routine of classroom life.

    Have you looked at other options besides being in the classroom? Many districts hire teachers to implement their homebound program. Or, maybe an interventionist job?
     
  16. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    OP, you have spent the majority of today posting on this thread. How many lesson plans did you write? How many old text books did you dust off and reread, looking for the terminology and information you didn't learn the first time through? As far as the expense of testing your hypothesis of what may or may not be wrong with you, if you have benefits now, use them. No promise that you will still have them come summer, so why not pursue reliable testing from a qualified doctor at this time in your life? FYI, I did fall repeatedly while trying to learn to ice skate. My wise deduction was that if I still wanted to walk by the time I was twenty I would find a better use of my time. I realized I was totally lacking in that area of expertise. I consider that making a smart decision about my abilities, not giving up. Turns out, college and I were/are destined for each other. They teach, I learn, I am a better teacher for learning what they taught. If I took classes that I learned nothing from, it would be like trying to ice skate - a waste of time, money, and energy. I don't have the time to waste foolishly when there is so much more that I can apply to my life.

    And let us keep this one piece of information in mind - this isn't your first year teaching, but your fourth. For all of the sweeping those first three years under the rug because you were "teaching subjects you weren't qualified for", the truth is that an ESL teacher is actually an accepted teacher in all contents, because you are teaching literacy and connections to the English language. And before you ask, yes, I earned my MEd. in Teaching English as a Second Language. It isn't all I teach, but to teach ESL, I have to be able to teach English throughout the contents. .Heavens, if you were struggling so much, why didn't you start taking a class here and there to put things into perspective for you, instead of using that canned curriculum and stagnating as a teacher for three years?

    The truth is that you may have passed the teacher exams, but some people can remember facts for a test without understanding how they are connected, so I take that with a grain of salt. Some people don't test well because they are slow readers, which impacts scores on timed tests, yet they understand the content with great depth. I don't think you are going to be happy subbing, with the much smaller paychecks and lack of benefits. That said, it may be the right course of action for you so that you can ask as many questions over and over without fear of reprisal. However, if you can't control the classes, you may find yourself not being called as frequently as you would like.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
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  17. Kenz501

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    I have taken a few small steps toward trying to apply some of the pertinent advice I've received on this thread.

    No, I didn't fail with everyone everywhere. I wasn't sure how well I was doing at the youth center, because there were a lot of unfair things happening to all of the teachers. Apparently, I was not regarded as doing as poorly as I imagined since they kept me for almost three years and maybe would have kept me longer, but I found a better job, so I resigned with my boss's recommendation. If we are to count that, why not count the time I did as a tutor or substitute teacher while I was in graduate school? That would bring my total years of teaching experience into the range of about five or six years or more, but I feel calling myself a teacher with that many years of experience, really, with much experience at all, belies the truth. Until this job where I am currently, I had never worked in a public school long-term. I was never required to plan my own lessons. I didn't even have to see the same students the whole year. That doesn't mean I wasn't trying to improve myself constantly. I've asked teachers so many questions that they've probably gotten tired of hearing from me!

    I'm sure my experience doing those jobs counted for something. I have taught a range of different subjects, and, oddly, my two favorite subjects to teach are math and foreign language, even though I'm not certified for either one. I have worked in settings that taught me lessons I would do well to transfer to anywhere I work, such as people of all ages often look to the schools to provide for other needs besides academics.

    Please remember, however, that I do not have a lot of practice making up my own lessons. I'm used to scripted detailed step-by-step plans that not only show me the objective but provide step-by-step suggestions to the instructor for delivering the lesson and computer programs that deliver the lesson and only require me to intervene if the student doesn't understand something. That's most of my "teaching experience."
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
  18. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Furthermore, I may have my own set of unique problems. Perhaps sometimes my brain just doesn't process certain bits of information the way you might expect. Easy tasks are sometimes very complicated for me if they aren't explained and demonstrated, sometimes multiple times. It's just the way my brain works and I've had to cope with it all of my life. Usually, this doesn't play a big role in my day-to-day functioning. So what if I have trouble reading the instructions to assemble something or don't exactly understand how to do certain math problems or read a complex chart in the doctor's office? There are usually people to explain things, but I haven't found anyone willing to explain how to use those "resources" they've given me to follow on my job. Most of what I've found out has been by frustrating trial, error, and guessing.

    For example, recently, I found out which textbook I was supposed to be using. Before this, I didn't know and assumed I was supposed to use the Reading textbook for Reading and the Writing textbook for English. I didn't know that one contained the main lessons and the other was just used as a supplemental resource. This week, I found out about the website that gives an overview of the objectives for different grade levels. Today, I'm planning to ask an elementary math teacher more about how to use this system for lesson planning, since my coworkers in ELA haven't proven nearly as helpful. Hopefully, things are starting to come together. Keep in mind, though, that I've been here for about seven months. It would have been nice to have an idea of how to use the resources provided before now.

    I also don't understand why people get frustrated when I ask them the same questions, since they clearly don't provide the answers I need. It's frustrating when people make things a guessing game instead of explaining things clearly. It's happened to me enough, though, that I don't even think people realize they're doing it to me. It may have something to do with the way I process information, but why do most people settle on vague explanations when I ask for specific answers? Why did I hear "use the textbook" but not which textbook? Why did I get "explore the website" but not what to look for on the website?

    What's frustrating about this is I can't really tell my boss that I haven't been trained or wasn't provided with the right kind of help or resources, because everyone I've had enough nerve to ask has tried to help me in some way, mostly through providing more resources I don't exactly know how to use, but they did try to help. I guess to them it looks like I'm refusing to learn this stuff, but they aren't presenting it the right way for me to even understand what's going on half of the time. I also feel like some of the people who were really helpful to me are losing patience with me. This isn't new. I'm just giving my perspective. Had I understood the problem earlier, I probably would have felt comfortable approaching someone about it, but I didn't even know what I was supposed to be doing at first. Surely my coworkers or principal recognized this?
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
  19. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    It requires effort to improve, yes, but what's being missed here is the OP's students. While Kenz flounders around, blaming failure in lack of 'training' (I really dislike that word-dogs get trained; professionals get developed)...her students aren't getting what they need. Kenz is failing his students while whining about her own education.

    It's FEBRUARY, Kenz. Your observation write ups aren't good, YOU JUST FIGURED OUT WHAT TEXTBOOK TO USE, and most importantly, you have wasted more than half a school year of your students' education.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
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  20. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    You write this, but then instead of stating what those steps are, you write 7 more paragraphs of the usual whining. You are not the student any more Kenz. You are the professional.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018

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