Do you ever think, "what am I doing?"

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by crayonfan, Jul 24, 2007.

  1. crayonfan

    crayonfan Companion

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    Jul 24, 2007

    Today when I was in my new L.A. classroom. My first official class! I almost had a feeling of being overwhelmed. How am I going to get these lessons planned? Who in their right mind gave me job? What am I doing? Were all things that crept into my brain. Last year I had 3 LTS positions that lasted the whole year so I am not brand new. Yikes!
     
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  3. UCLACareerChngr

    UCLACareerChngr Comrade

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    Jul 24, 2007

    You'll make it...just take it one day at a time. Try to get assistance from other teachers teaching the same subject. Don't try to reinvent the wheel...ask what others are doing and use what they are doing...after using what they're doing you'll feel more comfortable and then can vary it and make it your own...

    I was in the same boat last year but just keep pressing ahead and it will get easier, I promise. LTS is NOT the same thing as having your own classroom, so don't feel like you should have it all figured out...you won't...but don't get discouraged. Use this board too, there are lots of people here who can support you!

    Good luck!
     
  4. nsatterfield

    nsatterfield Rookie

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    Jul 24, 2007

    I'm with you crayonfan! So I have this degree and I am certified to teach, but what do I know? :)
     
  5. Dynamite Boys

    Dynamite Boys Companion

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    Jul 24, 2007

    Me too! When I saw my classroom - totally empty (even the furniture was out the first time I saw it) I remember thinking - what the heck did they hire me for? I've gone back a couple of times, but the same feeling washes over me! I hope once I get some of my own things in there I'll start to feel like the confident self I know! One day at a time . . .
     
  6. kdw1913

    kdw1913 Companion

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    Jul 24, 2007

    I totally understand how you feel. This will be my first year teaching and as I get closer to the start of school, I feel more and more nervous and unprepared. It's wierd, but I know everything will work out. I have lots of ideas, but that's all they are . . . ideas. I haven't gotten to get into my classroom yet and I feel like I'm going to be rushed and not going to know what to do once I get in there. I'm sure that everything will work out great, though!
     
  7. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

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    Jul 25, 2007

    I feel that way often. I am going into my third year. Everyone else around me seems to be so comfortable and confident. I've also never been a person to fit in well anywhere I go, which doesn't help.
     
  8. MrsMikesell

    MrsMikesell Cohort

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    Jul 25, 2007

    I've been thinking that for 11 years!

    In my head I'm still a little, punk high schooler.

    Not a teacher...

    Kelly :)
     
  9. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jul 25, 2007

    When the door closes and you are the only adult in there with a bunch of kids, I guarantee you will feel like a teacher. Or you will pretend to, which is what many of us do to get by at times!
     
  10. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Jul 25, 2007

    I don't remember feeling that way when I first started, but I think about it a lot now that I look back. I was basically flying by the seat of my pants every day. I guess I didn't even know enough to be nervous. LOL

    Even as I start my 15th year, I still have days when I feel a bit overwhelmed. I always feel better when I have kids in the room. It's the down times that I panic over things.
     
  11. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jul 25, 2007

    It's kinda like parenthood. Some things you can't even imagine until you are in that role.
     
  12. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    Jul 25, 2007

    though i'll be a true "first-year teacher" i often wonder who I fooled into hiring me. I tell everyone to "shhh...don't tell the district I'm not sure what i'm doing" you are not alone. you're gonna do just great
     
  13. apple25

    apple25 Comrade

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    Jul 25, 2007

    I'm more nervous going into my third year then my first!!! I'm hoping the nerves will settle before I retire :) I don't think you are alone by any stretch of the imagination!!!

    Just remember - you are qualified and you care for the kids. The rest should fall into place!
     
  14. bridge

    bridge Rookie

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    Jul 25, 2007

    It's been good for me to read all these comments. I've been having anxiety attacks all summer (especially when I need to get to sleep). After teaching sp.ed. for 10 years, I asked my principal for a change to reg.ed (for which I am also certified). He said okay, he wanted me to be happy (?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!) We had a reading position and a language arts position coming open; which was I interested in? He didn't seemed concerned about me changing at all. I went home wondering if he knew what he was getting us all into??????? Do I have the slightest clue about what I will be doing? I also have ideas, but they float around in my head, or in my notebook, and I still have no definite idea of what I will do in less than 2 weeks when our students come back!!!! I know I'll be prepared in some way, but getting there is giving me heartburn and gray hair!!!!
     
  15. GatorGal

    GatorGal Cohort

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    Jul 25, 2007

    Ummmm YES!
    That's why I am so thankful I have this forum as a constant resource.
    I just have to remind myself to trust God and everything will work out.
     
  16. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jul 25, 2007

    What we all need to accept is that there is no one right way. Teachers can and must bring their own slant on methods into their classrooms.
     
  17. Terrence

    Terrence Comrade

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    Jul 25, 2007

    I felt that way and still do (this is my second year). I often think "what the heck did I get myself into?" They hired ME to do this job? Will I ever be good enough? I think most teachers go through this. My first year, every day was a mystery.
     
  18. EngTeacher15

    EngTeacher15 Companion

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    This will be my second year. One thing that got me through...even if I didn't, I at least ACTED like I knew what I was doing.
     
  19. crayonfan

    crayonfan Companion

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    Jul 26, 2007

    Whew!

    I am so relieved to be reading that there are other teachers who feel the same way.

    I am so thankful for this forum as well. I want to thank everyone else who posts here!
     
  20. willsgirl

    willsgirl Comrade

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    Jul 26, 2007

    Today I found out that I was awarded a position for 7/8 LA. This will be my fourth "official" year, with an extra subbing. So, five years since graduating from college. I am older, a career changer. Middle schoolers freak me out, but I've worked with them before (but not as much as high school) so I'm up for the challenge. Esp. since I really didn't think I'd find a position this year.

    My first year I felt like I had entered the twilight zone. Scared me so bad I subbed the next year instead of looking for my own classroom. The official second year was more like flying by the seat of my pants, but I did find out that I could work with jr hi, it was just...different. The third year was so much easier, but still I worried if I was doing all of the right things. In this profession, I think practice makes improvement, but never perfection. SO, I'm OK with that. Now, reality has begun to sink in all day and I will be teaching only 7/8 and no high schoolers to "buffer" me. And, so many will be bi-lingual Spanish/English. And at-risk. But, I am so happy, and feeling pretty confident, and want so bad to please my new principal, that I know I can...just like a little choo-choo, I think I can, I think I can...
     
  21. FutureFLTeacher

    FutureFLTeacher Companion

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    Jul 27, 2007

    I have felt that way on more than one occasion since I was hired! :lol: I often find myself thinking "Who in the world did I fool into thinking that I could teach?" :confused: But as with everything new in life, I think you just have to take a deep breath, put one foot in front of the other and do your best on a daily basis. My theory is the kids are without a doubt as nervous the first few days of school as we will be, we'll all be in the same boat!

    I figure I'm just going to take things as they come, prepare and do my best...that's really all any of us can do.

    And again...I'm going to be a teacher...HA! :lol: :lol: I still can't wrap my head around that concept...LOL
     
  22. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Jul 27, 2007

    Going into my 7th year and I finally feel like I'm "getting it"! Meaning it's all starting to fall into place. Do I know it all? Heck NO!! I still ask my coworkers when I have a question. I come up with ideas then second guess myself but try some anyway. I get some things right and others wrong. I still cringe when I'm being observed although I've never received a critism! It's just the nature of the beast. We are perfectionists with big egos and we want/need a pat on the back but only some of us will ever get one. My first year, a veteran (32 year of teaching) teacher told me the two most important things to remember as I head into this profession...

    1. Do not put your family on the back burner for this job. Your kids will be grown and gone and you will still be trying to figure out how to make a better BB, or lesson plan, or classroom procedures, etc...

    2. Do not take it personally when no one compliments your talents at teaching. It rarely happens no matter how wonderful you are.
    (You see how we are always cheering each other on at A to Z? It's because this is one of the only places we will get that!!)

    Just enjoy teaching and be satified with knowing that at least you are getting to do what you want to do every day. TEACH!!
     
  23. willsgirl

    willsgirl Comrade

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    Jul 27, 2007

    This is such good advice. This is the only thing I've done (work-wise) where I haven't expected to be constantly praised. I mean, sure, I want good evals and all, but it's just not the same feeling as being a super admin assistant, a marvelous chef/party planner/caterer, a terrific office manager. The praise I get is two-fold: that I make it through each day without a total disaster and when my students hug me, give me a special card, say something nice, when we connect.
     
  24. bridge

    bridge Rookie

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    Jul 27, 2007

    In 10 years of teaching sp.ed. resource, I've had 2 parents directly and specifically compliment/thank me for what I had done for their children. (And one of these parents I had expected great negative criticism from!) These comments have help to carry me whenever I've doubted myself.
     
  25. LA/FLnewbie

    LA/FLnewbie Companion

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    Jul 28, 2007

    Willsgirl,

    I will be starting my first official year teaching 6th and 8th grade lang.arts after student teaching in a high school only -- can you clue me in on some of what you mean when you say M.S. is like the "twilight zone" and any hints you have for dealing with it? I'm not really sure what to expect and how to deal!

    Thanks!
     
  26. EnglishMiss

    EnglishMiss Rookie

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    Jul 28, 2007

    Yes... those little notes, emails, comments really carry you through, especially when they're unexpected! One of the wisest pieces of advice I got during student teaching - our curriculum coordinator gave me a bright yellow file folder dubbed the "Smile File" and said "this may prove to be one of the most important files in your career." It has. :love:
     
  27. willsgirl

    willsgirl Comrade

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    LA/FLnewbie,

    I had a different type of student teaching experience than most people. I taught half my semester in the UK at a prep school (multiple grades) and half in my hometown school (9th grade only)with a small, but racially mixed population. My first year I taught 11 & 12, then subbed in jh/hs, then ms/jr/hs the next two years in a small at-risk school. I guess what I ment by my comment was that I went from this disconnected experience to something that was supposed to be "normal" but was not at all like my student teaching experiences. I think back and see that I wasn't really "ready" ( I don't know why) and wasn't sure of myself. Teaching in the US is not like teaching in an English prep school. My US student teaching was in a school where I knew everyone, everyone knew me, and we all pretty much knew what to expect.

    I taught high school first, then jr. high. The "twilight zone" was the real world experience, not the guided practice of student teaching. I found that the jr hi kids needed to be walked through stuff much like elementary school, but in a way that made them feel more "grown up" than their elementary days. I also learned that I could not be their friend (some really want that) but had to be their adult role model. I could carry on an adult-like, casual (but within limits) conversation with high school kids, but with the younger group I cannot do that. But that is probably just me. I love them to death, but for me it's more like working with elementary kids on steriods.

    Advice? Keep the bar raised a bit, be fair, firm, consistent, keep a positive attitude. Don't be their "friend" but be friendly. Listen to them, even when it's boring and abysmal. They are trying to tell you something. Do not let them get control of the class because then they will control you and nothing will get done (except maybe a lot of referrals) and you'll go home crying every night. Have high expectations and hold them to it. Give them lots of play time cleverly disguised as learning.
     
  28. LA/FLnewbie

    LA/FLnewbie Companion

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    Jul 29, 2007

    Haha that is great! Thanks for the advice! :haha:
     
  29. mommy3boys

    mommy3boys Companion

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    Jul 29, 2007

    I'm a career changer and a single parent and I have these thoughts all the time. I'm still in the credential program and constantly have to remind myself to take it one day at a time. It eases my mind to know that other more experienced, intelligent, educated people also go through this irregardless of their situation. This site has been an invaluable source of information and support.

    I just wanted to thank each and everyone of you for being there for the rest of us.

    Thank you.
     
  30. NMsciencenerd

    NMsciencenerd New Member

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    Jul 31, 2007

    I'm the same way...the only time my nerves starts to calm and I start feeling comfortable is when my kids are in the classroom and looking at me to start.
     
  31. Lyquidphyre

    Lyquidphyre Comrade

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    Jul 31, 2007

    ME TOO!! Granted, I'm a new teacher so it wasn't all that long ago... but I'm still bummed I had to take out my lip ring.. and soon my tongue ring will have to go too *sniffles*:down:
     
  32. bridge

    bridge Rookie

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    Jul 31, 2007

    Just some honest questions from someone who had to hide her pierced ears from her daddy many years ago: Why did you get your lip and tongue pierced? Don't they hurt? Is it hard to talk with them in?
     

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