Feeling a little left out...

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by brejohnson88, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. brejohnson88

    brejohnson88 Comrade

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    Aug 25, 2010

    Hello. I am a brand new pre-k teacher. Today was the second day of school. Besides a few mix ups and bussing issues, its going really great. However, I do have a problem. I am off campus compared to my collegues who are at the actual school even though I am nearby. I feel left out though. I feel like I am often forgotten about by administration and others. I had an issue with a parent and was unsure so I called the P for some advice. I felt like she was cold towards me and unsupportive and almost annoyed. I know she has a ton of things to worry about, but cant she give a teacher some quick advice. I also knew this parent would probably be calling her about the situation too, so I wanted her to be aware of it. Then later, I went over to the office and I was told my the secretary that I need to be more "tough" with the parents and grow a tough skin. After she said that, I really felt offended and left out. I am brand new, a new teacher on the job and just wanted to make sure I was handling the situation right and giving her the heads up on it before a parent called.

    Also, I should mention that the Principal or anyone else from the school hasnt come by to see the room or meet the kids until this afternoon after this incident to see if I was okay. I also was not given an orientation or an explaination on procedures or anything. I was thrown in the classroom and told "good luck." When asking questions about how things like bussing and other things are ran, i get the "i dont know" answer or a "ask this person", who then doesnt know either. I am getting the run around. I feel as if this admin could care less about the program. It is very confusing and frustrating trying to get any answers out of anyone.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? Am I being too needy? I just would like to be included in things and have my students thought about instead of being put to the side.:dizzy: Thanks! :dizzy:
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Aug 26, 2010

    Since you are teaching younger ones, can you walk to the main campus? Maybe try having a group of older students read to your students once or twice a week. This way you get over there.

    Also, see if they can match you up with a mentor teacher, someone who can answer your questions. Maybe a K or 1st teacher.

    I would try sending emails to the P, that way they can respond when they have time. Give them information and then step back.

    Get to know the secretaries, they have all the answers! Bring in a small treat for them and always let them know how much you appreciate them. They can often get the P to help you out when needed.
     
  4. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Aug 26, 2010

    Your principal may have just sounded mean/cold because she was having a rough day. I'm a teacher and I've already warned my fiancee and sister (who I live with) that the first couple of weeks are rough on me and I really need them to just help me get through them by helping out around the house and to forgive me if I'm mean towards them.

    I have to really think about how I'm outwardly showing my feelings as one class leaves and another comes in--- there have been times when I had a bad lesson and then am still angry with the next class. Perhaps she had just had a difficult meeting or phone call prior to yours and didn't realize how she sounded.

    I do recommend that should you need advice that you check with other teachers first. Don't make it a habit to go the principal too often, but rely on your fellow teachers. It's also very good to post a question or issue here and you'll be offered some useful wisdom.

    Once I knew which teachers I could trust, I went to them when I needed guidance. Only when the situation had become to the point of where the parent was almost threatening me did I ask the principal to step in with the parents.
    I blame the school for not properly introducing you to their policies and procedures. Please ask the principal or the secretary in the office if they have a Faculty Handbook--- which will usually cover procedures. Don't blame yourself for not knowing what to do--- this honestly is usually covered in a new teacher orientation (did you have one?).

    In some cases, if the students are old enough, I've asked the ones I know who I can truly trust what the school policy is. Granted your students are pretty young, but what you could also do is write your questions on a note and have the student deliver it to a teacher who you trust.

    I honestly wonder if just dragging your whole class with you to the principal's office to get a straight answer might be a good idea. :rolleyes:

    Once again since you're a new teacher in a new school, don't worry about it. Give yourself about 2-3 months to get all the procedures and policies down. Go to teachers before you go to administration (plus shouldn't they have given you a mentor teacher anyways? What type of school is this place??? :dizzy:).

    If you don't feel included, make opportunities so you will be included. Make sure you attend all faculty meetings, set up a time to meet with other teachers to discuss students or activities, attend school events, and if you feel comfortable, perhaps you can invite some faculty members out to dinner either at your house or another place (I did this once and I had a lovely time).
     
  5. brejohnson88

    brejohnson88 Comrade

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    Aug 26, 2010

    Yes, I love the idea about meeting up with older buddies. I think I will type up a short letter and make copies and put them in the teachers mailboxes and see if anyone would be interested.


    As for the situation with the P, the parent was cussing me out on the phone. I thought that would call for appropriate matters to call and let her know because that is just uncalled for. I would love to have a teacher to express my frustrations and someone who I could talk to and get ideas from, but everyone is pretty clueless. No one has offered to help me except for other teachers who dont even work at my school! and of course people on this wonderful site!!

    Not only do I not have a mentor, or had a new teacher orientation, OR was given a copy of a handbook, I also have not been given a school email address or a security code to get in my building or out of my buildig during after hours. I am allowed in my building now from 6:30- 5:30 m-f. It sounds like a long time but I find myself doing work from the start time to the finish every day with even more to do. I asked for a code and an email and I was told yes for both but still have had no luck on recieving these. The security code I can live without, the email is pretty important especially when I need to contact therapists for my students who are not in the school 24/7.

    I love my job, dont get me wrong. This has been the best experience of my life for the last 2 weeks and I know its only going to get better. The kids, families, and my classroom are all wonderful. However, its frustrating when you have NO support from anyone. Thank goodness my boyfriend who I live with is also a first year teacher otherwise im sure he would already be leaving me due to all my complaints when I get home. But he and my friends and my family are the only ones I can complain to about this since I dont have any resources.

    Today, I met the special ed team that will be working with my students and I just let them have it. I explained all of my frustrations and the fact that my students are being forgotten about. Not only is it sad, but it is also a scary thought. I could be a new teacher who knows nothing and could be doing god knows what with these kids and no one would ever know because they dont ever check up on them. I felt bad, but I needed to get this off my chest to people who are working in my district and with me. I now have the social worker and EC special ed coordinator helping me get answers and also offered me to email and call them at anytime which is wonderful. I just feel bad since it isnt there job to have to search for answers for me just because I cant get them from admin.

    Alright A to Z, im done ranting :) thanks for the suggestions!!!
     
  6. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Aug 26, 2010

    Just wanted to offer another suggestion if you haven't done this already - have you created a written list of all the things you need and given them to your P? IF not, I would suggest you make a list of all the things you need (email address, building code, ect.), date your list, make a copy and put it in your P's mailbox. Sometimes verbal requests are forgotten. I think by putting your request in writing, if you haven't already, will make it harder for your P to forget to take care of these very important and necessary things.

    Also, are you a brand new licensed teacher? Most state's require brand new licensed teachers to have a mentor as part of their program.

    I hope you get all of these things taken care of soon.
     
  7. brejohnson88

    brejohnson88 Comrade

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    Aug 26, 2010

    Yes, i am a licensed teacher. I have a type 04 degree which is early childhood with special ed approval in my state. I am not sure what the laws are out here for that, but there are 2 other new teachers and I dont know if they have mentors or not, but they each have another teacher teaching the same grade level as them so Im guessing they have an informal mentor just by this fact.

    Thank you for the suggestion on the list. I will ask my aide if she thinks this list will work with this P and probably write down my things needed. I like that too because then I wont have to have a verbal "Okay, Ill get you it" and then be let down.\

    I also heard today that there should be money put aside for me to use for a budget. I really need paint smocks. Dont know when or if I will ever get the money though :(
     
  8. dovian

    dovian Comrade

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    Aug 27, 2010

    On the money: You should try to figure out who's in charge of the finances. In our district each school has a School Operations Officer, and that's all that person does, handle the money. In other places it's the job of a secretary or some other person in the building. It might be the P, who knows? But anyway, the point is that they might not give you the money. If we want anything, we have to put in an order with the SOO (I sometimes call ours the "money lady") and she will place the order from an approved vendor. Or if you buy something out of pocket you can sometimes get reimbursed, if it's something they can't order for you. But you should find out where that money is before you go spending your own money.
     
  9. brejohnson88

    brejohnson88 Comrade

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    Aug 28, 2010

    Thanks for the idea. I found out who handles the finances and she seems pretty nice. I think im going to mention it to her and see what she says. I figure they arent just gunna hand it over to me so I have to ask.
     
  10. krysmorgsu

    krysmorgsu Cohort

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    Aug 29, 2010

    Seriously, get a teacher handbook and check into whether or not you get a mentor. We didn't get one until end of September or October, but if you check on your state's Board of Education.Licensing site, it should tell you if they need to give one to you. Then go make nice with a secretary and ask who you would talk to about it. Since some of the teachers in the other building have been helpful, go to the one you feel most comfy with and ask if you can meet for coffee soon. Then ask about this stuff. Good luck!
     
  11. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Aug 29, 2010

    Are you the only preK classroom at your school? If so, you should have a district supervisor who could suggest a nearby preK teacher for you to connect with. That person should be a big help to you. I'm hoping your principal was having a bad day (which is very possible considering everything that goes on at the start of school) and that things get better. You sound like you really have a good grasp on things, so I hope this is a great year for you.
    We only have one preK class (even though we are pretty large at 500 kids). Our teacher is AMAZING, but I know she feels overwhelmed at times because she is on her own a lot. I really admire those of you who teach the little ones. I often stop my 4th graders to watch her line and comment how "funny" that the preK kids are teaching the 4th graders how to behave.
    Good luck and I hope you have a great year!
     
  12. brejohnson88

    brejohnson88 Comrade

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    Aug 29, 2010

    I have another pre-k teacher that works in a different district but is nearby. I have talked to her on the phone and she is VERY nice. The only problem is they started school this week too so its very crazy for her. I am going to try to meet with her and see if I can get some support from her. im going to ask about the handbook and see if I can get one. This school doesnt even hAVe a website!!!

    On Friday, I completly broke down when I got home and was at the local football game. My dad called and was asking me about it and the water works started to flow. I cried 3 out of the 5 days last week. Its just because I am so stressed and frustrated. I love my job and just want the best for my students! After I cried and got some sleep yesterday, I feel refreshed. I have realized it was the first week and its hetic and the office has a million things to do and cant always be there for me. My dad told me "I know you are stronger than them and this and you will get through this"" and that has really inspired me. I am going to do my best. Im going to go in tomorrow with my head up and smiling and see how everyones weekend was and get back at it. I keep telling myself to feel lucky I even have a job!

    The students are wonderful. We have been working on how to walk in a line and they are really getting it. We had to go to the grade school for picture day and I saw the kinders and their line was horrible! I was like WHOA! I must be doing something right :)

    Thanks everyone! You have made me feel alot better!
     
  13. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Aug 29, 2010

    I"m sorry you're getting off to a slow start with your admin. You'll probably be on your own for the most part. I go for weeks at a time and don't see my principal. Send hard copy requests, make a copy for yourself and keep it for documumentation. Check to see if you get a Mentor, that will help tremendously.
     
  14. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Aug 29, 2010


    You're going to be fine!!! Good luck!
     
  15. brejohnson88

    brejohnson88 Comrade

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    Aug 29, 2010

    Thanks Hoot. I am going to see about the mentor, and if not i think I am going to seek one out for myself. Its hard since many teachers in my school have no idea about pre-k and many have refered to me as a "free babysitter". They dont realize that this "free babysitter" gets their children school ready for the future so they are not spending weeks going over how we behave in school or how to use sissors. I have to ignore these people and keep my head up :)
     
  16. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Aug 29, 2010

    What is it about Dads that can make us turn back into little girls? Mine is the same way. I'm fine until he asks me if I'm ok, then I'm bawling like a baby. He's right, though, you are doing such a difficult job and seem very passionate about it. I think it will be a great year for you!
     
  17. vaani

    vaani Rookie

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    Aug 30, 2010

    me toooooo!!!!

    i'm facing the same problem:(. i have to sit in the school bus for almost 4 to 5 hours in the bus to and fro to the school. but there is no other go. i hardly get time to do my household things!!!
     

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