Feel like you won't measure up?!

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by MrsHoot, Jul 14, 2009.

  1. MrsHoot

    MrsHoot Comrade

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    Jul 14, 2009

    So I landed the job...felt good about it and felt like all my ideals meshed VERY well with what the school does. But I am so scared that I will NOT measure up to their expectations!!!!! Sure, I can say that I would love to do workshops/daily 5 (which I do) but I feel like I don't know the first thing about making them successful! I've started reading books...developing first 20 days of Writer's Workshop. I really just feel like I should know everything, and I definitely don't. =)

    Is anyone else scared that they won't measure up to their team/principals expectations!?:unsure:
     
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  3. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jul 14, 2009

    MrsHoot~I feel this way as well. I told the P in the interview that I wanted to do tiered activity cards for DI...well, there's no room for that w/ the lessons that HAVE to be followed on our online curriculum. I'm afraid the 6th graders are going to eat me alive. There's also a teacher who I went to school w/ on my team, and a school friend whose mom teaches in the room next to me.
     
  4. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jul 15, 2009

    Let me share two very important rules:

    1. Don't panic.

    2. Don't forget to breathe.

    Oh, and please make sure you're getting your weekly quota of hugs and chocolate.

    Now, then: there's nothing like the adrenaline surge produced by the expectations of people that you really, really don't want to let down to make you perform beyond what you thought you could, and grow in the process. I'm not going to say that this whole affair will always be comfortable for you - but, if you're willing to show up with your game face and do what lies before you, you will come out just fine.

    And, yes, you'll feel like a faker the whole time. So do the rest of us, if you must know the truth.
     
  5. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Jul 15, 2009

    TG, I have thought about the quote in your signature a few times lately--fake it until I know it. I also think it will be like a diet. It seems so insurmountable that getting started and knowing how to get going (ie, making good sense of it all) is the biggest hurdle. Once I get into the groove I will be fine but that doesn't mean there won't be other moments that make it hard to stay on the path. In the end I will be able to look back and reflect on what worked for me and all my accomplishments.

    5 things I want to work on this year...
    *building a rapport with students, parents and staff
    *making sure I don't spoon feed the information (something I noticed I did too much last year when I suddenly went from 1st to helping out the older grades) which also means I have to have high expectations and a depth of content in my lessons
    *following the curriculum (some of our teachers aren't good at this and I have no experience with it outside of college and this is very important)
    *varying my hooks, activities and assessments (making sure I don't cave under time pressure and do all worksheets, etc)
    *keeping up with some of the traditions and that that grade level usually looks forward to in the standards of which they are usually performed in (ie, don't want to look stupid for these big school wide events)
     
  6. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Jul 15, 2009

    Great advice.

    One piece of advice that was very helpful to me was don't bite off more than you can chew. You don't need to do everything your first year. Pick one thing you want to do really well and do that.

    Last year it was writers workshop for me. This year it will be readers workshop.

    I am telling you this because no one at that school expects you to be as good as their best teacher.

    Also, is this your first year teaching? All those books can be overwhelming. Take it easy on them. I did the same thing and then just focused on the writer's workshop. I am not saying I did a bad job on other things, I just didn't go to the depths that I wanted to.
     
  7. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Jul 15, 2009

    Focus on classroom management too because that is half the battle your first year.
     
  8. KinderESLtchr

    KinderESLtchr Rookie

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    Jul 15, 2009

    You will learn! They also know you are a first year teacher and will/should provide you with LOTS of great support. View it as a learning year and don't be hard on yourself--we have ALL been there (some teachers probably still are!)

    Rely on your colleagues for help during that first year. It's amazing all the time saving tricks teachers with a few years behind them have in their repertoires (and it is more practical and hands on than just learning from a book.) One thing with writer's workshop that works awesome (and that I learned from a 4th grade teacher) is to print the different stages of the workshop on magnetic paper as well as the student's names. Put them on a magnetic surface all can see (like a magnetic cupboard.) Students move the magnets as they go through the stages so you always know where they are. You can also show them who is conferencing with you that day in this manner. Plus it is great when administrators walk in and see this system--it's evidence of your workshop! I also agree that you should not try to take on too much--gradually add things that you like and see how they work. Don't overwhelm yourself more than you have to already.

    You are going to be fine and do very well! You care, and that is the most important thing of all. You know if you have any questions we are all right here!
     
  9. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Jul 15, 2009

    Let me know if you want to see this. I think I have a picture of mine.
     
  10. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    Jul 15, 2009

    I have been teaching for 8 years and I still feel like I don't know what I am doing at times and that there is more that I should know. It is a process... baby steps. You will be great and I can tell that you are going to do a great job because you are already so eager to learn it and do it, already reading boooks and asking questions. Those are the makings of a really good teacher!
     
  11. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    Jul 15, 2009

    You'll be fine. It's a growing/learning process for all of us. When we finally get to where we think we know it all -- we will learn we are wrong :lol:
     
  12. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    Jul 15, 2009

    :hijack:

    Happy belated first anniversary, trayums! I remember when you were still single :haha:
     
  13. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Jul 15, 2009

    I'm starting my 9th year and I still get a kick out of figuring something out I didn't know. I have never really been comfortable trying it before. I feel like I finally understand reading strategy and skill enough to try it. Yep...some of us just take a little longer. But no one knew.:) I would ask questions and gather knowledge from other teachers on my team and do a lot of reading and research on my own until it clicked.
     
  14. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    Jul 15, 2009

    Guys, I began my teaching career after 5 weeks of training with Teach for America. I was terrified! However, in my first year, 96% of my students tested proficient or higher on standardized tests, my kids recorded the highest levels of value-added growth (growth from previous year to current), and my classes averaged 1.7 years of reading growth in a single year. Your passion, fear, and excitement is going to allow you to do amazing things! Focus on management. In TFA, we were told that an intelligent person can figure out how to teach, how to transfer information from themselves to students. The most important part of learning to teach is learning to manage a classroom and engaging the students.

    Don't begin a class by saying, turn to page 552. Ask a question to evoke interest, "Do you think something like the Holocaust could happen in the US?"

    Don't give your instructions more than one (to a single student). Wait for them to listen. 9 times out of 10 they heard you the first time.

    Practice whatever routines you want the students to follow. Actually practice sitting in your chair and taking out materials.

    You can do it, I promise!!!
     
  15. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    Jul 16, 2009

    Awwwwe Thank you Missy!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) I can't believe it's been a year!!!:hugs:
     
  16. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Jul 20, 2009

    I was very hard on myself my first year of teaching and even my Supervisor told me to not do any work over the summer, except for my reading of certain books. She kept reminding me that I have some great teachers around I could observe and learn from, but that I should not expect myself to be as good as them my first or second or even third year. She reminded me too that while she's been in the education business (from being a teacher to a principal and every where in-between) she herself doesn't know everything and can really bomb some lessons still. She's also old enough to be my Mom, so of course she's going to know ALOT more than me.

    A good school is one where the teachers are supported as much as the students are. You should not feel like you have to be on the same level as a teacher who has been teaching for 5 years and your school should realize the same thing too! If they don't, because honestly some schools do a horrible job at helping their teachers develop good teaching practices, it's THEIR loss.

    I believe as long as you are willing to LEARN from other teachers at your school and be a team player, you'll do well. My Supervisor told me she knew I'd be a great teacher some day because I'm so willing to learn from others. It's a practice not all new teachers feel comfortable doing--- telling others they need help with something and observing others to see how to improve.

    I'm sure you'll do fine, but please don't expect yourself to be the best teacher ever. It hurt me a lot when I realized I wasn't and that I had to do as much growing as a new teacher my first year as my students did. Once you get over that, it's a lot more fun :)
     
  17. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Jul 20, 2009

    Start small. Don't try to do too much at once. See what the district does and follow along.

    Whatever you do, don't jump on every "bandwagon." Get your classroom management in order, then your instructional resources and curriculum.

    You will do great! :)
     
  18. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I think that is part of my problem. I have high expectations of myself and I'm acutely aware of how much I don't know yet. I went to the store to buy Literacy Work Stations by Debbie Miller and found out she has a 3-6 grade version that isn't in stock. In the meantime I found a book called The Classroom Teacher's Survival Guide. I don't have time to read it but it is so pretty and nicely laid out that just looking at it eased my fears some. I'm hoping it'll be my rabbit's foot. All I really need is some confidence and energy and I know I'll be fine. I just am in the shell shocked stage right now.
     
  19. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Jul 20, 2009

    Do you have a mentor at your school? I had a 4th grade teacher be mine this first year of teaching--- which was some what helpful, but next year I'm having the sci dept head from the lower school be mine. We've already chatted once or twice and she's very energetic and positive so I'm looking forward to that.

    I'll have other things to do-- like observing 2 teachers once per cycle, some formal training in my curriculum, etc and I'm hoping that'll boost my knowledge and confidence.
     
  20. Ms. T

    Ms. T Rookie

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    Jul 20, 2009

    You can do it. Teaching is a life long learning experience. I know that I constantly questioned other teachers during my first year just to learn how to handle the stuff outside of the classroom. I worked closely with the other 6th grade math teacher to ensure I followed and met the district requirements. This will be my third year teaching and I can't wait to get started.
     
  21. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    I am in a current state of denial. If I think about starting my job, I will go into a meltdown state of kernel panic.
     
  22. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    You sound like you could use a hug :hugs: The summer before my job I was in denial too--- I knew I would freak out and over work myself otherwise (I had enough to deal with moving out on my own for the first time in a new area). There's some stuff you should have in place for the first days, but really don't worry too much about it--- you can always fix something if it doesn't work for you and the students. Give it time.
     
  23. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    We have a teacher specialist that will come periodically. She isn't in our building so she isn't a mentor per say but she is a tremendous resource when she is there. Otherwise I just plan to ask questions whenever I need to. I do know the people I'm working with. There are a few people I feel comfortable asking questions. For the rest there is this place. I'm not too sure how willing people will be to give me feedback (to my face) though or offer the help or feedback if I'm not directly asking for it.

    What I CAN count on is that they will talk.
     
  24. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    I'll need that hug in August! I'm sticking with denial for now :D. I still have so many lose ends to tie up here.
     
  25. each1teach1

    each1teach1 Cohort

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    Jul 20, 2009

    I understand how you feel. Last year was my first year and at the beginning of the year, I was so worried I didn't know everything I needed to know. And guess what? I was right! And the world didn't end. It was ok. I still did a good job and my supervisors were pleased with most of what I did. At the end of the year, they gave me one or two areas to work on and then told me "Next year will be much better. You are a good teacher and you're going to be much better. Now go enjoy your summer. Don't worry about school AT ALL." That was such a load off my shoulders. I thought I was doing so horribly, but everyone else thought I was just being a first year teacher, lol!

    One thing I've learned was to take smaller bites. You can't do everything perfectly at once. My goals for next year is to be more organized, which I think will solve a lot of the problems I had last year. I've figured out how to keep my gradebook organized, my attendance roles organized, parental contact, progress reports, etc. The year after, I'll tackle something else.

    It'll be ok.
     

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