Feel like I've accomplished nothing. I feel like I am a horrible teacher.

Discussion in 'General Education' started by linswin23, Jul 9, 2015.

  1. linswin23

    linswin23 Cohort

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    Messages:
    696
    Likes Received:
    101

    Jul 9, 2015

    Tomorrow is my last day of work before summer. We had our evaluations today.

    This year was my first experience in a full-English immersion classroom. I had up to 18 students in my room for an 80 minute English class that didn't speak ANY English. I also didn't have a co-teacher who spoke Chinese. It was just me. I only had three different classes this year, but this year was harder than my first year teaching. Hands down.

    Classroom management was a huge issue for me this year. My kids came to me on the first day not even understanding, "Hello!", so I had to work my butt off this year trying to get my kids in line. I had many struggles, but I feel like I got my kids under control and they did learn a lot of English. It wasn't perfect, but I got them to the point where they only spoke to me in English! Yes, it was very limited, but they did it!

    Also, the curriculum we were given was Cornerstone. It wasn't appropriate for my kids at all. It didn't even teach them the alphabet! I had to make phonics curriculum from scratch.

    Well...I have my evaluation and my admin told me that my classroom management is too "free" and that I need to be more stern with my kids. I do agree with him on this. I'm naturally soft spoken, but I've learned to become more firm. I taught 7th grade for three years and was really successful managing my classroom. I've got a lot of tricks up my sleeve. I did my best this year, but I feel like it wasn't a good representation of what I'm truly capable of and have done.

    This year has been rough, but something else my administrator said was really discouraging.

    Next year I will teach a self-contained first grade classroom with a Chinese co-teacher. My students are those with developed/slightly advanced English skills. I'm piloting the program and am currently developing the program right now. I was CHOSEN to do this job next year, but today my admin told me that I need to make sure that I am able to manage the kids next year so when it's time to learn they actually are ready and listen...also they way he said this was like a warning. I'm quite good at receiving constructive criticism-I actually really like to receive it and welcome it. However, this cut me to the core.

    He left and I felt super upset and just burst into tears. I never cry about things like this! I'm a fourth year teach for gosh sakes! I feel like I don't deserve to teach the new pilot program next year. I feel like I will fail. I feel unappreciated and I don't feel what he said was fair considering that he's been in my classroom TWICE this year. TWICE.

    I guess I just need a break. I also just needed to get this off my chest.
     
  2.  
  3. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    Messages:
    3,513
    Likes Received:
    15

    Jul 9, 2015

    Oh, :(

    Think of all of the things that went well in your class. Think of all the times you were a kind, caring, and fair person in the lives of those students. Those moments, and there were SO many, are so important to your kids.

    Find something to take your mind off school for awhile. Turn off the teacher brain for a few days. Give yourself time to recuperate.

    I suspect by the time your next semester begins you are ready for the challenge.
     
  4. linswin23

    linswin23 Cohort

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    Messages:
    696
    Likes Received:
    101

    Jul 9, 2015


    Thanks for this. I believe that teaching is what I need to do. It's what I'm good at. This year was just different, and that's okay. I need time to recharge.
     
  5. MLB711

    MLB711 Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    376
    Likes Received:
    53

    Jul 9, 2015

    I'm so sorry. I have been in similar shoes so I understand you're hurt. My heart goes out to you.

    Your situation for next year sounds really neat! You will absolutely be ready and it will be an amazing experience for everyone in your classroom. I guarantee it :)

    I think you need to get a good book and a strong drink, and head to the beach/mountains/lake/anywhere that makes you feel relaxed. Even if it's just for a day or weekend, I feel like getting outside helps so much.
     
  6. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,691
    Likes Received:
    460

    Jul 9, 2015

    I know it's hard, but cut yourself some slack. Like others have said, focus on the positives. You jumped from 7th grade to 1st, which would be a huge learning curve all on its own. Added to that, you taught students who didn't understand the language, at all, and you taught in a different culture with different expectations.

    Spend part of the summer revising your classroom procedures so they are closer in line with what other teachers at your school do. Check out some ESL websites for ideas on how to communicate what you want them to do. Maybe create picture cards to show routines? You've got this!
     
  7. GeetGeet

    GeetGeet Companion

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    10

    Jul 9, 2015

    That sounds so frustrating, but I agree with the others. You had a very difficult situation that many people would not have been able to manage.
    I am not sure if at your school the admin are Chinese or American, but do you think that some of the issue might be cultural? From what I understand American classrooms ARE generally more "free" than Chinese ones, so maybe that has something to do with it?
     
  8. linswin23

    linswin23 Cohort

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    Messages:
    696
    Likes Received:
    101

    Jul 9, 2015

    Thanks so much for all the support and kind words, everyone!

    I am looking forward to brainstorming more effective classroom management strategies this summer. This year was definitely a learning curve in more ways than one!
     
  9. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,935
    Likes Received:
    679

    Jul 9, 2015

    You really can't judge yourself on only one year in a grade level. And you were teaching in an extremely challenging environment. The first year is for trying out your approach and seeing what works. Congratulations on making a change in the lives of students and for expanding their language base. What great experience to pilot a new program.
     
  10. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2015
    Messages:
    1,233
    Likes Received:
    428

    Jul 9, 2015

    I know it's been rough, but you were chosen to pilot the new program, which must mean they saw something good in you! Or else they wouldn't have chosen YOU, right? Try to see the positives. At least the new group will know some English :)
     
  11. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,565
    Likes Received:
    744

    Jul 9, 2015

    I have taught ELD classes where the majority of the students spoke little or no English, and it is so. freaking. hard! It is unlike anything else teachers are asked to do. The fact that your students went from not even knowing "hello" to speaking English with a native speaker is HUGE! So don't let yourself think for one second that you didn't accomplish anything, because you did!

    I know from experience that feeling of frustration and defeat, but the evidence is there -- you did succeed, and so did your students. You are now being given a new and different challenge for next year, and the fact that your admin chose you for this role speaks volumes about their confidence in you!
     
  12. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,770
    Likes Received:
    1,002

    Jul 9, 2015

    I agree with everything that has been said. Sending good thoughts your way! :hugs:
     
  13. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Messages:
    436
    Likes Received:
    111

    Jul 9, 2015

    Yes. A lot must have gone very well - have you made that list yet? Please take some time to pat yourself on the back and celebrate the successes. Sound silly? It's not. It's really really important.
     
  14. linswin23

    linswin23 Cohort

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    Messages:
    696
    Likes Received:
    101

    Jul 11, 2015

    Wow, thanks so much for all the support! I am so thankful for this forum!

    Yesterday, I cleaned my room and boxed everything up for next year since I'm moving classrooms. It was nice to do this, very therapeutic.

    I've been thinking about my students a lot and I know that I did succeed. My classroom management and instruction wasn't perfect, but it never is. As a teacher, I constantly looking for ways to improve. I'll be doing this this summer.

    I've learned so much this year about teaching ESL and about teaching first grade, that I feel as if next year will be so much more smooth.

    In a way, this was my first year teaching all over again! New grade level, new school, new setting, and new content. This is why I love teaching. Every year is new, you can reinvent yourself.
     
  15. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,935
    Likes Received:
    679

    Jul 11, 2015

    What a great, positive outlook and realistic reflection. It is so much fun to think back and decide what needs to be changed and how to improve, I think. It sounds like you are well on your way to your next successful year!
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Backroads,
  2. TeacherNY,
  3. ChemTeachBHS,
  4. stephenpe,
  5. sevenplus,
  6. waterfall
Total: 285 (members: 8, guests: 259, robots: 18)
test