doubting myself

Discussion in 'General Education' started by sizzla_222, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. sizzla_222

    sizzla_222 Companion

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    Apr 23, 2012

    Will be my first year having my own classroom next year (3rd grade).... While I am confident I will do a good job, I am a little nervous about how I will do, it is a good first job as I will only have about ten students....
     
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  3. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    Apr 23, 2012

    Of course you're a little nervous! But self-doubt is just the seemingly inevitable dark side of conscientiousness, and conscientiousness will see you through.

    The first year is always hard in term of the hours you'll have to put in, because of a whole array of little inefficiencies which you will overcome as the year goes on, and because you won't know initially what opportunities for anxiety you may safely decline.

    It is very important, I think, to have a good mentor. I hope that your school provides one. If not, please see if you can work something out informally. A mentor can help with the inefficiencies, keep you from falling into certain traps with students and parents, tell you when nothing is the best thing to do, help you not to dwell on deciding what to do when something must be done, and acquaint you with the delightful truth that less really often is more.

    If you like the kids and enjoy helping them to learn, the rest tends to fall into place.
     
  4. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Apr 23, 2012

    The best thing you can do is prepare yourself. Learn the material you have to teach. Then look at the second grade standards, and the fourth grade (and even fifth) standards. Know more than what is necessary.

    Ask your school if you can have a copy of the teacher's edition, and student book in every subject you have to teach. Read them. Then read them again. They're only third grade, it won't take you too long. You don't have to read thoroughly, but know what the students are going to be doing, before you teach it. If you feel that something isn't covered well, start looking for supplementary materials (if that is allowed at your school). Speaking of...

    Go to Staples or Office Max or Walmart and get a few large binders-3 inches work pretty good. Get one for each subject. Also, make sure you have a hole-puncher. Get dividers and make sections for every unit you will teach, in every subject. When you find a lesson, or some kind of material, hole-punch it and put it in the proper place in your binder. I wish someone would have told me this my first year-it would have saved a lot of headache 3 years down the road when I had papers taking over my life. Alternatively, if you are not one for papers (I'm not, and have almost eliminated paper from my life), do the same thing with folders on your computer. Save each lesson to the proper folder. There was a time when I NEEDED to see the copied paper to know what I wanted to do with it, which is why I suggest the binder trick for starting out. Eventually, you'll figure out what works best for you.

    Making a year-long plan will greatly calm your nerves. Get a calendar, or a spreadsheet, or a Word document, whatever your preference, and sketch out the year. Don't make solid plans, but know that by the end of September, you want to be at a certain place in your math curriculum-and so on. It probably won't work out that way, especially that first year, but at least you'll have a rough outline. It's also good for not forgetting anything, and making sure you have a good sequence. Then, during the year, keep a blank one handy to jot down where you actually got to at certain times of the year. Next summer, you'll know a lot more about what needs to be taught and when.

    Spend about a week or two this summer on the fun stuff-bulletin boards, cute displays, maybe a newsletter, etc. Don't let that consume your time. So often, new teachers think the most important tasks are making the room look good-a beautiful room will be useless if you don't have a good grasp of the material, and a plan to teach it.

    Spend another week or so on designing your day in the classroom. What will you do if a student doesn't have HW done? What will you do if a student has to be absent? What will you do if a student asks to go to the bathroom? Anticipate every need you can think of-and understand that you won't cover everything, but you'll have a good basic start.

    Learn your school's policies on everything from dress code to lunch room rules to truancy to teacher parking. If anything jumps out at you as strange, ask now-find another teacher, or someone who can explain to you the rationale. You don't want to find yourself in a battle with a mom over spaghetti straps on the first day of school. Again, anticipate what might happen before it actually does.

    Um...that is what I came up with off the top of my head. Remember, planning and preparation are the best ways to calm nerves. Have Confidence!!!
     
  5. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Apr 23, 2012

    Having ten students is a blessing. The school has faith in you. I agree with preparing yourself, it will make the year so much easier.
     
  6. sizzla_222

    sizzla_222 Companion

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    Apr 23, 2012

    great advice guys! I have already started looking at the curriculum and content that I will be teaching. We use a very high level reading program at our school, there is 9 units total. I have totally revamped the first 2 units into folders that are clearly labelled and planned out completely... I even did the small group planning pages for all 6 books in those two units.

    I am going to get copies of math, social studies, science and bible curriculum as soon as possible..... I know that the content will be relatively easy compared to older grades but I want to make sure that I have a firm grasp over everything that I will be teaching.

    It will be weird because I will kind of the lead teacher for 3rd grade as the other teacher will be a new hire (so am i technically, I was an aide at this school last year)..... they decided to keep me in this grade because I knew the reading program well.
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Apr 23, 2012

    I love kc's suggestions and agree with them. We all get a little nervous from time to time, and I'm sure we all felt more than a little nervous during our first years. (I know I did, for sure.) Help combat some of those nerves by being super prepared.
     
  8. ciounoi

    ciounoi Cohort

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    Apr 23, 2012

    Read kcjo's advice, it's great! Try to breathe, and don't underestimate the power of faking it. :) I taught science for half a year this year, and my students never found out that I actually had no idea. :) Prepare, learn you can, and don't worry, you'll do great!
     
  9. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Apr 23, 2012

    This is normal. It i a big responsibility/job to run a whole classroom by yourself (not to mention exhausting). The school hired you because they believe you will do a good job. It's important that you believe that too. Confidence (not cockiness) is a wonderful trait. No one said you have to be perfect, but as long as you reflect and improve in the areas you need to improve, you will do a great job.
     

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