At My Breaking Point

Discussion in 'General Education' started by HistoryTeach4, Feb 26, 2018.

  1. HistoryTeach4

    HistoryTeach4 Rookie

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    Feb 26, 2018

    I have had enough of this school year. This is the hardest school year I have had...even harder than my first year as a teacher. I don't want to make it sound like no one else has it hard. I am just looking for some advice on getting through. I always get some great advice here.

    I work in a private special ed. high school. I teach 7 history classes in 5 periods (I teach US1 and US2 at the same time twice a day). The classroom aide I am supposed to have with me those two periods has been taken away. I am now trying to teach both subjects at once and am not having an easy time of it. My students have a very hard time working independently. I also have a 80 minute Wilson Reading Class (if you teach Wilson you know you have to write a new plan each day).

    Here is what made me reach my breaking point. I had a student in tears today because I couldn't help her until I was finished with what I was currently doing (I was teaching a lesson to a student in the other class at the time). The student I was working with was frustrated because she was not able to concentrate because of the class of students does not work well independently. If I had my classroom aide they would have been working with the other class. If I taught one class at a time I would be available to help that student. I admit I was a tad hard on the student when I said that I would be with her when I was finished and to try her best. Why was I harsh? Because I am as frustrated with the situation as they are and I couldn't hide it. When you are teaching two different topics to two different groups in a classroom that is half the size of a normal classroom and each student has a problem focusing when there are no distractions it can frustrating for everyone. I feel so horrible that these students are not getting the education that they are used to from me.

    My new normal is coming home from work and crying. Today I actually had to get someone to cover the class after the one above because I needed a minute to cry over it in the bathroom. I just don't know how to get through the school days anymore.
     
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  3. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Feb 26, 2018

    How many students do you have when you are teaching two classes at one time?

    Can you divide them up - teach US 1 on Mondays and Wednesdays, US 2 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and everyone a group lesson on Fridays?

    How long are your class periods?

    I'm sorry you're having a rough year. I am too. Everyone I work with is. Teachers are being asked to do too much right now. My job is easily 50% paperwork, but I only get about 1 hour a day to do it. You should have an aide if you're supposed to have one, but if that's not a possibility, can you combine the curricula more so that the students are learning the same things on some days?
     
    Backroads and nstructor like this.
  4. HistoryTeach4

    HistoryTeach4 Rookie

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    Feb 26, 2018

    Each class is 40 minutes. My first period is 3 US 1 and 1 US 2. In that class the US 2 student has already taken US 1. My second period is 4 US1 and 1 US 2. The US 2 student hasn't taken US 1 yet, but is so much more advanced from the other students that it would be like teaching two different classes everyday. I alternate days..one day one group gets my attention and the other day the other group gets my attention. The group that is not with me gets an independent assignment, but it is not always easy for them to work independently. I even tried alternating 20 mins with one and 20 mins with the other, but again that leaves one group independent and again not easy for them to do.
     
  5. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    Feb 28, 2018

    Maybe you could combine US1 and US2 into United States History & Government, if we are referring to high school.

    If we are referring to middle school, then I'd suggest you assign a project for all students. (US1 students and US2 students would have a different project) You would help the students as needed.

    You also could have the group that is not with you watch a video and fill out a quick check worksheet.
     
  6. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Feb 28, 2018

    I have taught in similar situations before, and it is hard. I had six preps as a first-year teacher, and I taught two classes at once in my first year at another school. I have since moved onto a better position in which I teach two preps, have taught the same two preps three years in a row, and don't have any combined classes. If I were you, I would start looking for a better position at a different school, one in which you won't have to turn yourself inside out every day. Such schools and such positions do exist!
     
  7. svassillion

    svassillion Companion

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    Feb 28, 2018

    I don't think anyone here would say you're being too dramatic, this sounds miserable. I'm in a similar situation (teach K and my aide has been on medical leave for three months) and I totally get how frustrating it is to be completely overwhelmed even before trying to deal with crying students and whole groups of kids that have trouble focusing.

    Is this a normal situation in the sense that you may have to worry that you'll be just as overloaded next year or is this a first? If it's normal, I'd agree with others to look for a new job. If it's a first or temporary, take a trip to the closest liquor store?
     
  8. HistoryTeach4

    HistoryTeach4 Rookie

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    Feb 28, 2018

    This isn't the first time I have been teaching two classes at once. This is the first year where the students in the classes aren't ones who can handle the independent work and the distractions. It is also the first year that I have not had the help of an aide.
     
  9. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Mar 1, 2018

    Do you have union support? I believe at my school, teachers in combo/RSP cohort classes have guaranteed support at a certain ratio.
     
  10. HistoryTeach4

    HistoryTeach4 Rookie

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    Mar 1, 2018

    I work
    I work in a private school so no union.
     
  11. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Mar 1, 2018

    No help there then...I would be looking for another job!

    I have worked in private and public school, and I personally vastly prefer public -- we might have more issues, but we also have more protections.
     
  12. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Mar 16, 2018

    LOA...take off walking before you run off screaming.
     

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