Are you a good teacher? I'm not!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by VANewbie, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    Sep 20, 2010

    I am feeling very down this week and its only Monday. Actually ever since school started I have been feeling down. It is only my 2nd year and my first year with people in and out of my room to help with the kids. This I do not mind but I am starting to realize that I am not a good teacher.
    I guess I was able to mask it because I am organized, great with classroom management, great with parents, social with the staff.
    But now with people in my room it seems like they are looking at me like "what is she doing"

    I can teach but I am not effective in explaining things and I just feel like I am a horrible teacher. I know the people who come in my class just want to help but why is it the pull out support is giving me ideas on what I can and should do to teach my kids. I love the ideas but it makes me feel dumb.

    Is anyone a good teacher, does it take time to deliver great lessons, or am I just dumb?

    VENT
     
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  3. Chalk

    Chalk Companion

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    Sep 20, 2010

    Hi

    Let me tell you the honest truth. teaching when its just you and the kids uses different methods and patterns from teaching when you have other "resource" teachers moving around the room. You may suck as a teacher, but it doesn't sound like it to me. It just sounds like you need a different set of strategies to use while the other teacher folks are in the room too.

    As for weird looks or overly suggestive resource people, listen to what they have to say but always remember YOU ARE THE TEACHER, these are your kids, do whats best for them and don't worry about "the look". Heck at one of my schools the resources aids are just people with an associates or less that have an aid credential and got hired because of cut budget issues. You are the one with training and the license, trust yourself, trust your training and just go teach.

    Till then, take a hug and prayer from us :hugs:
     
  4. amaran20

    amaran20 Rookie

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    Sep 20, 2010

    VANewbie I totally understand how you feel. I'm also a 2nd year teacher, but I switched grade levels this year. I feel like the resource teacher thinks I'm doing everything wrong and so I feel like I'm doing everything wrong.
    It sounds to me that you have all the hardest parts down (classroom management, dealing with parents). Those are the areas I feel weakest. So no advice, but I can sympathize. I hope it gets better!
     
  5. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

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    Sep 20, 2010

    Try not to take it too personally. I'm assuming the pull outs are special education, or OT, speech, that sort of thing? :)

    Just because someone offers a suggestion doesn't mean you're doing anything wrong, or that you're a "bad" teacher.

    OT is always giving me things that I can do in my classroom. Some of the ideas I use, others I don't. I just smile and nod and thank them for the ideas. It isn't that they think I'm sucking at my job, they are offering ideas to help individual students. It is part of their job to offer consultation. And--some of the ideas have been really good ones! :D

    On the flip side, I will sometimes tell General Education teachers about things that work with my kiddos. I'll also sometimes offer suggestions when they have students they have behavior issues with, who aren't yet my students. A lot of education is the sharing of ideas.

    :) I am sure you are a great teacher. :)
     
  6. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Sep 20, 2010

    I'm on teaching year 18, and I still learn new things all the time. I learn from veteran teachers and new teachers. One of the reasons that I like having interns is that I learn new things from them while they're learning things from me.

    Some days I still feel "out of sorts", and most of the time I can't put my finger on any one issue. I don't think that makes me a bad teacher.

    Come to think of it, the only truly BAD teachers I've ever known actually thought they were doing fine. The good teachers are always looking for ways to improve what they do.
     
  7. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    Sep 20, 2010

    Its not that I don't want help or advice. But I hate when they come to me and make it seem like I am not the teacher.

    For example Chalk^^^^ above says YOU ARE THE TEACER. Well don't these people know that. Why do they come to me and say you should of did it this way or could of done it that way.
    This year its like I am just trying to prove I am a good teacher. I hate this feeling.

    But I LOVE learning and getting advice from others. I guess its just the way these people are going about giving me the advice. Or maybe its my anxiety just making me think i think I know what they think. lol
     
  8. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

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    Oh, that would annoy me and make me nervous too. If they are flat out saying "you should do it this way", I'd be upset as well. Do they do it when kids are in the room?

    I'm not sure I have any advice for that.
     
  9. mom2sands

    mom2sands Comrade

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    Sep 20, 2010

    This is my third year teaching. I've found that I can't teach every class the same way. Each year has been different. This year's class does well to change up or do something physical every 10 minutes because they are extremely antsy. I have many behvavior issues in my class. What works for Johnny today doesn't work tomorrow, etc. It's still early and I ask my para how she thinks certain things went. She works more closely on reading center activities with students while I'm working with small groups. One activity the other day was a flop for many of the kids, but worked well with others. I guess how someone makes a suggestion is most important.
     
  10. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Sep 20, 2010

    First off, you're not dumb!!! Get that out of your head!!!

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion; however, it's YOUR job to take what they say and either use their advice/tips or completely forget about/disregard what they're saying. No matter how good a teacher is, someone will always have something to say!!!

    Let me give you an example: During my first year teaching, my vice-principal came to observe me informally. Later on that day, she pulled me aside and told me that she didn't like the fact that I make my students walk with their hands behind their backs when they're walking to/from class from the playground, coming to/from lunch, etc.

    I spoke with my principal the next day, and she pretty much said to take my vice-principal's comment with a grain of salt!!! She said that I had the best classroom management she'd seen in years, and that I shouldn't change a thing!!!

    I'll leave you with three important words: BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!!! :thumb:
     
  11. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

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    Sep 21, 2010

    Aw, that's too bad. I'm having a rough year too... I don't feel like I am doing enough for my needy group of kiddos this year, but I don't know that I can really give any more of myself. I am already at school an hour and a half before school, and several hours after. I can only give so much, but I'm not sure that's enough :(

    Everyone has their rough days/years. Hang in there, I'm sure it will get better. Having people in your room is really hard. This year I have a full time aide, but have had subs. My first sub was fantastic! I got a new one yesterday, and I feel like she is super judgemental. It takes some time getting used to people in and out of your room all the time.
     
  12. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Sep 21, 2010

    Look back on your past victories - your school hired you because they believed in your abilities and your strengths. Focus on that.

    I know I am a good teacher because of feedback I've received from students and teachers. My very first unit during my ST was on the Pythagorean Theorem. I spent over 2 weeks teaching and really wondered if I was reaching the students at all. That was at the beginning of the year. At the end of the same school year, some of the 8th graders I had taught came up to me and said "Thanks for helping us understanding that Pythagorean thing, it helped me get those questions right on the EOG (End of Grade test).

    I also tutored a student for the first time. He was a smart kid, but would often rush his work and really struggled with fractions. I worked with him once a week towards the end of school and he passed his EOG on the first try as well.

    So I know I CAN teach the material effectively. That doesn't mean I'm the BEST teacher I can be. I'm just getting started and there is a TON of stuff I still need to learn. That's one reason I visit this forum several times a day, because I'm always looking for better ideas and better ways to reach my kids.

    Sounds like the resource teachers may be a lot like some ST's - thinking they know all the latest and greatest techniques and feeling like they have an honor-bound obligation to share their fabulous ideas with you to make you better. :rolleyes: Sometimes they are right - their ideas WILL help you reach those kids a little better. Other times, it's best to just smile, thank them for their unsolicited input and file their "advice" away. ;)
     
  13. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

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    I think it's also important to remember that those students were placed in your room for a reason. My SPED kids were placed because I have my Masters in SPED. We also take time to look at what teaching personalities will match each child best. So somebody obviously thought you were doing something right!
     
  14. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    Sep 21, 2010

    :(

    Another bad day!
     
  15. StarrShine2

    StarrShine2 Rookie

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    Sep 21, 2010

    It's probably not as bad as you are thinking...we are usually our own worst critic.

    But maybe if you are specific as to a few things that are happening, we can help?
     
  16. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    Sep 21, 2010

    For example:
    I am teaching tens and ones to my class. Well I will admit I do not differentiate to my higher students as much because I have so many needy students I have to tend too. So the people just come in my room and say "well tomorrow when I come in you need to have the this so so I can do this since you haven't been doing this"

    So to me it seems like they are criticizing me and my teaching. I work in a very large elementary school and last year I had 5 teammates and we are not down to 3. All of my teammates say I am doing a great job but they are not in the classroom with me. So maybe I really am not. Hence my first post on this thread. Is it all the extra stuff that is hiding how bad of a teacher I am?
     
  17. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    What "People" are saying these things to you?

    Are you students learning tens and ones the way you are teaching them? Are they engaged in your lesson? When you assess them, do they understand tens and ones?
     
  18. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Sep 21, 2010

    I think it was Eleanore Roosevelt who said something like, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent" (I could be wrong on the exact wordage, as well as who quoted it"). If you keep trying to improve, then you can't be that bad of a teacher. If you didn't realize your downfalls or even accept them, then I would begin to be concerned. We all have areas we need to improve in. Also, could any of this possibly be the way you are perceiving it? Maybe, just maybe, you are taking things differently than the way they were intended? I am just throwing this out there as a possibility.
     
  19. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Sep 21, 2010

    and the best teachers reach out and learn (continually from others). Embrace this opportunity to learn from others. We don't graduate and all of a sudden transform into super-teacher. We learn throughout the years - no matter if you've taught 1 year or 30 years.
     
  20. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

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    I'm sorry that it was another rough day. Try to focus on the positive things that you have heard about yourself (I'm sure someone has said something great about you recently).

    Is it just during math that you are having the problem with differentiating? Or other subject areas too? I would try to be open to these "peoples" suggestions, and try to come up with ways to do it TOGETHER! Instead of them taking over the responsibility entirely. That way you are able to grow as a professional too, while the kids are receiving the proper instruction.

    And believe me, you are not the only person that struggles with differentiating. I think that all of us can benefit from more direction in this area! I too tend to cater too much to my below grade level kids. I would suggest math workshop. This is my first year trying it out (thanks to all the great advice from AtoZ members), and I'm loving it. The kids love it too!
     
  21. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    Sep 21, 2010

    Thanks everyone. I will continue to learn from others as I have been doing and stop trying to take things so personally. And I will try not to assume that they think i am a bad teacher.
     
  22. Starista

    Starista Cohort

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    Sep 22, 2010

    :hugs: :hugs: :hugs:

    I hate days when I feel like this ~ and I'm on my 10th year teaching.

    When these other teachers tell you what you should/shouldn't be doing -- are they doing it infront of the class? In an email? In the teacher's room?

    I am new at new school this year and one morning a school board member came to observe me... it was a bit intimidating but I just tried to do what I think I do best: teach.

    Sending you MANY prayers and hugs. :love:
     
  23. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Sep 22, 2010

    That is very good advice. It is often too easy to feel attacked or become defensive when somebody questions our technique or tells us "You should be doing it this way". There are also times when different departments tend to adopt an "us vs them" attitude.

    I worked in the healthcare setting for several years and the bickering between different departments was amazing to me at times. One incident in particular created a conflict between the nurses and maintenance. One of the nurses came to my department (purchasing) and told me she needed a special order for some work they needed done on the nursing hall. She then launched into a short tirade about how maintenance was SUPPOSED to take care of this and it was really their job but they were getting NO HELP at all from them. About 30 minutes later, one of the maintenance men came down to make the same request for the same special order. He started his own mini-tirade about how this was all Nursing's fault. I held my hand up and stopped him in mid-sentence. I said "Nursing has already been here and told me about the material they need ordered. Instead of trying to figure out who should be blamed for this not getting done yet, why don't we ALL just work together to fix the problem?" That stopped the bickering, the material got order and the work got done as soon as the materials arrived.

    Your critics could certainly phrase their suggestions more tactfully, but you still shouldn't take their comments personally. Maybe try approaching THEM and asking for their input BEFORE ahead of time could help make a difference. I think that resource teachers often feel like "outsiders" themselves in the school system. Adopting the direct, blunt approach might be one way they cope with that to reassert their authority (and knowledge) in the specialized area. So maybe if you go to them first and say "I would really like to hear your suggestions on how we can work together to help these kids and meet their needs" might change their entire outlook and perspective towards you. ;)

    That doesn't mean you aren't a great teacher, it just means your willing to keep learning different ways to reach your kids and you value the knowledge and advice these other teachers bring.

    Sometimes a different approach is all it takes.
     
  24. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    Thats another problem where I feel like I am a bad teacher. I am afraid to ask upfront for advice because I am afraid they will think -why does she not know this...shes the teacher why doesn't she know.-

    Also the people do not say it in front of the kids. Just in passing they come to me and say what I need to do or not do.
     
  25. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Don't let them say it just in passing. If they want to critique your teaching method, then force them to engage in a meaningful discussion rather than making a flippant remark and running off.

    "You need to do this differently". Alright, WHY do I need to do it differently? What advantages will their approach offer that yours doesn't meet? They are the specialists, so it makes sense they might know how to reach those kids a little better - after all, that's what they've been hired to do.

    If they want you to do something differently or insist you just "have this and this done", they need to justify WHY those things need to be done and explain the advantages it will give the kids.

    It is NOT your job to know every single approach for every type of learner and special ed student. Of course, you should know several approaches and be able to implement them into your lesson plan, but it's THEIR job to know specialized techniques that may reach children with specific needs a little better, so there is no dishonor in admitting they know more about that area than you. Again, it's their job to know more about that.

    However, I would still insist they give me explanations and reason for the demands they make and the critiques they offer. If they can't back-up their BS, then it is just BS.
     
  26. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Sep 23, 2010

    You're probably being bombarded with too much information. I see this as a very negative trend in dumping TOO much on beginning teachers. Even at my stage of the game people are trying to get me to do more technology, more this, more that until I finally realized I better follow my Standards and teach. All the other fluff is wonderful and I use a lot of it, but "I" can't humanly put to use everything they dump on us. Be wise with your time, plan well, maintain discipline, take your time, and remember to enjoy the kids.
     

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