you lost my paper!

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

  1. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Dec 3, 2017

    My cooperating teacher had this DOWN PAT. She had a rolling cabinet with ten drawers, with five different colors, two drawers per color. Each class knew their color (to the point I still think think of the students by Red Class, Green Class, etc) and knew assignments had to go into that color top drawer. Any assignments not marked with a name stayed in that drawer, untouched, until the student took ownership of it by signing it. Graded assignments would always be in the bottom drawer at the beginning of each class to be handed out by the teacher (so students couldn't take each other's work).

    This is what I'm talking about.
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Dec 3, 2017

    I do not normally lose papers but students do, and I understand what you mean when you say it falls on you even if it's initially their fault. It is bothersome to keep going back and reprinting an assignment, or emailing parents to tell them when their child needs to do to get incomplete work finished.

    When work is handed to me, I immediately put a binder clip on them to make sure nothing slips out. The problem is when a student hands me something late (maybe they weren't quite finished with the worksheet and finish 10 minutes later) I have to remember to put it into the same pile. I've made a concentrated effort to do that, but I think that having a turn-in bin for any late assignments might help with that too.

    It's not bad to have students keep their work but it makes it harder to grade. If you're just doing participation/completion points, it's easy enough to just glance at a notebook and see if it's done. It takes me a lot longer to grade something in a notebook.

    Also you might consider making more digital assignments if possible. That way nothing can get lost.
     
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  3. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Dec 3, 2017

    I have had kids tell me that I lost their paper. I always tell them that I did not lose their paper. I know this because I keep them all together. Therefore, I would have lost ALL of the papers from that class.

    Students turn in work in a box specific to their class. I take them from that box and put them in my "to grade" folder for that class. They don't go with me out of the classroom. They don't go anywhere else.

    Usually when I press them further, we find out that one of the following applies. 1. They didn't put their name on it. They find it in the "no name" box. 2. They didn't turn it in. They find it in their binder. They didn't do it. 3. They put it in the wrong place. "But I put it on your desk." That might be true, but that is not where they go. So, I didn't get it.
     
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  4. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Dec 3, 2017

    There are plenty of people who are willing to help new teachers. I've worked as a mentor teacher many times. I'm considered to be very routine-oriented and organized. People will ask me about things that I do, and I'll let them ask questions or observe my class.

    I'll tell you, though, that sometimes I just stop offering help when it is always met with a negative attitude. "I can't do that." "That won't work for me." "I prefer to do it this way." Well, then do it your way and quit asking me for help.

    I have noticed that sometimes you don't like the answers that you get when you post questions here. We are trying to help. You are the only person who can fix your issues. Others can offer suggestions that work for them. It is up to YOU to make those changes work for your situation. If you don't like them, that's fine, too. You don't have to use them.
     
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  5. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Dec 3, 2017

    As far as observation is concerned, what model does your district use? Danielson, Stronge, Marzano, Marshall?
     
  6. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Have you read any books to fill in some gaps? Teach like a Champion comes to mind.
     
  7. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Dec 3, 2017

    I'm really not sure. How would I find that information out? I just moved to this state; I'm new to the school district.
     
  8. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    I'm trying to take her advice; she advised me to cut out games and gimmicks if they weren't necessary components of instruction. I started the year with a call-and-response-based teaching method and "behavior scoreboard" system that would reward the kids for participation and good behavior, but I was warned that I might have management problems if I kept it, so I scrapped it. No one told me what to replace it with, so I reverted back to just teaching out of the textbook and doing a lot of paper-and-pencil activities. Being a new teacher, I don't really know what activities qualify as "absolutely necessary components of instruction," so I've been very careful to do just what I've been told, or what I think I've been told, and not try a lot of new things. The kids are bored, and I'm getting some behavior problems as a result. I'm not really sure what to do about said behavior problems, and I think it's pretty unfair that they left me hanging after telling me to scrap the system I was already using.

    Of course, I was having trouble keeping up with things, and it was probably good advice. I didn't want them to get used to being rewarded for good behavior they should display anyway, but I'm not happy I can no longer rely on peer pressure to get the whole group to behave like quiet little church mice.

    The system I was using was strictly for learning engagement and promoting student interactivity, but I almost feel like I need to have the activities I try with the kids "approved" by the more experienced teachers, because I don't want them to feel like I'm not taking their advice.
     
  9. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    I want to run most of my decisions through her to make sure they make sense, like allowing the kids to keep their papers in their notebooks and just checking them there. She'll probably tell me that it's not a good idea, because it will teach them to be lazy and make more work for me, and she's a more experienced teacher, so she's probably right.

    I've been very careful with the papers, though. I keep them together, keep them all in my "to grade" folder, and often don't let things leave the classroom. When they do leave the classroom, they are in a folder, not loose, so it would be difficult to lose one and not all of them. I just can't verify whether a student has turned something in or not, and that leads to accusations that I lost the paper. It's pretty irritating; it's just something they know they can do. If they accuse me of losing the paper, I'll give them another one, and they won't have the responsibility of keeping up with their work. My executive functioning skills are not that good, and since I don't have a fool-proof way of showing the student that I did not lose his / her paper, I usually give in to the student's request. I hate doing this, though, because it's like me admitting that I've lost the student's paper, even when I most likely did not do so.

    I mentioned earlier, too, that I have trouble keeping up with student attendance. It's especially aggravating when a student has to leave early or attend an extracurricular activity, because when I check the roll to see if he / she is missing work, it will say that the child is present, because I have to take roll at the beginning of class. That means if the kid misses an assignment that I give at the end of class, I'll be missing another assignment, and the kid will probably accuse me of losing his / her paper again...
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Dec 3, 2017

    Kenzi. Youve got A LOT of active threads. And you seem to not be putting too much advice onto serious action. And you confinue to make excises about being Aspergers. There are many sucessful teachers figting private battles and challenges. What sill you fo TOMORROW to make a change in your classroom?
     
  11. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    I don't know of any good systems for people with poor working memory / bad multi-tasking skills, but that's probably what I need. Do you know how confusing it is for me when a kid has to leave early for extacurricular activites, and he / she ends up not turning in an assignment because of it? Nine times out of ten, I'm not going to remember to make a note of it, and it's little things like that that cause me so much grief.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
  12. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Dec 3, 2017

    Do something to eliminate all of this paper, for one thing. The kids can't keep up with it, and I can't seem to grade it in time. Something always happens; the grade book doesn't save it, kids are absent and never make up the work, they just forget to do it. We have access to a computer lab, and it's usually empty.

    I've gotten lots of good advice, but I need something that will work for me. I don't have good multi-tasking skills--when I have to do a lot of little things in a short amount of time, I tend to lose track of them, regardless of how organized I try to be. This is how I managed to lose my first couple of jobs at various other places of employment. My adviser at college told me that it was probably because I didn't have a degree, but even though a degree made me more employable, these little problems still pop up, and sometimes I have trouble solving them. I can try even harder, but it's already December, and I'm at least a little frustrated. I don't know what poor executive functioning skills and trouble multitasking looks like to everyone on the outside, but it's really frustrating to me. It feels like I can't really keep up with my job, despite my very best efforts.

    I don't believe I'm losing student papers, because I follow all of the steps I think I need to take to not do that, but do I forget to tell students to make things up? Yes. Do I have trouble keeping track of who is in my classroom when I give assignments (if Johnny is marked "present" but he was called to the office or went to the bathroom, he missed the homework assignment)? Yes. Do I forget to provide frequent reminders so that my students know when an assignment is due? Yes. Do I forget to have students who didn't turn things in make a note to me so that I have proof that they didn't turn it in? Yes.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
  13. monkeyrun

    monkeyrun Rookie

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    Dec 3, 2017

    There are so many excuses in your responses. It sounds like you know some of your issues. I also have trouble remembering to do things, so I have had to come up with solutions. You say kids are leaving early and you can't remember to mark that. Make yourself a note on a bright Post-it to make a list of kids who left early and attach to turned in papers. I would even just write the names of those who left early on a Post-it, then attach it to the paper clip or binder clip I used to hold all of the papers together.

    When I know my mind is a mess, I make myself a list. I've gotten to emailing myself any ideas I get throughout the day so I don't forget.

    And, you constantly say no one will help. You've gotten plenty of help. You've given even more excuses.

    Pick ONE thing to begin with. Make it a habit. Then pick something else. And remember, college is not supposed to teach you everything you are supposed to know. I am in year nine and I constantly read, attend PDs, take classes when I can, speak with colleagues, etc. Every year I am presented with something new. It is MY job to figure out what I need help with and then to get that help. That is on ME, no my colleagues, not my college, not anyone else.

    I'm sure this is harsh, and I don't mean for it to be, but you have got to take some responsibility. Leave the excuses.
     
  14. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Dec 3, 2017

    OP - stop posting, and choose to write out your plan for tomorrow. It is already late, and you have been posting all weekend. What have you absolutely decided on to improve taking attendance, organize yourself with time is tight, shore up your chain of command of student work so that you can absolutely stare them down without fear you are wrong? You started by asking these questions in different threads and a ton of help was given to you. However, only you can implement the change you need. I'm going into mom mode at this point - it is time to get offline and do some solid work with what you have been given.
     
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  15. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Every school district in my state chooses what model they use. I have no idea how they do it where you are. It should have come up in your new teacher orientation.

    With all the struggles you are having, I wouldn’t worry about your observation beyond having an objective and assessing that objective. Anything more than that would probably just mess you up.
     
  16. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Thanks. I did receive some good tips, and I guess I'll try them. Something that makes me do more work isn't necessarily bad, because I need to develop better habits. Most of this is just about me being able to prove my competence to the kids, at least, that's what it's about to me.
     
  17. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    I haven't had new teacher orientation. I was hired after that was already given. They did give me a binder. I looked through a few pages of it, but I didn't find everything I needed to know.
     
  18. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Like i said, at this point I wouldn’t even bother worrying about it. If you want to, you can ask another teacher which evaluation system the district uses.
     
  19. CharRMS

    CharRMS Companion

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    Dec 3, 2017

    Prove your competence to your kids by trying some of the ideas that you were given and find something that works for you and your classroom. Prove your competence by finding something POSITIVE about yourself and sticking to that and building on it. Decide to make one change this week and try it out, and if it doesn't work, then find another solution to one challenge you're facing.

    On student's missing assignments, implement a buddy system. If it's a paper assignment, pass out the exact same number of papers EVERY time and then have the missing student's buddy collect the paper and put their name on it and give it back to you to put in a missing work folder. If it is something that needs to be written down, remind the missing student to check with their buddy for the assignment.

    I'm going to share with you some of the best advice I have ever heard. From my 8th grade ELA teacher, "Can't never could." Stop telling yourself that you can't and start telling yourself that you can. Can't NEVER could.
     
  20. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Dec 4, 2017

    Okay. Thanks for the advice.
     

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