Anxiety/Lack of Support

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by merryk, Apr 20, 2008.

  1. merryk

    merryk New Member

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    Apr 20, 2008

    Hello all,

    I need to vent, so bear with me. :unsure: I am finishing up my first year of teaching, and I have been getting very stressed and frustrated lately. I often become extremely anxious about any mistakes I make, in addition to the impression that I am making on other teachers and administrators. I have had very little support from the administration (my principal has only been in to observe me twice all year). I was never given a mentor, and yet I was suddenly contacted a week ago from a mentor saying that they needed to get a whole year's worth of information, lesson plans, reflections, etc. from me by this week because they needed to submit it soon for an end-of-the-year report. When I asked several times this year, I was told that there just "weren't enough qualified mentors for everyone," so I didn't get one.

    I came into teaching with confidence and optimism, and now I am leaving my first year feeling really unsupported, unsure of myself, and questioning whether or not it is worth it to continue next year. My evaluations were good, but they haven't been very helpful as I have been observed a minimal number of times. I LOVE the actual teaching portion of my job, but everything else has been turning me off to it.

    Anyway, I guess I just need some advice. What should I do about the mentoring situation? Should I speak up more next year if I am not observed as much as I should be? I don't want to seem pushy or irritating to the principal.

    Thanks in advance for your help.:thanks:
     
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  3. Carebear05

    Carebear05 Comrade

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    Apr 20, 2008

    Is there someone higher up that you could talk to? I mean I know that you dont want to seem like a "tattle-tale" but I know before school started, our Superintendent and Director of Instruction was in on the mentoring program. Do you by any chance have a self evaluation? We have one that our principal gives to us. Now Im not sure how it all works because I havent been to him yet to discuss anything, but the self-evaluation that we have gives us an opportunity at the bottom to write down things that we have questions, comments or concerns about.
     
  4. allyd

    allyd Rookie

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    Apr 20, 2008

    During my first year of teaching, I had a mentor and she was great. BUT I was overwhelmed and also would get very stressed out. What I did that I will always be grateful for was went to a therapist every other week for one hour. It was great to have someone outside (confidentially) to speak to about my frustrations. It really helped me a lot. On another note, if they feel that there are no qualified mentors to go around, I don't know if you would be any better off with one! Scary but true.
     
  5. 1angel

    1angel Rookie

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    Apr 21, 2008

    During my first year I didn't receive the evaluations I was supposed to at all. I did have a mentor, but she did not mentor me. In fact she would come to me and ask when things were due. I'm a big enough jerk that I acted like I had no idea when her things were do (even though I knew each one), but I figured that was not my job to try to get through everything on my own and keep up with her.

    I never did get observed--imagine my shock when I heard the principal saying what a great teacher I was! I remember wondering how in the world would she know?? My room was so far away I had never even seen her for weeks at a time! The kids didn't even know who she was!

    The principal was aware that the mentor didn't have a clue, I would have my things done and turned in and she didn't have any idea about it. I just started making sure my end of things was covered and kept my mouth shut.

    Now I am secure in my position--so my mouth will open freely when need be, but boy that first year all you saw out of me was a smile. I had worked in the business world long enough to know how to plaster it on!

    Well there may be no specific advice to give, but know that you are certainly not the only one whose gone through it! I can tell you, as soon as I stopped being in a mentoring situation I calmed down immensely--so much less stress to worry about just me instead of me and the mentor, too.

    Also I love the idea of a therapist-I haven't gone yet, but I'm beginning to believe that teachers really need to--you can't vent it all at school and at home no one really understands. I'm going to have to give this a shot!
     

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