Feeling disappointed in myself

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by jeepgirlsrock, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. jeepgirlsrock

    jeepgirlsrock Rookie

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    Jan 8, 2019

    Hey all, hope you’re getting back in the swing after a much needed break. I’m a 4th year teacher. Taught pre-k for 3 and was moved to a new campus in 1st grade here in Texas. I worked in an office for 8 years and decided to get my Masters and become a teacher. I’m feeling overwhelmed and under qualified and LOST. So very lost. I messed up my DRA scores (2nd time using them) and was told by my P my scores were “too high” based on their growth from the beginning of the year (went from a 3 to an 8). So I had my team come in and sure enough, I had to move my kids a few levels down. I’m disheartened and feel embarrassed, but glad I could catch them before report cards went out. Swallowed my dignity with that but not sure how to get my students reading scores up. Luckily, I have a Literacy coach coming in to help soon.

    I’m just feeling like this probably isn’t a good fit for me and could use some encouragement at this time!
     
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  3. jeepgirlsrock

    jeepgirlsrock Rookie

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    Jan 8, 2019

    Let me add that my P is on me about everything so I feel like growing pains aren’t really a good thing in this grade level
     
  4. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Jan 9, 2019

    This isn't really helpful but I absolutely despise DRA. Despite what its supporters say, it's completely subjective and scores can vary widely depending on who's testing the students and the environment in which the test is being conducted (quiet hallway, chatty classroom, or literacy room).

    You're a new teacher in that you're learning all these things that were not done in Pre-K. Your principal should understand that! Try not to beat yourself up.
     
  5. Kendall2018

    Kendall2018 Rookie

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    Sep 14, 2019

    I'm a first year teacher and I feel overwhelmed. I asked my team to help me when it came to assessments as this is totally new. Being a new teacher is hard, but it definitely gets easier day by day. I'm learning that mistakes are okay and most times, I'm the only one aware of them. Don't be hard on yourself. It's been almost a month and I'm finally just starting to get comfortable. Give yourself time.
     
  6. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Cohort

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    Sep 14, 2019

    Teaching a new grade level is often like your 1st year teaching. You are going to learn things "trial by fire." I am so sorry your P does not understand that. Hopefully, your literacy coach will be a great help. In TX, mine was 1 of the sweetest women I ever met. Try to become new best friends if you can....:) My first thought was to ask a friend or coworker if they will help you. Take them out to dinner and pick their brain as much as you can. Most people like to be helpful, I think. The problem is most are really busy. So when you do something you can to save them time, they'll be more open to help. ( Make copies to share, bake, or bring snacks...)
    Many yrs ago, I taught in TX. If it makes you feel any better, I had been given a class of gifted and talented kids. I was unfamiliar with the way descriptive writing was graded. Everyone was horrified when all of the gifted kids flunked a state test on writing.....not only embarrassing, but it was during the No Child Left Behind times. I had taught them wrong! That motivated me to learn all I could and years later I was known as the district's "top guns" when it came to UIL writing.
    Try not to be hard on yourself. When learning, we all mistakes. I tell the kids that and would tell any friend that too. I am guessing you'd tell a best friend the same thing.My mom used to say, "Everyone makes mistakes. Fools practice them. :) Learn all you can about the type of testing you are using. There are probably videos to watch that will help you.
    Best wishes to you! Hang in there, you'll get it!
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
  7. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Sep 15, 2019

    I'm not familiar with DRA, but I do know that test scores can deflate and even inflate a student's ability due to many factors. Your P is wise in looking at other indicators of achievement other than just one test.

    With a new grade level and new school, you will find areas to improve. In fact, the year you stop finding areas to improve will be the year you should stop teaching. We are not omniscient. There's always more to learn. But based on my experience, frankly, I'm suspicious that this is more an environmental issue rather than a pedagogical issue on your part.

    Kids today are not growing up in a literacy based society. When I was growing up in the 60's, we were surrounded by books. No one dictated specific reading leveled books for us to read in order to get prizes for reading so many minutes per day. We just read. If we didn't like a book or it was too hard, we found another book to read. We went to the library, at school, at church, and in the community. Our parents read to us.

    We weren't distracted by cell phones. Sure, I wanted a portable phone like Batman had, but they just didn't exist. We were distracted by TV, but TV was language based. In the morning, Captain Kangaroo read books to the children viewing his program. Tim O'Hara and Uncle Martin (My Favorite Martian reruns) traded comedic punchlines with pauses in between rather than the super fast paced in your face comedy shows kids watch today; in other words, the teleplay was emphasized over the flashy visual presentation of today. We went outside and played. No, we didn't sit on the porch and twiddle our thumbs. We actively used our imagination and played, rode bikes, you name it, all the stuff that physically upgrades the brain for languaging. We ate food. Soda (we called it tonic) was a treat rather than a staple.

    And we talked. And our parents spent time listening and talking with us, not just to us. Yeah, we got scolded, but we were also instructed on how to do better the next time, rather than just hearing a bunch of swearing and cuss words thrown at us, (and I fear, that's the only parental communication many kids experience today. Their parents are too busy texting).

    I could go on, but back to what the teacher can do in today's society--by the way, it's not the school that's "dumbed down" as the media often portrays, it's society. What we can do is surround our class with language. Time to listen, time to speak, time to write, and most importantly, books, magazines and notes. No teacher, no matter how strong their teaching ability, can teach a student to read. We have no magic wands. The best we can do is teach how to read, but if the kids don't practice, and if the kids don't experience languaging in all its forms, if the kids waste their time on video games, they will not learn to read. Again, we don't learn kids, we teach them. They have to do the learning.
     

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