Being okay with the time it takes to grow

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by myloveasdeep, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. myloveasdeep

    myloveasdeep Rookie

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    Jun 2, 2010

    Hello everyone. I am not necessarily looking for advice, unless you feel inclined to give me some. Mostly, I just want to talk about how I feel right now to people who have been there.

    I have worked at my school as a para for one year, and I was hired on as a full time teacher a few weeks ago. I did my interviews like everyone else, and I got in! I can't believe how blessed I am to have my dreams come true. Two other teachers were hired with me. One is an even less experienced teacher than I am, and the other has taught everything there is and was teaching at the college I attend for grad school up to now. She knows everything and is a lovely, helpful, understanding person.

    Today we had an English department meeting to talk about the curriculum arc and how we would structure it for grades 6-10.

    The other four teachers in the dept. are so knowledgeable and confident and full of ideas. I feel like I don't contribute very much, and I have to stop myself from just restating things they say that I agree with. I don't want to chatter on just to say something. Neither do I want to seem like I'm not carrying my share. I know what I want to do, but everyone else seems to know what's going on more than I do, because they've seen more things done in more schools.
    Our PD guy said today that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at anything, and we shouldn't expect ourselves to be perfect right away. My new teacher friend also said that the first two years of teaching are spent getting your head out of your bum, so to speak. So it isn't like I feel that they are looking down on me, and I certainly have lots of plans for learning, failing, and trying again.

    I just hate feeling like the weakest link. If you have stories of your first years and how you grew into the master teachers you are, I'd love to hear them.
     
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  3. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jun 2, 2010

    The other teachers in the dept know that you are fairly new. They've been there before and know what's like. Soak in the information for now and before long you will be contributing ideas as well. Good luck!
     
  4. deedee

    deedee Connoisseur

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    Jun 2, 2010

    I hear ya!

    I was blessed to join a WONDERFUL team. I mean they are looked at like golden children on campus. I am confient in my abilities but always felt like the weak link just because I am new. As the year progressed that feeling started to disappear and going into year 2 is a bit different in that I feel part of the team.
     
  5. 2dogs3cats2kids

    2dogs3cats2kids Rookie

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    Jun 11, 2010

    I agree with the poster above me. I was the Guidance Counselor for 3 years and I soaked up as much curriculum, data analysis, etc as I could. Then, I left the school and started substituting in other elementary schools. I used the "stuff" I had learned. Teachers wondered where I'd "come from" and where I'd learned what I knew. Only then, I held my head high.
    Yep, the 3 years had pockets of embarrassment, intimidation, pride, amazement, confusion all tied up together.
    It made me a stronger person, it brought my "areas of needed growth" to light for me personally, but also, I learned an amazing amount of information that I would NOT have gotten in grad Education courses.
     
  6. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

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    Jun 19, 2010

    Take the info you get from them and run with it! Last year was my first year of teaching, and I really didn't have an opinion on anything, and felt like I never contributed. I felt like I had NO idea what was going on. But I listened... a lot! It was great to be on a team with such experienced teachers. This year my entire team has changed, and now I am the team leader! I still sometimes feel like I am not doing as much for my team as a veteran teacher, but I do get compliments about my work all the time. It is funny how quickly things can change!
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 19, 2010

    You've gotten some great advice.

    It's not about being 'the weakest link." It's about growing and learning.

    Contrary to what the colleges tell you, most people learn most of their teaching skills by teaching. Right now you're armed with all the information you need to grow into the kind of teacher you want to be. The next few years will be exhausting and exhilarating as you determine your own teacher persona and learn just what works for you.

    They knew that when they hired you, and they see that potential for a great teacher within you.

    So take all the help that's offered. In a few years, you'll be the one helping another set of newbies.
     
  8. MzMooreTeaches

    MzMooreTeaches Cohort

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    Jul 6, 2010

    I can definetly understand your concern. I'm about to enter my first year of teaching as well. During the interview I really stressed that I'm here to grow, learn and focus on the kids and becoming a better teacher. I'm really a listener first... because sometimes speaking or talking just to be heard can make you look foolish. So here's to being a sponge and soaking up all the knowledge and information I can handle.
     
  9. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Jul 6, 2010

    I can't think of many teachers who don't remember those first few years. I, too, sat back and listened and learned, and asked for help, tried suggestions, and even managed to squeak out a few by the end of the first year as we planned for the next year.

    The point I'm trying to make is that everyone was once where you are. It does take time to feel comfortable. It will come. Enjoy the start of the adventure, too. Woowee! You're going on a trip!
     
  10. joe22k

    joe22k Rookie

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    Jul 24, 2010

    You'll grow to feel more comfortable giving oopinions. I am in a department with teachers who have taught a whole lot longer than me but I view things differently and in many cases I am willing to try new things. I think we complement each other well. I know when I started at the school I was at all 4 8th grade math teachers were new to that grade at least. I think even though the others were ore experienced teachers that helped me feel comfortable offering my opinion. Good luck- I am sure you'll bring a lot to the table.
     
  11. brejohnson88

    brejohnson88 Comrade

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    Jul 30, 2010

    Im about to enter my first year of teaching too and I feel the same way. I even felt like this for student teaching, even though I was there to just soak it up and learn. I found myself in student teaching to listen alot, but once I felt comfortable I shared ideas I had and the teachers loved it. My teachers and other teachers told me I made myself look like a "team player" instead of just a teachers student teacher. I think once you feel comfortable you will shine with your own ideas and be able to contribute through that. You may have wonderful ideas as a new teacher that these veteran teachers have never thought of before. Of course its going to be scary and uncomfortable at first, but thats what this experience is all about. Good luck.
     
  12. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Jul 30, 2010

    At some point this year (my 3rd), I suddenly realized that I was contributing ideas and opinions to discussions without feeling self-concious and unsure about myself. Of course I contributed before, but it was neat to realize that I had grown to the point where I felt confident saying what I thought. I stopped feeling like a "new" teacher, too. It just kind of happened...

    (And I'm looking forward to learning and growing even more in the years to come!)
     
  13. myloveasdeep

    myloveasdeep Rookie

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    May 23, 2012

    I just wanted to come back and add that I posted this two years ago, and now due to my mentor leaving to homeschool her kids, I AM HEAD OF THE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT.

    I'm not even all that scared anymore, because I took all of your advice and pumped everyone for all the info and insight I could get. I am a different person now!
     
  14. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    May 23, 2012

    Yay, you, myloveasdeep! And thanks for catching us up on your progress.
     

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