Were you scared when you first started teaching?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by StrugglingTeach, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. StrugglingTeach

    StrugglingTeach Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 16, 2010

    Next school year is my second year of teaching. I had a very, very rough first year. Going into my second year, I will be like a first year teacher all over again because I will be in a completely different setting and teaching classes I haven't taught before. I'm happy about the different setting because this year was horrific but I don't feel like I have any extra confidence (that usually comes with having a little bit of experience) going into my second year. In fact, I probably have LESS than when I was fresh out of college after this school year.

    Were you scared going into your first year as a teacher? What about your first few years? What were you worried about and how did you handle it?
     
  2.  
  3. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    Messages:
    6,181
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 16, 2010

    I was terrified. I wanted to be the best I could be but felt so lost and clueless. But, I work hard, ask questions, research, and over the years, I started to become more and more comfortable teaching. I feel confidence now that I didn't have my first year.

    I have had to teach a new grade, at a new school pretty much every year. So, it felt like I was starting over each year. BUT, I still felt more confident.

    It's normal to feel scared. :)
     
  4. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 16, 2010

    Was I scared? Uhhh...yeah...

    I had a great first class though and some experience as an aide. I had a team teacher though that decided I wasn't qualified to teach. It shook my confidence but I slowly started to build it. Recently a teacher suggested I write a strengths list. Even if it was an improved area (though not proficient), I put it down. I had 4-5 pages of stuff! I suggest you sit down and really think about your strengths or what you accomplished. Do not focus on your weaknesses. Do not even mention them. I bet you will be surprised when you do.
     
  5. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    17,362
    Likes Received:
    46

    Jun 17, 2010

    Heck yeah I was scared!! But you eventually get over the fear and become a great teacher. I agree with Peachy, you have to research strategies, ask questions, and work hard to get that confidence.
     
  6. HMM

    HMM Cohort

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Messages:
    694
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 17, 2010

    No. It all felt natural to me...Like I had been doing it for years.

    (I was teaching college students...calculus...so it is a different situation)
     
  7. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    5,378
    Likes Received:
    894

    Jun 17, 2010

    I was so scared when I did my students teaching that I threw up almost daily and lost a total of 30 pounds during my four months in the classroom.

    For the next few years, I was better, but still kind of nervous. I did something different every year, so I never felt settled.
     
  8. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    Messages:
    3,513
    Likes Received:
    14

    Jun 17, 2010

    Curious. I don't remember feeling scared.

    I remember feeling excited (and I still get that way as school approaches).

    Put me in front of a group of students and I am super comfortable. I used to get scared about being in front of a group of adults, but I've done enough conference presentations that I'm gaining confidence there.
     
  9. SciTeacherNY

    SciTeacherNY Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 17, 2010

    Don't be too nervous about your second year. My first year teaching I had some very difficult students, but for my second year, I was at a different school with different students and everything was much better. I learned a lot from that first year that made the second year run better. (It was not perfect by any means, but it was so much better)
     
  10. gdmckav

    gdmckav Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2009
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 20, 2010

    I was definitely nervous the first day of the first year. It is especially nerve-racking coming in to a community that you did not live in previously or have any experience with at all. One thing that definitely helped with me is not taking anything personally. You will have students who challenge you and do not respect you. You will even have some students who outright give you trouble in the classroom because they do not know you and want to challenge you. I have found in those situations you cannot take anything as personal attack, as much as it may seem like it. With time, you will develop the "quick skills" necessary to calmly manage a classroom and maintain the respect of the students.

    I will be starting my third year of teaching and cannot wait for it because I kept realizing at the end of the previous two years, new techniques I wanted to use to better manage the classroom, instruct learning, or assess student knowledge.
     
  11. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    1,912
    Likes Received:
    14

    Jun 20, 2010

    I was terrified! I'd been working with toddlers, and 2nd graders seemed so... old! and big!

    The one thing that got me over it (for the most part, there were of course moments or activities where I was anxious throughout the year...)

    I was giving a big pre-test the first week of school. I had a greenish-purple protein shake in a travel coffee mug, with the top off because it was too thick. All the kids assumed I was drinking coffee.

    As I was walking through the room, drinking my smoothie, an air bubble in it popped and it dumped all over my face, dripping down my front, all over the floor.

    The kids were staring at me - thinking, can we laugh? Why is her coffee purple?

    And before long, we were all in a fit of giggles. It was embarrassing, but it helped me loosen up and get over my nervousness!
     
  12. Go 4th

    Go 4th Habitué

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Messages:
    942
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 20, 2010

    Cut--I LOVE that idea of writing down your strengths! I think that would help everyone so much, especially on those tough days! And would be a fantastic idea for the OP!

    Struggling--could you pinpoint one main thing that you felt was an area of weakness? What grade are you? Research those things on here and all over! You can develop some strategies for the weakness and learn some things that might be very beneficial for the grade you are entering.

    I had a rotten student teaching experience. I didn't realize the impact until I got hired and was getting ready for my class. I was TERRIFIED! I kept thinking of all the the things that my CT told me was wrong and wondering how in the world I would make it. Her words and her attitude stayed in the back of my mind for a long time. Teaching is a lot like shopping for jeans. You find a pair, go try them on, something isn't right--too tight, too short, too hippy, brand, etc. Do you just leave? Nope--you find another pair with a different brand, size, etc. Try those on--they may fit. This year wasn't great for you, but learn from it. Keep an open mind and try on this next year. You may have found the grade and content that works better for you.

    Do you have a mentor teacher or someone to talk with at school who can help you?

    Big hugs!!!
     
  13. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    1,912
    Likes Received:
    14

    Jun 20, 2010

    Me too! I drove to school in tears every day for most of student teaching. It was horrible!

    All year, I could hear my CT's voice nitpicking in the back of my mind. Hopefully now that I have had a fantastic first year, that will go away!
     
  14. Go 4th

    Go 4th Habitué

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Messages:
    942
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 20, 2010

    I was having panic attacks in the parking lot. She even threatened me one day. I went to my college, with 2 weeks left, and said I couldn't do it anymore and would just quit and do ST again in the fall if I had to. They moved me luckily!

    It's hard to get those negative thoughts out of our minds. But I love Cut's idea of writing down the strengths! That's a great way to focus on the good and have them to look at on those tough days!
     
  15. demijasmom

    demijasmom Companion

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 23, 2010

    Just a little but once I was in my "element" it felt as if I had being teaching forever.
     
  16. Southern JC

    Southern JC Companion

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2007
    Messages:
    144
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jun 25, 2010

    I think the nerves are just a good sign that you really care. Just make sure that you are more than prepared for the first day as well as the first week. Remember, the students are expecting you to be ready for them. If you are, they should respond the way you want them to. Use the first days to set the tone for the rest of the year, and you'll be fine. Good luck.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Backroads,
  2. Lisabobisa
Total: 408 (members: 3, guests: 373, robots: 32)
test