Expectations for 1st year teachers

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Johnjoel, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. Johnjoel

    Johnjoel Companion

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    Oct 25, 2009

    Hey everyone! I just got our first 4sites back for my 3rd grade classroom and it doesn't look pretty - we are 40% proficient in math and about 34% proficient in reading. My state requires 3rd graders to be 64% proficient at the end of the year. I know none of you are mind readers, but would most schools expect a first year teacher to pull off the 30-20%% improvement in each content area in their 1st year? I'm doing my best....but its my first year!
     
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  3. Johnjoel

    Johnjoel Companion

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    Oct 25, 2009

    :)
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 26, 2009

    I can't answer your question directly, since I have no ideas what schools other than my own expect.

    As a parent, my own expectations are along these lines:
    - I expect first year teachers to need some guidance, but to be capable professionals.

    - I expect that they'll ask for help when they need it, but that they won't need it constantly.

    - I expect them to be able to show results. Maybe not on a par with more experienced teachers, but results nonetheless. (After all, this isn't any sort of a trial year for those kids. It's a year of their education.)

    This is kind of a pet peeve with me as a parent, and no, of course it's not directed at you :) But "only a first year teacher" doesn't cut it when it's MY CHILD in that class. When he or she can't afford to lose out on a year, or part of a year, of education because the teacher in front of the classroom can't accomplish what he or she is expected to do.

    So, are your kids expected to make up a huge lag all in one year? (And one must question how on earth they ended up so far behind.) Probably not. Are they expected to make some serious gains? From what you write, probably.
     
  5. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Oct 26, 2009

    I am not familiar with testing in your state, but here, every child is expected to improve on their scores from the previous year. So, if a child scored very low (I have had several students in the 1st percentile) and I can get them to a moderate low (thinking percentile- somewhere in the 20th percentile), that would be a success. You are not going to get them all to pass- that is unrealistic. But, as long as they improve upon the year before, it is OK (at least where I am). We focus more on kids 'growing' than them actually passing.

    It is possible to do big things though. 9 of my 20 students last year came to me not having passed the 4th grade test (55% proficient- 5 did not pass the math, 9 did not pass the reading). In math, only 2 left me not passing! In reading, 4 left me not passing. All but 1 child improved (this child had an IQ of 63 and no parent support). Even better than those passing, I had 6 students going from the average to above average rank on the test.
    Last year was my 2nd year. My 1st did not go nearly as well. Do your best and try to get old copies of the test to look over (my state does not allow this but I know some do release them). My first year, I followed the guidance of my mentor. However, 40% of what she teached in math is not part of our curriculum :eek: Last year I knew what to do, did it and it worked :)
     
  6. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    Oct 26, 2009

    If you moved a kid from the 1st percentile to the 20th percentile...that is beyond huge. Percentiles are on a bell curve a move from the 1st percentile to the 3rd is huge, whereas a move from the 50th to the 52nd is not much. The majority of students will be between 40 and 60th percentiles. There are less people on either end, so growth on either end, even if it is seemingly small, is a big deal.

    I agree with Alice, even being a first year teacher you need to have results. You have had training in college, support of peers, etc., there is really no reason for you NOT to have results.
     
  7. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Oct 26, 2009

    I am also not familiar with your particular testing but...

    -how do your scores compare to the other teachers in the same grade - if your class is way behind you need to adapt your teaching

    -how did these same kids score at the end of last year - were you given a really low class to start with - unfortunately sometimes the new guy gets the kids nobody else wants (shouldn't be but in some schools it happens)

    -are you using your time well? Are you using all the support you are provided?

    I agree with the above posters - we can all improve from our first year, however, if it is our kids we don't want you to use the fact it is your first year as an excuse for not performing well.

    Good luck and work hard.
     
  8. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Oct 26, 2009

    Yes.

    Look at the data that came with the results and really hit those weak objectives hard.

    In Texas, third grade teachers, new or not, are expected to get every kid passing the reading test, even when the kiddo comes in reading at the kindergarten level and does not qualify for any special services. It is not easy even for veteran teachers, but it can be done.
     
  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Oct 26, 2009

    Unfortunately for a new teacher, you don't get to keep the training wheels on for very long. The expectations of the students in the classes of new teachers are exactly the same as in those of teachers with experience. As a parent, my children need to know the material in order to move on to the next grade. New teachers need to take advantage of the supports offered to them, and probably are allowed to "fall down" more than some of the rest of us are. Bottom line, however, is that test scores don't come with a footnote--*first year teacher.
     
  10. Johnjoel

    Johnjoel Companion

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    Oct 26, 2009

    Thanks for all of the advice everyone. Of course I expect my students to do much better as the year progresses and its not that I don't believe I can get them all to improve - I just don't want to get canned my first year for not making the jump up to 65%!
     

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