First week of first job and I'm MISERABLE

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by Traci_S, Oct 15, 2015.

  1. Traci_S

    Traci_S New Member

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    Oct 15, 2015

    Hi guys! I'm so glad I found this forum. Just to warn you, this is going to be a long one! I just started my first teaching job this past Monday in a first grade class. The school that I'm at had an overflow of first graders this year so they had to add a class and a long term sub has covered it until now. First grade is not my preferred age (I like 3rd and 4th the most) but I didn't wanna turn down a job to get my foot in the door. It is a DISASTER. The kids are a rough bunch and are constantly talking. I have tried every classroom management idea I know (and others from suggestions of other teachers) and nothing works well. It's always the worst in the afternoons. I think part of it is because I'm new so it may get better over time. The biggest problem, though, is that I was just thrown into this class with no guidance of what to do or what had been done. I'm brand new at this so a lot of it is like Greek to me. I guess it was a false assumption on my part, but I thought that someone would kind of guide me on things I needed to do and maybe even focus on when teaching. I obviously have state learning goals but it's still so much going in and I am overwhelmed. Other teachers have helped me when they can but it hasn't been enough. The sub also rearranged stuff in the classroom so much tha I am still having trouble finding things and making it my own. There are also limited supplies since it's an overflow class so I feel like I lack the materials I need to do my job. HELP! I am starting to rethink my entire career choice even though I know that's silly. I am definitely thinking that I may want to do middle or high school though, and just teach one subject so I don't have so much to worry about. I am at the end of my rope and it hasn't even been one full week.
     
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  3. EnidOreilley

    EnidOreilley New Member

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    Oct 27, 2015

    Hi! I have NO advice for you, I'm sorry! I just got hired myself and I expect to start in the next 1-2 weeks (high school). I was just curious if it has gotten any better in the last week or two since you posted this. Has admin seemed to take an interest in your progress? Hope you're getting the hang of it! Starting mid-year is like the scariest thing I can imagine!
     
  4. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Oct 29, 2015

    Can you talk with the other two teachers before or after school? They might be able to fill you in on the classroom community and also help you with teaching materials until you are comfortable enough to lead on your own.

    What classroom behavior methods have you used? Whole Brain Teaching seems to be pretty popular. I cannot use it myself due to how I teach, so I use Love and Logic.
     
  5. Bibliophile

    Bibliophile Companion

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    Nov 7, 2015

    It gets better! I felt the same way the first few weeks. Since you are having so much trouble I would suggest spending a few weeks (but not much longer if you can help it since it is already a good ways into the year) focusing on classroom management and just letting everyone get used to you and your methods (which may be way different from the sub who was teaching) and you expectations. I could go into whole brain teaching and behavior charts and marble jars our how to make centers work but the point is to pick something, stick to it and put other things on hold while you wait for it to gel. If your getting no guidance about curriculum or pacing guides (I didn't either) you may just have to make them yourself. The pacing guide is your road map through the year so you need it and if you aren't given one make one so that you have a basic year long plan that will guide your objective and thus your lessons. Ask for a copy of report cards to use as a general guide then create your pacing plan. The take a weekend to study your curriculum and learn to use it.

    You can do it!
     
  6. adeeb

    adeeb Rookie

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    Nov 7, 2015

    While it may be a disaster now, it probably won't be as bad as the year progresses. The first few weeks at any new job aren't always the most pleasant. Think of this as a great learning experience. If you can figure this situation out and make the class behave, you will be better equipped in your career going forward. Compare that to a first-year teacher who starts out with no problems and then suddenly has a horrible class one year. I think you have the edge in that situation.

    You got this!
     
  7. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Nov 7, 2015

    It will get better. anyone who starts in the middle of the year (and October is a tough one) and had subs covering the classroom will experience chaos and disaster.
    - focus on classroom management first and not so much instruction. I know if lower elementary grades the clock is ticking and you have to cover things every day (as opposed to high school where you have more freedom) but they're probably not learning much right now any ways. Once it's under control, you can resume teaching at full speed. Focus on procedures, routines, and behavior management. Obviously you are still teaching and following the pacing guide, but classroom management is more important. So lining up for lunch, or bathroom breaks might take 4 times as long because you have to redo it because they're not doing it right, and that's ok. And stop every time someone speaks, etc. Eventually it will work.
    - look on teachers pay teachers website and you will find tons of free material for 1st grade.
     
  8. Bibliophile

    Bibliophile Companion

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    Nov 7, 2015

    What she said. It's what I did (got my lessons and materials from teachers pay teachers) so that I didn't have to focus on that while needed to be focusing on classroom management. Make sure your plan is well thought out and implement it fully, consistently. This is time well spent. I felt like we didn't do much the first few weeks but we have been able to cover so much material since my class can function we don't loose instruction time very much anymore due to behavior. Maybe spend the time you need to implement your classroom management on review since they have surely covered something by now and there is no harm in a few weeks of review-in fact spiraling is beneficial. Don't introduce much new info so you can have the time to spend on working out the bugs.

    If you have curriculum and a pacing guide that the school wants you married to then get some guidance before going sideways - though if you preface it that you want to spend sometime spiraling you may get some leeway. this wasn't an issue for my first weeks since we had no curriculum and no pacing guides. I got keys, pat on the back a good luck but I've found my groove and I am back to loving what I do.
     
  9. Anstice

    Anstice Rookie

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    Feb 29, 2016

    Traci:
    New to the forum, but I was in your shoes in 2014 - brought in after a first-year teacher left, then a sub was in place for a number of weeks. Started mid-October teaching middle school English in a Title I school in a very impoverished town. It was utter chaos. Did you make it through?
     
  10. Traci_S

    Traci_S New Member

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    Feb 29, 2016

    Hi guys! Thanks for all the advice. Sorry I haven't gotten back to anyone until now. I actually forgot my password and then forgot all about the posting. Just an update: I am still at the same school with the same class. I've stuck it out, but it has been a very rough year. There are still some behavior problems (primarily with one student) and I don't have as much support as I'd like overall. Also, my county laid off several new hires due to budget cuts, so as of right now, I don't have a job this fall other than subbing. I'm really hoping something better will come along. I know I have to pay my dues but surely my next class and situation will be better. Keep your fingers crossed for me! Thanks again guys :)
     

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