I don't know why I'm amused that the new teacher's thread is found under "Special Interest." Hello all. I've finished my third week of teaching grade 7 and OMG, they have been awful. More accurately, I have been awful at them. Two of my students got up and left the school today at different time because they didn't want to put my with inconsistency and fluster fumbling attempts at teaching anymore. I've lost control of my students more times than I can count. Snack time is a nightmare where the dishes are left undone and any attempts to get the students to own up to who left the dishes in the sink goes nowhere. My problem was (is?) that I'm the wishy washiest person on this planet. I can't stick to a plan. I've changed the seating plans three times already. I came up with rules and consequences later in the week because I couldn't think of any beforehand. I can't visualize what my "ideal classroom" would be past "kids love my lessons" and "they behave themselves." I couldn't visualize how anything would go. I'm one of those very annoying people who can't figure things out until she's going through it and doing it. And then I need lots of time to sit back and reflect on it, which I don't have with teaching. I'm too busy trying to learn science, math, dance (DANCE? are you kidding me? DANCE?), and two grades of geography the night before I have to teach them. A lot of time I forget what I learned and I'm at the chalkboard going, "crap! is the primary consumer at the top of the energy pyramid or near the bottom?" I feel like I'm in constant reactionary panic mode. Things that I think are simple, like getting the students to write "About the Author" blurb about themselves for their writing portfolio turns out to be a herculean task with unforeseen complications I never thought would exist. (Getting them to come up with things they could write about themselves was like pulling teeth. And then I had to get them to change it to third person. OMG, you would have thought I was asking them to write a dissertation with the way they moan and howled about it.) Yesterday I took them to the library to check out some books for their reading buddies. That was a DISASTER of epic proportions. Complications keep popping up that I don't expect. I had no idea what was expected from past "raise the math and literacy scores up 20%" (yeah, right. It would have helped if someone told me how to do the attendance first.) It feels like I'm constantly trying to figure out EVERYTHING about three days late (including attendance) and it's just... frustrating. I feel extremely incompetent right now. Most days I feel like I'm making things worse for the students. It has to be frustrating for them to put up with a teacher who doesn't know what she's doing most of the time. Anyone else felt completely overwhelmed and incompetent when they first started? How did you get over it and gain some confidence? I need some confidence badly. The kids know I don't have it and they're eating me alive.