First Year Survival Plan

Discussion in 'General Education' started by FourSquare, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Jul 31, 2011

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    Oh my god. We have students in one week. I'm starting to get super nervous. I've been in pursuit of a classroom for so long and now I'll finally have one. What if it's a total disaster? I feel like I don't actually know how to teach anything. My primary team is really smart, creative, and competent sounding. I hope I'm not dead weight. We have two K and two 1st teachers and I'll unfortunately be the only 2nd grade teacher. They've already given me so many resources and I feel like I have no way to repay them. I am trying to be as organized as possible so I'm not leaning too heavily on others. My curriculum maps and management plans are done. I'm about 70% organized with the physical space and materials of my classroom. I can't believe I'm actually knocking out first week plans for my first class....IN EIGHT DAYS. :unsure: :dizzy: What am I gonna do?!
     
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  3. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Breathe :hugs:

    Seriously, just remember to step back and take a deep breath when you start to feel overwhelmed.

    You are a trained professional. It will not be a disaster. You have the background. You have student teaching experience. You have a good team. You have AtoZ.

    And in general, teachers don't look to be repaid - we like to share and help the newbies out.

    Remember to make some time for yourself. Even if all you do is take a really long bubble bath every night - make time. Relax. Keep up with hobbies and friends.

    As far as survival - arm yourself with easy dinners or freeze some ahead of time. Bring healthy snacks to work. Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

    And remember that we were all there once before - don't hesitate to come to us for help or to vent or whatever :)
     
  4. bowler

    bowler Rookie

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    My best advice is don't make school your life! I know it will seem like you need to eat, breathe, sleep school, but don't! Make time for yourself, family, friends, the things that make you happy. It will make you a better teacher!!!
     
  5. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Plan on staying late three days a week and only stay about thirty minutes on the other two. I leave "early" on Mondays and Fridays.
     
  6. lovelit

    lovelit Rookie

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    I am about to start my second year, and I remember exactly how it felt to be in your shoes last year. It's going to be really hard at times, but remember that you won't be perfect all the time. There will be days where lessons will flop, and you just need to reflect on what went wrong, make it better for next time, and dust yourself off.

    Take things day by day. I made the mistake of feeling overwhelmed by looking at the year as a whole rather than planning each individual week.

    Make friends with other teachers for support and guidance, and avoid the ones who hate their lives and gossip about students. Believe me, those people do exist, and you want nothing to do with them.

    Don't feel like dead weight to your team. I was really nervous at first, too, because the rest of my department had been at it for years and I was only 22. They actually really appreciated my "fresh from college" input and used my ideas about technology in their classrooms all the time. They want to learn from you as much as you want to learn from them if they are good teachers!

    Don't stress- be EXCITED for next week!! You're ready for this!
     
  7. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Please remember...those smiling, slightly scared faces looking up at you that first day have no idea how nervous you are and that you feel overwhelmed. To them, you are the teacher who knows and can do anything. Show your children that you care about them and you have them won over! Everything else will fall into place.
     
  8. lovelit

    lovelit Rookie

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    I didn't tell my students it was my first year teaching, either. I made it sound as though my student teaching internship had been a previous position. They found out at the end of the year that it had been my first year, but I think it helped them to respect me more all year because they were under the impression I had done this before. ;)
     
  9. History79

    History79 Rookie

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    While I am not a teacher yet (still getting degree), I know about nerves and first day jitters. You are letting your mind run away with all the things that can go wrong; which is a normal human reaction. How many of us have thought about all the good stuff right before we do something new? None of us, we all think about what could go wrong. I think that you will find once you get into the classroom your training will take over, and you will simply do what you were trained to automatically. Sometimes our minds play awful tricks on us when anxiety over something important takes over. Most kids won't know it's your first year if you don't want them to know. I will tell my kids when I start teaching that I am new, but I expect no less from them than experienced teachers do. I will not get mad at disruptions or actions designed to "test me", I will simply send them to the office. I will tell them that my job is to teach not discipline, that is what the administrators are for. Once they see that even though I am new, I am not to be messed with they will act like they do in experienced teachers classes. Kids will only do what they feel they can get away with.
     
  10. Croissant

    Croissant Comrade

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    FourSquare,

    As a fellow first-year teacher, I am totally sympathizing with you and feeling the panic!:dizzy: I can't offer advice, but just know that you are not the only one; there are others like us out there, all feeling the same way ;)
     
  11. Srohl

    Srohl Rookie

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    I am not being mean, but sending students to the office will not work. When you send the student to the office you send out the message you can't handle your class. The principal will not be happy with you at all. Students will make a game of trying to be sent to the office. As a parent I would be furious if I found out you sent my child to the office without first implementing a consequence or contacting me. (Obviously, I understand there are circumstances where students should be sent to the office.) Plus, if your first level of punishment is going to the office, what will your second level be when the first level didn't work?
     
  12. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    If you have not studied classroom management yet, make sure you really study all the options. I don't want this to come off as ugly, but it's very apparent you haven't had much, if any, classroom experience. Your principal will want you to handle almost all behavior problems yourself. There are some instances you'll need to write an office referral, but if you have good classroom management, you'll hardly ever have to write one and when you do, the office will take it seriously.

    Plus, when you are interviewing, if you tell a principal it is his/her job to teach discipline, you won't have a job to begin with. I would imagine all interviews of first year teachers have at least one behavior management question.

    Take advantage of your college classes and learn all management techniques possible.


     
  13. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I have to strongly disagree. Yes--administrators are there to take care of a problem after we've gone through the steps to remedy the problem in the classroom (i.e., warning, loss of recess/priviledges, phone call home, then office).

    Part of being a good teacher means having a strong classroom management plan in place. In six years of teaching, I've maybe sent 3-4 kids to the office in my entire career.
     
  14. MollyT

    MollyT Companion

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    If only! :(

    I wish my job were not to discipline, but it seems that is the biggest part of my job - but once you get the discipline under control you are free to teach.

    The best advice I can offer a newbie is this:

    "Start stricter than you mean to go on".

    It is always possible to ease off once the little cherubs know where they stand - but if you start off too easy it is harder to tighten up the reigns later.

    Be firm but fair - and ALWAYS be consistent and follow through. If you say you are going to do something, then do it. Once they know the boundaries (and that they are fixed, immovable boundaries) they tend to settle down and get on with things.


    And, yes, don't forget to breathe and enjoy yourself. You will be just fine!
     
  15. AZMrs.S

    AZMrs.S Cohort

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    Foursquare, I am right here with you! As of right now I am the only second grade teacher also. We go to preservice on Wednesday but I am every bit as nervous! Take the advice of the PPs and know that there are many of us here that are in the same boat and you are welcome to PM this year and vent about first year frustrations... I'm sure I'll be able to relate! :) It will be great! Remember this is what we have been waiting for!
     
  16. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    I agree! I'm a first year and I was in total panic, still am to some extent, but I have calmed it down a little bit.

    I find this forum to be very calming or at the very least a wonderful ranting place! :lol:
     
  17. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Love and adore the kids! Do what's best for them, enjoy them, and get your parents on your side!

    You're going to have a great year!

    Also, make good friends with the secretary, custodian and the teacher in the class next to yours!
     
  18. LiteratureLover

    LiteratureLover Rookie

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    I'm glad someone else is a little nervous too. I'm just anxious for everything to get started honestly. I know once it happens, I can get into a routine. Students don't come back until the 22nd for me, but I'm just nervous about lessons. We don't have a set curriculum, but a Scope & Sequence, and it's finally up to me about what to teach to get this information clear. I'm also nervous because I'm the only 8th grade English teacher, so I don't have anyone else there for lesson and curriculum advice.
     
  19. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    HA! Right?! This is so crazy to me. I mean, do I know how to teach anything? Who really knows?

    Thanks for all the posts. I feel better than I'm not the first first-year teacher in existence. :haha:
     
  20. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    And you know that there are at least some teachers who made it through their first year with their sanity intact (at least somewhat)! ;)
     

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