Gave up on my class today

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Unbeknownst, Oct 5, 2010.

  1. Unbeknownst

    Unbeknownst Cohort

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    Oct 5, 2010

    I wanted to tell my principal, but he's out this week on professional development. So someone needs to know about my unprofessionalism -- it's the least I deserve.

    I gave up on my 8th period class today. Totally just had them sit there. Didn't teach them anything. I can't keep them under control, and I can't justify me blowing hot air up anymore.

    So, they'll take the quiz tomorrow and fail it because I didn't prepare them. Same 'ol same ol'.

    Speaking of not teaching, I didn't do much better with my other classes either. I just really suck at this profession and am beginning to think there's not really any getting better. Matter of fact, I've just been getting worse. (Sorry for all the wasted AtoZ hours on me -- many of you gave me hours/weeks/months of your own work, and I've been too inadequate to even make that get me better.)

    Too bad this isn't like a normal profession where you realize you're not a good fit and go somewhere else to use your talents. It's crazy that if I quit, I quit on 90 other different lives and become a huge burder on the entire high school faculty.

    No pressure.
     
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  3. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Oct 5, 2010

    I just posted a book about how poorly my students did today on a test. I feel like crap about it. But I know in my heart and head that 90% of their performance is all due to them and their choices. I'll take 10% - only because I'm assuming that as a new teacher I'm not yet perfect ;)

    If that class would not come under control for you to teach, how can you blame yourself for them not getting the information?
     
  4. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    Oct 5, 2010

    Unbeknownst, based on what I've read of your posts here, I really think you're being too hard on yourself.

    First year teaching is TOUGH. I mean, really TOUGH. My first year, I gave up not just on my class, I gave up on the profession. I couldn't keep the class under control and I felt like I wasn't teaching them anything. I felt like I was a horrible teacher. My administration wasn't the greatest and they basically told me they agreed with me. By June, I was looking at different career options.

    That was 5 years ago. I'm now at a different school. I'm a department head. I'm a mentor teacher. I'm on various district curriculum committees. I found a school and a school district that I really clicked with and things got exponentially better within the span of 1 year. They've been continuing that trend ever since.

    I really and truly believe that your first year is about getting through it. Your second year you start to get things right. Things get better and better and better with every passing year. This year is the first year where I walk out of school at the end of the day without feeling at all overwhelmed.

    Don't be afraid to go to someone and say "I have NO idea what to do" We've all been there.
     
  5. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Oct 5, 2010

    I have talked to soooo many teachers who said that their first year teaching was filled with tears. Several told me that they'd go home every night for weeks and just cry and cry. If you're overwhelmed, you certainly are not alone.
     
  6. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

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    Oct 5, 2010

    I don't think that there is a single one of us that feels like they haven't given up at some point in the classroom. It's a draining profession. You are pulled in so many different directions, you feel exhausted, and you are never going to please everyone. Take it one step at a time.

    It sounds like you may already need a mental health day. Take a day off and relax. Every once in a while my mental health days are more like planning days... I spend a day trying to regroup and prepare for the upcoming week/weeks. The more prepared that you are, the more comfortable you will be teaching. But keep in mind, not everything goes according to plan, so you still need to be flexible.

    It sounds like behavior management is where we need to start with you. If the class is not under control, you won't be able to teach. "Under control" does not necessarily mean sitting without opening their mouths. You might need to be creative with this group and find a more hands-on approach. It is more time consuming to create lessons like this, but might save you the headache in the end.

    Give us a starting point, and we will try to help you get your footing :)
     
  7. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Oct 5, 2010

    I think you're being way too hard on yourself. The first year of teaching is almost indescribably difficult. It's not unusual for 1st year teachers to think they've made the wrong decision to teach, to think they can't hack it, or to think they need to get out.

    I spent most of my first year crying on the ride home from work because I couldn't teach, I couldn't get the kids to behave, and I felt I was completely failing everyone in my life. I tried so hard to do absolutely everything right and I just dug myself deeper and deeper into a hole of my own expectations vs. realistic expectations.

    Every year you teach, you come to realize how much you didn't know the year before. I'm 5 years in and still learning from the veteran teachers and teachers on this board.

    So NO. You don't suck. You need a mental health day to just relax and NOT think about work. It doesn't make you less of a teacher for needing one, but it may help you be a better teacher by coming into work relaxed and refreshed.

    And duh, we're all here to help. Let us know what you want to work on :)
     
  8. Unbeknownst

    Unbeknownst Cohort

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    Oct 5, 2010

    They ... won't .... stop .... talking. There's two kids in this class that are taking my English 2 and another teacher's English 3 simultaneously. They never do their work. Never. They just talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk and don't care if they get a detention or anything -- they're there because that are legally required.

    I asked one of them today what it was that makes him not care at all. He says, "I make my living by roping." He's a country boy that really enjoys the ranch. So, school is meaningless to him -- he's going to be working on a ranch, period.

    So there's those two people who I just can't control. I have nothing to hold them accountable for -- they don't play sports nor do they care about graduating.

    Then the rest of the group have being in the same grade since kindergarden. It's pretty obvious that they are the "bad" kids and have all been put in one class to minimize the "damage" to the other sophomores in the class.

    Sooooooooooo many of them are basic basic basic. They are sophomores and can't identify a fragment sentence. So them being so basic draaaaaags me down each day, not to mention all the moaning (way more excessive than normal) they do for every assignment.

    I literally expect every one of them but three (in a class of 21) to fail. We are reading To Kill a Mockingbird, and I know none of them are going to do the work. I've even given them the questions BEFORE hand. Some of them will do it, some of them will cheat, but they're all going to fail the quiz that is skill-based rather than recall-based.

    There's a start.
     
  9. Soccer Dad

    Soccer Dad Cohort

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    Oct 5, 2010

    My first year teaching was rough. I was teaching middle school English and history. I can't say I know much about English past the general stuff. I can still remember being 22 years old and having one of my 13 year olds say tell me to f-off when I tried to get him to write neater. Then, the next day he got the entire class to refuse to take the spelling quiz that was planned. I was teaching in Queens during the 1980s and the public school system in NY was failing. I was a white 22 year old teaching a predominately black class--I couldn't relate to them like I wanted to. I didn't know what books to read with them, what songs to analyze, what poems they'd like. It was a mess. In fact, I had thought about quitting and working on Wall Street (it was, afterall, the mid 80s).

    Basically, what I'm saying and the others are saying is that it can only get better. I'm beyond happy when I come to work--and the past three years have been a rough time with mismanagement, bad directors, unprofessional coworkers, you name it.

    I think you should simply ask them, "Look something isn't working in this class. I want to reach you guys and whether you want to be reached or not doesn't matter--you need to pass to graduate. To make this a more enjoyable and productive time, I want YOUR input. Please fill out this comment sheet for homework." I've done this EVERY time I start a new course. I like feedback. I like student input. I like changing my methods.
     
  10. KateL

    KateL Habitué

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    Oct 5, 2010

    In addition to what everyone else said, right now we're in the longest stretch of the school year without a day off. Things always go hinky at the beginning of October, especially if you've been in school since the beginning of August like me. This year it's not too bad because it's my 3rd year, but the past two years things were awful. Once we get closer to November, the students will start looking forward to Thanksgiving break and things will get better.

    I have a class like yours that is full of students who are below grade level. Things that work with other classes don't work with them. Things that worked with this type of class last year don't work with this year's group. Just keep trying new things. Is your mentor teacher willing to come in and teach a lesson with these students? Sometimes just seeing how someone else deals with your exact group of students helps. I wonder if To Kill a Mockingbird is too hard or too irrelevant for them. Yes, some things you just have to plow through, but I wonder if they would behave better for a different book. I was in honors classes in high school, and I didn't like To Kill a Mockingbird at all. (I like it now, but I wasn't ready for it in high school. It was too slow, and too far outside of worlds that I knew.)

    Keep going! It will get better eventually!
     
  11. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

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    Oct 5, 2010

    I can't offer too much advice in the HS world... but how rigid is your curriculum? Could you let them pick the literature that they want to read? Maybe at the beginning of a unit give them a choice of three books, and let them pick. I think the more input that you allow them to give towards the course, the more they will be willing to work with you.

    It sounds like you also might want to get some advice from the Freshman teacher too... if they are below grade level, you need to be working on those skills too. You can't give them the Sophomore curriculum if they don't have the Freshman curriculum to build onto.
     
  12. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    Oct 5, 2010

    What I see here has nothing to you with your teaching skills, but with the composition of the class you've been dealt.

    I've got a class that likes to talk. A lot. Does that mean I'm a bad teacher? No. It means my class is chatty. So, I have to work with that, not against it.

    First, I don't expect that class to work in silence. I tell them that they can chat, as long as they chat and work at the same time (obviously not during tests/quizzes). I also remind them that it's disrespectful to speak when someone else is speaking. If they continue, I ask them to apolgize to the person they cut off. If they won't do that, they can leave the room.

    Are your kids basic because they haven't grasped what you've already taught them or because they didn't pick up on what they were taught previously? If it's the former, then maybe try and change things up to get them to understand. I've had to reteach concepts because the way I taught it didn't get through to them. Again, that doesn't make me a bad teacher.

    If it's the latter, well, it sucks, but maybe you need to slow things down a little. Go back to curriculums from previous grades and teach them what they don't know. It puts you at a loss, but they can't learn complex ideas if they don't have a good foundation. I don't teach my math course until next semester, but I know from what we've done in social studies that these kids don't know fractions or percent. Does it suck that I have to take precious time away from my curriculum to teach something they should have learned two years ago? Yep. But, they won't get what I need to show them if they don't know it.

    You mention you expect most of them to fail a quiz because it's skill based rather than recall based. I'm not wondering if you're asking too much of them too soon. You say they have been labelled the 'bad' kids. I wonder if a few recall based quizzes or tests wouldn't be in order. Let them have a few successes - see what it feels like to succeed, then slowly work toward more complex thinking. If they believe that they are bad and can't do the work, then they won't, even if they're capable.
     
  13. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    Oct 5, 2010

    Oh, and don't pay any attention to the moaning about assignments. I used to take that really personally. I mean, they should WANT to do work for me, right :p

    I know they say that you shouldn't use sarcasm in the classroom, but I do.

    They moan about something : Awwww, Madame!!!! I don't want to!!!!!

    I moan right back: Awwwww, Suzy!!!!! I know!!!!!! I'm suuuuuuch a mean teacher!!!!

    I pull out the dramatics when I do it too. It usually gets a smile out of them and they'll get to work sooner rather than later.

    The key is not to waver. You're the teacher. You decide the assignment. If they moan, they moan. Let them. It doesn't change the fact that they have to do what was asked of them.
     
  14. Unbeknownst

    Unbeknownst Cohort

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    Oct 5, 2010

    I am the Freshmen teacher. I'm also the Freshman honors, Sophomore, and Sophomore honors. There are only two high school English teachers at my school, and I'm one of them.

    Someone also mentioned talking to my mentor teacher. I don't have one. We also have a new principal -- I haven't been evaluated yet, and it stipulated in my Alternative Certification curriculum that I should be evaluated at least one in my first 6 weeks.

    But, with all that being said, it doesn't matter. I knew all that coming in, and I simply didn't prepare enough.

    As for as making the curriculum easier, I did that the first 6 weeks and basically did NOTHING with this class.

    I really just don't know what to do. I almost wish I went to one of those "horrible" schools that laid out the curriculum for your and told you what to teach verbatim. I know it's a terrible idea for vet. teachers, but for me ... that would be a God send.
     
  15. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Unbeknownst, your mentor does not have to be from your school. Is there another high school in the city that you live in? I was provided with a mentor who knew nothing about my program, so a friend hooked me up with a teacher at her school who hooked me up with another teacher.
     
  16. Allysundrop

    Allysundrop Rookie

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    Oct 5, 2010

    So.....this could be my class. Last year was my first year and it was just like this too. I even had 10th grade. I'm sure that this isn't the best thing to do, but I'll tell you what I did and what worked for me.

    When things got really bad, I told the kids I would teach to those who wanted to learn. I stood at the front, talked in a normal voice, and said, "if you want to learn, move up to the front so you can hear me." I started out with about 4 kids, but by the end of the class, all but 3 were up front. It was quieter than it had ever been.

    Of course that didn't always work. There was one quiz were almost everyone failed because they refused to do the quiz. They went on "strike." They refused to listen to the lesson the day before and so they knew nothing for the quiz. I gave them their zeros and moved on. I didn't let them make up the quiz. I did reteach the info, but I did not tell them it was the same info. (They didn't figure it out) The quiz didn't really hurt any of them too badly, but it did serve as a wake up call for some of them.

    If you'd like more tips you can message me. I don't want to take up the whole board! I can't promise that they will work for you, but don't give up.
     
  17. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 5, 2010

    What are you planning to do tomorrow?
     
  18. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Oct 5, 2010

    Are you sure we don't have the same class, Unbeknownst?

    Mine are just in 6th grade, but they could easily be the same students you just described; constant talking during class, even when I'm trying to talk, continuing to talk right after being called down for talking and, oh yeah, I found out last week they had two teachers basically straight out of college 2 years ago, so the whole 6th grade is about 1-1.5 years behind where they should be.

    I "gave up" on my class yesterday too. They wouldn't stop talking or listen to instructions, so I finally told them to write definitions for the vocabulary words in the new chapter and read the first 3 pages to get an understanding of the problems we would be working.

    I also worry that I'm going to slow with our content. One of the other 6th grade teachers in our district posts her homework assignments online and I'm falling farther and farther behind the pace she is setting. Of course, I also feel this particular teacher gives too much homework (20-30 minutes of just math every night of the week), so I don't necessarily want to give the same assignments. I also realize her students might be farther along than mine, so her pace can't be used as anything more than a general guideline.

    Fortunately, I DO know I am a good teacher and can connect with my students very well, it's just a struggle sometimes. From your posts, I know you are a good teacher as well, you're just having the same struggles all new teachers go through. Everyone has been in that same boat at some point in time and we're all here to help each other through it.

    Just hang in there and, in a few weeks, you will start seeing a better response from the kids as they become more accustomed to your teaching style and the lessons start to "click".
     
  19. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Oct 5, 2010

    TKAM can be challenging with low-level kids. I co-teach the lowest 9th grade class with an awesome special ed teacher (we're working on recognizing nouns, so that should give you an idea of their level.) We'll use the first three chapters of the novel as b.g., but then we use the screenplay, which is wonderfully written, in concert with the film, which is also wonderful.

    Why not put that aside for a bit and do something that might engage them, but would actually give them some real practice writing? I got this idea from Carol S. on the EC ning.
    1. Bring in a big pile of the most miscellaneous "stuff" you can get your hands on. I have old legos, an army helmet, an alarm clock, hangers, a fake pumpkin, weird bits and pieces of hardware, and a whole bag of other things I can't think of right now. Put them on a table; you'll immediately generate interest.
    2. Tell your students that you've got a challenge for them, but only for those who can work together and know how to follow directions. Pull in the kids you feel you can work with and put them in groups of two or three.
    3. Have each group build a sculpture out of some of the objects. I let one member of each group come and grab one item, then another, and so on (I'm working with classes of 38 seniors on this!) I require that they have at least 7 objects in their structure and that it be at least 10" tall. (I give each group several inches of masking tape to help hold things together.) As they build it, they have to write careful, step-by-step directions on how to reproduce their sculpture, and they also have to give it an appropriate and creative title. I take digital photos of each. Students disassemble their creations.
    4. The next day, give different groups the directions written by their classmates and have them try to reassemble the sculptures. When they're done, I project the photo of the original and we compare it to the recreation. The closer it is, the better the grade for the direction-writers.

    If that all seems too complicated, you can do a similar activity on paper. Have students draw a diagram using two or three geometric shapes and then have them write directions on how to reproduce that picture. Collect the originals, distribute directions around to the class, and see how well they do. The point, of course, is to write with precision--the more detail, the better.

    Chin up. I kept my department chair's shoulder damp for most of my first year teaching!
     
  20. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    Oct 5, 2010

    A couple of points.
    1. EVERYONE can relate. I can not count the number of teachers I know who felt like abysmal failures in the first year. Happily, I can assure you that this shall pass.
    2. You and your class are separate entities. You can not evaluate yourself by the behavior or achievement of another.
    3. Your class chemistry stinks. Together they are toxic. Divide and conquer, my friend. Redo your seating arrangement. Move the desks.
    4. Determine that you will outlast them. You are in charge. You are the boss. Chatty Roper needs a job. Seriously. I know it is High School, but put him in charge of reading portions of your story aloud. (He'll hate it. However, then you can offer him a reprieve. As long as he is quiet, he doesn't have to read.) Score one for the good guys. One by one, chip away at the difficulties.
    5. Get a plan. Alice is right. What is the plan tomorrow? How will you succeed in working your plan? You need to plan on success. Instead of looking at the horrible situation, you need to find a way to survive and thrive. You can do it. You can teach. You can have a great day tomorrow.

    By the way, I'll be in prayer for you tomorrow that you will be granted the best day ever!:)
     
  21. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Oct 6, 2010

    Unbe, I can't remember if anyone ever told you about Whole Brain Teaching--they have a free download on Teaching Challenging Teens--maybe something in those strategies, which use the divide and conquer strategy, would work.
     
  22. Sshintaku

    Sshintaku Comrade

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    You know, you might try getting on their level a bit. From the sounds of your posts, I would guess that you are super stressed and uptight, and kids looovvvee to mess with stressed out, uptight teachers.

    Someone mentioned sarcasm with them. Try it out. Don't be mean, but I think it's perfectly acceptable to mess with them a little. My kids threw a fit over an essay I assigned last week. I told them I only assigned it because I secretly sat at home thinking up ways to make their lives more miserable and that it was worth a million points.

    I think maybe if you use methods that are more social and less book-like, you might have more success with this group. Also, it might sound impossible, but try to have fun with them. What if you took a day and were completely honest with them. Tell them that you WANT them to learn, but they have to meet you half way. Tell them you know they don't care, but everyone has to get through it anyway, including you. Ask for their suggestions. What do they like? What do they hate?
     
  23. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Oct 6, 2010

    I'm a big fan of sarcasm myself. I use it fairly regularly when the kids moan too much about the work or whine about an assignment being unfair.

    When I was subbing, I told a class I had decided to postpone thier scheduled test from Friday until Monday. I said "I KNOW you will all be upset, but there is no way around this....I've decided NOT to give you the test today" It took them a second to realize what I said, then one of them shot back with "So, does that mean we don't have any homework tonight either?"

    "OH NO!" I said "I STILL have to give you homework for tonight. I'm trying to win the 'Meanest Sub of the Week Award' and I'm only TWO class periods away!" The kids loved it. They liked it less when they realized I was serious about the HW, but it still lightened the mood.

    I've also used lines very similar Sshintaku; "WHY do we have to do all this work?" "Because the school has a strict standard of misery that must be imposed on all students and I have to meet that standard."
     
  24. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    Oct 6, 2010

    Unbeknownest you have gotten great advice but there is one thing for me that keeps coming to mind. (it might have been addressed I just really skimmed the posts) BUT tell that young man who all he wants to do is work on a ranch and rope the rest of his life. That's great and fine and dandy, BUT oneday he might become foreman or even the owner of that ranch and he is going to need to be at least a some what educated person to be able to do those things. I have lived in Texas all my life and lived with cowboys. (in fact married one) He is one of the smartest men I know. He is self made. No college but has read many more books than I have, and I am not just talking about farming and ranching stuff and the cowboy way. He has traveled to many countries (through his other job that has nothing to do with faming and ranching) You never know what life is going to bring you so you better be prepared. Oh and the other thing if he is going to work on a ranch he might meet the rancher's daughter and take it from me no rancher or his daughter is going to be happy with some uneducated schumck so tell him to suck it up and get busy learning in English class.
     
  25. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Oct 6, 2010

    I have no advice for you, but know that my first full day teaching I ended up in the fetal position on a bean bag chair, wondering what the hell I'd gotten myself into. It will get better. Stick it out!
     
  26. SchoolRocks

    SchoolRocks Companion

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    Oct 6, 2010

    Hang in there- My first year of Kindergarten was a nightmare! I remember one day sitting in the room looking at all these five-year-olds just shaking my head, thinking "what did I get myself into"! Seriously like everyone else I cried tons.
    But the second year was better, not perfect but I began to really enjoy it. Now I am subbing and that is a whole new stressor!

    Anyhow, at a conference on behavior this speaker said to 1. Use humor (mentioned) 2. Defuse the situation- Break eye contact if they are challenging you- I use this all the time now- If a child is acting up I tell them "I am in the middle of teaching the class so please go have a seat over there (out of our area) and I will talk to you when i am ready. Sometimes the kids make little noises, but I ignore it b/c it is for attention. 3. Give choices- especially with middle school- they like to feel all grown up so try to make them think they are more in charge than they are- Teaching with Love and Logic is a great book and it works for me- ex. Child argues about going to sit alone (in previous example)- I calmly say you may quietly go have a seat and wait for me or I can skip right to writing a note home.

    Anyhow I know when u r so frustrated it is hard to do anything logical and I still stress, but you will begin to channel your management! Good luck!
     
  27. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 6, 2010

    What happened today?
     
  28. Allysundrop

    Allysundrop Rookie

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    Oct 6, 2010

    Something to try: NPR's "This I believe" lessons
    You don't have to use the whole thing, but my uninterested, low performing students really get into voicing their beliefs. I don't know what Texas standards are like, but I had no problem fitting the assignments into my standards.

    If you have the tools available, let them listen to a few 3 minute belief statements. Then play the Agree Disagree game (sides of the room). They get to talk during this activity so it might work.

    I let them read/listen to some statements on NPR, then do the agree/disagree activity, then have them write their own belief statement.

    Try it. It will take up a few days, and it's meant to involve talking. Kids love to talk about themselves.
     
  29. Unbeknownst

    Unbeknownst Cohort

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    Oct 6, 2010

    Thanks for the great advice; I've done a lot of what has been suggested and have yet to try some of the other stuff.

    It really boils down to my ineffective lesson planning. I've been unable to put down on paper a good lesson plan. I do a lot of pre-planning, reserach, etc., but when it comes down to actually writing something down to get my kids to learn, I can't do it. I've had this same mental block for 7 weeks now.

    Today
    Today wasn't much better (possibly worse) than yesterday. I'm not teaching our novels (A Separate Peace and To Kill a Mockingbird) effectively, so expectantly, most of them failed the quizzes we had today.

    I took two personal days off. I will not be working Thursday or Friday. I have a meeting with a counselor scheduled tomorrow. I've never asked for anything in my entire life, nor have I ever taken a day off -- How far I've fallen.

    This is my last hurrah. We have Monday off for Columbus day, so that means I have FIVE days to get my act together. If I can't do it with five days and all the help in the world a first-year teacher could ever ask for, then .......

    Also, my superintendent had a meeting with me today. Of course, he was very supportive and helpful. Everyone always is.

    I have no one to blame but myself.
     
  30. KateL

    KateL Habitué

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    Oct 6, 2010

    What sort of lesson planning did you do for your student teaching? Could you do it then, but not now, or have you always had trouble with planning? Do you have a set format for your lessons? For example, every day I have a warm-up based on yesterday's lesson, then we usually take notes, then we do activities to reinforce the new knowledge. On lab days, it's similar except the students plan their lab instead of taking notes. If you do the same things in the same order every day, lesson planning is a lot easier.
     
  31. Unbeknownst

    Unbeknownst Cohort

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    That's my problem. I have no idea what an English classroom should look like.

    I had a very minimalistic experice student teaching. I had a mentor teacher who never introduced me to her class and ignored me for the time I was there.

    I never "taught" her class. Never got to do lesson plans. Never got to do anything. Her kids never did anything.

    So right now I'm trying to do lesson plans for my sub Thursday and Friday, and I can't come up with anything. I keep thinking about how none of the stuff I'm coming up with will work. And how the kids are going to be confused, and how they are going to complain about me as their teacher, which is deserved at this point.
     
  32. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Oct 6, 2010

    Unbe-
    Can you find a teacher to meet with you this weekend, look at your content and sit next to you while you write lesson plans? I don't think it has to be an English teacher, any teacher that you know that teaches and has kids engaged in activities.
     
  33. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Oct 6, 2010

    I second this idea!! Find a teacher, any teacher to help you over this hurdle. I think you'll find your difficulties are certainly fixable and you'll get your groove back.

    Praying for :love:
     
  34. newbeeteacher

    newbeeteacher Rookie

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    Oct 6, 2010

    Lots of hugs to you Unbe... Hang in there. I really don't have much advice. I have two classes with talkers too... and they are HUGE classes (with more than 30 kids per class). I agree with using humor to get their attention, and I have had to move kids several times.

    It truly is frustrating when they are talking over you and don't seem to be paying attention.. :(
     
  35. Unbeknownst

    Unbeknownst Cohort

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    I've tried :(

    We met up after school and it winded up being a big waste of time. I kept asking for a format and she would go into a tangent about how she did one thing and then another tangent about another.

    Forty-five minutes later I went home with nothing but less time to grade my papers.
     
  36. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    Oct 6, 2010


    What are you doing to check for understanding while you're teaching?
     
  37. Unbeknownst

    Unbeknownst Cohort

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    Oct 6, 2010

    Nothing. I'm giving them quizzes that they fail.

    My confidence is non-existent anymore, and my "teaching" shows it.

    I'm a walking complainer now. I'm starting to feel terrible for my wife. She's an amazing woman and is constantly keeping up with my crap.

    Matter of fact, I'm thinking about going on a hiatus from AtoZ for a while. I've made an ass of myself enough lately.

    Still trying to come up with those lessons plans for my sub. He's screwed ... I got nothing.
     
  38. Soccer Dad

    Soccer Dad Cohort

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    Oct 6, 2010

    First off, don't abandon AtoZ just because you think you made a fool of yourself. You're doing the right thing by even posting here looking for help in the first place. I've had my fair share of complaints and rants on here and I've been teaching much, much longer than you.

    Secondly, stop beating yourself up. Your confidence is down and that happens. But as the expression goes, get back on the horse. You went through the education to be in the classroom and you clearly want to improve. Trial and error is the best teaching method. Overtime, by trying TONS of different things, you find what works and what doesn't.

    What's on your agenda for next week? I'll try my best to give you a template for what I'd do that week.
     
  39. Unbeknownst

    Unbeknownst Cohort

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    Oct 6, 2010

    Reading chapters and taking quizzes. I have no idea how to teach it though.

    I'm giving up tonight on the lesson plans. I'm goign to wake up at 4:00 tomorrow morning and hope for a miracle.

    Goodnight AtoZ -- you all are way too kind. I do appreciate your comments though.
     
  40. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Oct 6, 2010

    Try someone else.
     
  41. Soccer Dad

    Soccer Dad Cohort

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    Oct 6, 2010

    What chapters are you covering next week? And has your school adopted Of Mice and Men? It's an easier read than TKAM and VERY adaptable for class activities.
     

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