Feel completely overwhelmed and inadequate...

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by woobie5, Jul 2, 2009.

  1. woobie5

    woobie5 Comrade

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    Jul 2, 2009

    I'm a first year Kindergarten teacher and I'm freaking out! I only have 1 year of special education teaching experience and I have been out of teaching for 8 years! I just feel so out of the loop and overwhelmed that I feel like I'm going to do a bad job! School starts in 3 weeks ... and I just feel completely overwhelmed and inadequate. HELP
     
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  3. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Jul 3, 2009

    First, take a deep breathe. Pull all your resouces together and make an outline of what you have to teach. Second, make a big tall drink--I like fuzzy navels.

    The kids don't know that you are feeling overwhelmed. They are just ready for a wonderful time learning.

    Third, wait for some K teachers to post. I am a PS teacher.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 3, 2009

    I agree.. breathe!!!!

    You were hired in a brutal job market. Someone, probably several someones, KNEW that you were the best one for the job. They know what they're doing.

    OK, basics: post a thread asking other K teachers what they send home over the summer. I know our school does a whole packet, including instructions to kiss our kids' palms on that first day (They read The Kissing Hand in class.) The K teacher also calls the night before to confirm who is a "walker" and which "busser" is on which bus.

    Your school will probably have new teacher orientation, so don't sweat it.

    As a mom, the thing I want most from those first days are:
    a) my child home safe, having gone to the bathroom and had lunch at school as necessary
    b) my child excited about going back to school.

    The rest you can get to when you get to it.
     
  5. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jul 3, 2009

    I completely understand that feeling, but it will be ok! One of the things I love about teaching Kinder is if you never let the kids see you sweat they will never even know you have doubts. You can very easily fake it - sing a song or improvise - it's not like teaching Physics and not knowing the formula.

    Do you have any specific questions about things you need to get done and don't know how to? Are you worried about classroom management or 1st week activities? Anything like that.

    The first week is all about setting a routine, getting to know the kids and where they are academically, setting boundaries.

    Believe me the kids are as nervous as you are that first day! If I can be any help with specific ideas feel free to pm me - I can send you copies of whatever I have in that area. :) Good luck!
     
  6. little317

    little317 Groupie

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    Jul 3, 2009

    The beginning of my first year I felt the same way. If at all possible, find someone at your school, preferrably on your grade level, who can be a good mentor teacher. I won't repeat what the others have said, because its all great advice.

    The first week of school you can do several activities related to the kids names. They LOVE it, and its an easy thing to plan for. That whole first month is really a time for you and the kiddos to bond and form a learning family.

    If you need any beginning of the year forms, I can send them to you through email. I'll send you my email address in a PM.

    Here's the thing I bet you need the most right now.....:hugs:
     
  7. woobie5

    woobie5 Comrade

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    Jul 3, 2009

    Thank you everyone! I think what I'm most nervous about ... is the curriculum! Since I didn't really have a "curricululm" persay when I taught special education I just feel like I have no clue how to teach.

    For example: Our school teaches one letter a week ... and our curriculum introduces a new letter every day (If I'm reading it correctly) .... then ... when do I do phonics, handwriting etc? ahhh! Oh ... and assessments ... yep ... pretty freaked out about that too!

    I'm a little nervous about Behavior Management too. I can't "decided" on a system. I bought the first 6 weeks of school book and will pretty much follow that ... but I would like to have a system in place for behavior. One that's low key ... but effective.

    One thing I do know ... is my kids will have fun and be very loved! So I'm not worried about that .... but it's the "content" of the day that I'm freaking out about!
     
  8. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Jul 3, 2009

    I am going to be a new kinder teacher (have taught 1st and 2nd). And, I am nervous in some respects. I am also moving to a new school. My last 4 years have been spent at one school. So, this is a new adventure for me too.

    The one great thing about the new school is it's in a district with ALOT of prof dev and support for teachers learning. So, I am going in ready to soak up any learning/improvement I can!!!!!!!!

    Look at this "scary" prospect as a new adventure that will change you into an even better and confident teacher!
     
  9. punchinello

    punchinello Comrade

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    Jul 3, 2009

    I know the feeling very well! It can take over your life. :) But it is so much fun when you are actually with the children.

    Are you public or private, half or full day? Are there other K teachers in your building?
     
  10. teacher333

    teacher333 Devotee

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    Jul 3, 2009

    Even veteran teachers get the same feeling with each school year, and each new group of kids. It is normal. Be over-prepared with materials, go in with a plan, and keep a sense of humor. Interact with your team to find out their suggestions for a smoother opening to the year, but many times it is a feeling from inside that pushes you in the right direction.
     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 3, 2009

    woobie- you are going to be fine. You'll get a handle on the curriculum. There are so many great K websites out there (I know someone here will mention some to get you started) that you can peruse this summer and get excited with so many ideas and activities.

    K is such a great grade. I taught K my first 2 years of teaching and LOVED it. My class (grade 2) are reading buddies with a K class so I still get to know and interact with that grade on a weekly basis. They are loves. You'll be using your teacher and mommy skills. Smile, be fun, love the kids.

    Do you have any other K colleagues in your building or district? Maybe you could hook up this summer and just get a 'rough idea' of how the first month or so 'looks'. In the meantime, you can be thinking about centers, room arrangement, themes...I think once you just 'let go' and get started with planning you'll feel better.

    Good luck. You'll love K.
     
  12. Junebug

    Junebug Comrade

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    Jul 3, 2009

    Congrats and good luck in your new class! You will have a great year I am sure.
    The best thing is to "google" k. sites. Look at several, think about the management ideas they will give you and also beginning of the year stuff.
    Of course you should have a buddy teacher or someone you can talk with and plan. How many k classes are there in your school? Get with them to plan!
     
  13. little317

    little317 Groupie

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    Jul 3, 2009

    Oh I forgot to mention. Check to see if your district has curriculum maps/pacing guides. They can help you with planning your lessons and guide you in the right direction. We have a curriculum map for all subjects. Our adminstration really pushes for us to "stick to the map." Here is a link to our district curriculum maps so you can get a feel for what Kdg is like.

    http://www.volusia.k12.fl.us/curriculum/Curriculum Maps/Elementary Page.htm
     
  14. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jul 3, 2009

    I agree to talk to another teacher on your campus and find out what the expected goals are. Sometimes what a school does doesn't necessarily fit in with the curriculum, so you are right about that.

    My reading lessons consist of an about 30 minute whole group lesson and then the kids break up into small group with me and workstations. Math is the same way. You can get a story, lesson with your letter a day into that whole group lesson. After workstations we usually sit down and work on the handwriting instruction and work out of our Phonics workbooks. You do a number of objectives every single day. You are not teaching to mastery in Kinder. Always building on the skills they have already learned. For example they may be learning capital vs. lowercase, letter recognition, how to write the letter - that all falls into the alphabet objective. I hope that makes sense.

    Here are my favorite websites:

    For workstations:
    http://www.fcrr.org/Curriculum/studentCenterActivities.htm

    Theme units:

    http://www.littlegiraffes.com/

    In the beginning the assessment is going to have to be one-on-one - how many letters/sounds do they know, counting to what number, etc. I do weekly paper and pencil assessments with my kids weekly in addition to observational ones I'm just reading them the question and giving them pictures with the answers to choose from. Have a notebook or binder that you can note for yourself in reading groups or lessons if someone is having difficulty with something- alot of our assessing is observational.

    For management, try out a system like moving clips or changing cards to a different color. There has to be some consequence or reward system in place. If that doesn't work for you once you get started you can try something else-not everything works for every class.

    I totally agree with Teacher333 - even people who have taught Kinder get nervous and overwhelmed - you never know what will walk in that door the first day - just remember Kinders are like bees and dogs - they can smell fear. Be prepared and ready for anything and you will do awesome.
     

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