At the beginning of the year, I felt like I had things pretty down pat, because I kept things simple. So I challenged myself to take on more things and became better at them. Now I feel like I go in underplanned because of all of the other grading responsibilities etc. It feels like if I don't devote 100% of my free time to school, I have crummy days. Also, lately I've been trying to hold a couple of my unorganized students more accountable for their work and that seems to really be stretching me. To top everything off I missed a reflection meeting this morning with my mentor, the other new teachers and my principal. It also doesn't help that I learned at the beginning of the year that my class is 30% proficient in reading in math. We just took our benchmarks today and as I watched the kids take their tests, I didn't see ANY improvement. As I teach, that is always in the back of my head and I feel like if I don't bring these kids up to 60%, I'm going to get canned! I also feel like I've been staying to close to the basals as I never seem to have the time to plan anything else outside the curriculum. I get so frustrated when I see other teachers do great things outside the box that I just can't seem to think of because I'm too busy grasping the basal. Is it normal for 1st years to not have as many hands on activities planned - I feel like I'm really just following the basals. So basically, I'm a little worried that I'm going to get canned for not having the experience necessary to bring up the proficiency of my overall low class....please help!