Feel like I'm a first year teacher again!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by yellowdaisies, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,653
    Likes Received:
    232

    Sep 3, 2014

    I taught 1st grade for two years in SoCal...then up and moved to NorCal this summer, where I am now teaching 5th. Don't get me wrong, I love my new school, coworkers, and students, but I am feeling homesick for my old familiar, school, coworkers, and especially grade level! Things were so much easier when I felt like I knew what I was doing!! Most of the time I think I like upper grades better, until I remember that in 1st grade I felt comfortable and confident! :dizzy::(

    Has anyone else experienced this with a school and/or grade level change??
     
  2.  
  3. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,770
    Likes Received:
    1,000

    Sep 3, 2014

    I think your confidence as teacher who has been teaching for two years should definitely transfer over. At the very least, you have experience working with students and know where they're coming from. I'd look into the positives and what experiences you're bringing with you that will help you in 5th grade. Good luck!
     
  4. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    7,075
    Likes Received:
    14

    Sep 3, 2014

    I was just thinking the other day that in many ways, this feels like my first year. I hate asking for information about school routines/procedures. I don't like not having all the answers....

    Luckily, since I did 5th for 5 years, 6th isn't a stretch for me in a lot of ways. The attitudes from the girls though... whew! I thought they could be bad in 5th!
     
  5. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,770
    Likes Received:
    1,000

    Sep 3, 2014

    lol! So your experience isn't too far off from the current position. The newness will wear off definitely and you're not new to the profession so you have a lot more knowledge than you think you do.

    As someone who recently experienced his actual first year, I know that I will never be as bad a teacher as I was then (even though I did my best) even if I go somewhere else or teach a different grade because there is so much subtext(?) and underlying skills which I now have. I could be completely lost with the curriculum and completely out of my element with the grade level, but I still won't be as bad as my actual first year.

    You're definitely the same, even if you haven't taught this grade before.
     
  6. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    7,075
    Likes Received:
    14

    Sep 3, 2014

    Oh, I'll get 'caught up' soon enough. I had a student back talk today and was downright defiant. We don't have phones in our classrooms. I didn't even know where a phone was, outside of the office! I had to march the student down to the office (after I sent my class to their special) and ask where there was a phone. They sent me to the dean's office. Then I couldn't get the darn thing to work! I had to go ask how to call. You press '7' instead of '9'. :tired: Things like that are driving me nuts.

    Teaching-wise, I'm not concerned. At all. I know what works for me and I have strategies to try on kids of that age group. That's not the problem! It's the other stuff. *sigh*
    (And my 1st year was also pretty bad when you go back and look at it on paper! Gotta start somewhere!)
     
  7. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    7,075
    Likes Received:
    14

    Sep 3, 2014

    Oh- I got my first parent complaint today. Nothing like that to break you into a school year! It is only the 2nd day of school! The parent found my bathroom policy 'ridiculous' and she will be calling to speak to the principal (principal was unavailable). :rolleyes:
    I cut and pasted my bathroom policy below.

    Going to the Bathroom
    Permission to use the bathroom will be granted as long as the privilege is not abused. You may request to use the bathroom unless the following things are going on: * (Giraffe) is teaching the whole group * Students are presenting * The class is taking a test. Do not ask (Giraffe) to go to the bathroom while any of those things are happening. The answer will ALWAYS be no.
     
  8. daisycakes

    daisycakes Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2014
    Messages:
    221
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 3, 2014

    Uh, yes, I definitely feel this way. I am moving from grades 6-8 to 1-4 and I pretty much feel dumb all the time, just like when I was in my first year.

    My new school gave me no training about anything, so I honest to God do not even know my work hours! Today was a minimum day and I was looking for someone at 2:45. As I was looking, 2 other teachers said, "have a good night" to me and walk out the door, like it was evening or something. It turned out the person I was looking for went home, too and it seems that most people just leave at like 1:00 on minimum days. At my last school, it was a BFD if you left before 3:30 on a PD or minimum day.

    These younger kids are very wiggly and on the first day I interpreted this as inattention/boredom. Also, they cry a lot more, but since it is for NO REASON, it resolves on its own. When kids cry in MS, you need a psychologist to intervene.
     
  9. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,653
    Likes Received:
    232

    Sep 3, 2014

    Lol oh brother. :rolleyes: What was the parent expecting? That an 11 year old should be able to go to the bathroom every 2 minutes?

    I know I'm not actually a first year teacher, but it sure feels like it lately. This school is VERY different from my last - going from basal to workshop model, teaching a grade level that actually didn't exist at the school before this year (so we are creating EVERYTHING from scratch), teaching 5th, a grade level I've never taught...I student taught in 6th but that was in the fall of 2010, and I've been with the little guys (2nd and under) ever since. Teaching the big kids is SO different from lower primary. Wow.

    Anyway, it's a lot to get used to. Plus, that new school stuff like you're talking about, giraffe - drives me NUTS! Having to figure out how to make copies, how to do attendance...I still don't know how to get a sub...etc etc. :dizzy:
     
  10. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    17,362
    Likes Received:
    46

    Sep 4, 2014

    I felt that way when I moved from kinder to middle school, and even from middle to high school was an adjustment. It's hard when you're used to being in one place. You know what to expect.

    giraffe~how dare you ask that of those poor babies!!! :lol:
     
  11. mcqxu

    mcqxu Comrade

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    Messages:
    357
    Likes Received:
    11

    Sep 4, 2014

    Thanks giraffe! I will be using this, as I have students asking all the time!
     
  12. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,334
    Likes Received:
    976

    Sep 4, 2014

    I felt the same way when I changed schools and I didn't even change grades! It was still overwhelming.

    Giraffe's bathroom policy sounds reasonable but you're bound to get a parent or two who thinks their child should be able to do whatever they want, whenever they want (I can think of certain posters that might complain about your policy LOL) :whistle:
     
  13. willow129

    willow129 Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Messages:
    284
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 4, 2014

    God I'm sorry you had a parent complain about that Giraffe, it sounds reasonable to me and easy to understand. I think it's great you have it posted so there's no way the kids can be confused. I hope your principal backs you up.

    I also had a couple parents complain about bathroom stuff last year. One was totally understandable, the other NOT. And the kid called his mom about me during school so she called the principal. It's just unreal.

    I'm at a new school too. I'm teaching Music and Movement for the first time, that definitely feels like when I was a first year teacher, like...flying by the seat of my pants! But I think my classroom management is better. It's also team teaching with the PE teacher which I've never done before. Also I'm teaching band for the first time!! Luckily my mentor is giving me SO MUCH guidance.

    Anyways so far I'm having a really good time, I like my school, and I'm excited to get better at teaching in general :)

    I hope you all are having fun even though it's new!
     
  14. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    17,362
    Likes Received:
    46

    Sep 4, 2014

    This is only my second year at my current position, but there were some changes so I'm having to learn stuff all over again so it kind of feels like my first year.
     
  15. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    9,634
    Likes Received:
    2,399

    Sep 4, 2014

    Don't you think that some of the insecurity, if I can call it that, is really hiding the fact that we are also homesick? We can rationalize it away, but the heart can almost ache at times because we so long for the known and comfortable. We miss the little routines, knowing the person who always made you laugh, or just the friend who thought to bring you a cookie or piece of cake before it was all gone. We will feel the same or similarly about the new coworkers, level, and school, but at the beginning of the school year our insecurity may show just a little. I'm in the same private school, but moved over to the other building, where I know the people are nice enough, and the routines are similar, but they're simply not what I had last year, and it almost makes me a little sad if I think about it long enough. Like the good adult that I am, I throw myself into the work and force myself to smile when I am a little lost, because I know that this fear of the unknown is timeless and universal. My grownup brain accepts that this, too, shall pass. I do hope, however, to make a new friend who thinks of me when there is cake! :hugs:
     
  16. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    7,075
    Likes Received:
    14

    Sep 4, 2014

    Sorry for hijacking-

    For those that asked, the P supports me 100%. I have a meeting with the parent in the morning. I've been warned that she babies him. She was angry that they don't allow her to walk him to class everyday. 6th grade! :dizzy:
     
  17. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,231
    Likes Received:
    1,172

    Sep 4, 2014

    YES. I agree with every single word of this post! :2cents:
     
  18. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,949
    Likes Received:
    16

    Sep 4, 2014

    I taught MS for 5 years before moving to HS. It was a huge transition because I was teaching 3 preps and had to create lesson plans, activities and resources for all 3 classes from scratch. Also, I teach at a school with only two HS social studies teachers and the other teacher does not teach the same classes that I do so there is no one to really collaborate with.

    Another major issue was that I was used to teaching only one grade level in a classroom (even if I was teaching two grade-levels each year). Now, all of my HS History classes are mixed with students from grades 9 through 12 which can be "stressful" because pretty much all of the other non-elective classes are single grade-level. So students love to get a class where they can interact with students from other grades. This can be a major headache.

    Good luck OP!
     
  19. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    919
    Likes Received:
    40

    Sep 4, 2014

    YES YES YES. I taught 4th grade math/science last year and complained the whole time (not to my students or co-workers of course) about how I missed middle school and how I didn't like teaching such little kids. Now that I'm back in middle school---I find that even though it was frustrating for me to have to teach at such a concrete level, I miss the kids themselves! I miss how students that age are eager to please and they are so sweet! Even though the drive was long, I miss the familiarity of the school and comradry of my former staff. And I know you all know I miss the technology :)

    In short, I miss my old school, the students, the staff---I am homesick :*(
     
  20. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,653
    Likes Received:
    232

    Sep 4, 2014

    This is just perfect and it really pinpoints exactly what I've been feeling! Thank you! :wub:

    Today was a better day than yesterday, with frustrating moments. I know it just takes time, it's just hard sometimes! I definitely throw myself into work and I smile - I'm 100% positive that no one I'm working with right now knows how I'm feeling, which is good - I'm hiding it well. ;) Trying to be patient...I know it's going to take awhile.

    Thanks for the other responses, as well. :)
     
  21. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,481
    Likes Received:
    95

    Sep 6, 2014

    Absolutely! I feel like I am reliving my first year of teaching in almost every way but one: at least then I had a curriculum and teacher's manuals to follow. ELL in the district where I am now is in the process of reviewing/revamping materials and procedures in part because the state has handed us new standards. All I have for each child is a rubric of skills they need to master. I don't really have much concrete direction for how to get the kids where they need to go (or so it feels).
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. NC Teacher 4,
  2. vickilyn,
  3. socalenglish
Total: 276 (members: 4, guests: 252, robots: 20)
test