Guilty about not volunteering

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Kaley12, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. Kaley12

    Kaley12 Companion

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    Nov 26, 2013

    Hi everyone,
    I'm a second year teacher, and this is my first year in the division I'm teaching. I've been feeling really guilty lately because I haven't volunteered for anything around the school yet.

    My issue is, I'm swamped. I'm sure everyone knows the feeling, especially as a new teacher. But I'm worried it looks bad not doing more around the school. I have intentions of eventually getting involved with something, but right now I feel like I barely have any down time as it is. I'm at work an hour before and an hour after to get work done. I work through half my lunch everyday. And I almost always have to put in time at home. I'm creating most of my plans from scratch and I feel like I may burn out volunteering to take more on, but I don't want to look bad and have it held against me when I try to get another job next year (I'm working contracts right now).

    Should I suck it up and try to find something to volunteer for? Or wait until I've gotten a bit more adjusted in my new job when I have more time?
     
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  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Nov 26, 2013

    Your hours sound fairly typical, unfortunately.

    Have you been asked directly? Do you mean taking on clubs and such, or are you meaning smaller responsibilities?
     
  4. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    Nov 26, 2013

    Aww, hun, you totally shouldn't feel guilty! I vote for waiting until you have time to adjust. You're only in your second year and a lot of new things seem to be going on. I would spend more time getting familiar with your new position and planning.

    Volunteering is always awesome and it's great to get involved, but I think in your case it might be putting a bit too much on your plate. I would worry that if you threw yourself in a group or into a big project that consistently needed your presence that you may not get the chance to put forth as much effort into it as you would under normal circumstances. That's an easy thing to do when you sign up to volunteer. It might be one extra stress that you don't need.

    I really don't think anyone would hold it against you... your co-workers have all been in your situation and know that sometimes time and non-job related issues can keep others from getting involved sometimes. Your situation is super duper understandable and I think you are worrying for nothing :)

    If you really want to volunteer, any chance you could participate in something small and short term? Like supervising a car wash or bake sale? Or maybe helping out for an hour decorating for a school event? Not sure if those opportunities exist within your school but if they do I'm sure you could help out with those.

    By the way, while volunteering is wonderful, several veteran teachers I know don't even partake in anything- not that there's anything wrong with that. Some like to volunteer, some don't. Some just do not have the time.
     
  5. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Nov 26, 2013

    My motto is never volunteer for something you don't want to do or you won't give 100% to. This often means more work for everyone else. I suggest just waiting for someone to tell you have to do something unless you are sure you want to volunteer - and have the time and energy to do. It also depends on if you are being asked to do a one-time thing (supervise the after school bake sale) versus a regular commitment (supervise the after school store every single afternoon).

    Personally, I never volunteer for anything outside of contract hours, unless I'm getting paid (like proctoring the SATs). But, if I'm asked to do something during my planning period (cover a class, put up a display, set up for a dance, put packets together, etc.) then I will usually agree to it because its during contract hours.
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 26, 2013

    Find something small you can do. You don't have to run homecoming, but find a small way of pitching in.

    Everyone is swamped. But if everyone does at least a little something, a lot can get done.

    In my school, everyone is expected to run something extra curricular (yes, we're paid for it.) "I'm a first year teacher" isn't an excuse-- you're getting paid as a teacher, not as an intern. So you're expected to pull your weight.

    Without teachers willing to supervise activities, there would be no activities.
     
  7. LinguaTutor

    LinguaTutor Rookie

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    Nov 26, 2013

    Hello.

    Yes I think you should wait until you settled down and get into the vibe of everything. You don't want to end up volunteering for something when you don't have time, because that'll make things more difficult for you.

    Take your time and be patient! Eventually you'll find something that you can help out.
     
  8. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Nov 26, 2013

    I'm just thinking back...I did a lot from the get-go. Just part of the profession in my experience. What you do doesn't have to be after school, but I bet there is some way you can contribute. :)
     
  9. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Nov 26, 2013

    Also, why are you creating all your lesson plans from scratch? The Internet is a wonderful tool to use. If you are spending a lot of time coming up with lessons I suggest you look to see if there are some already created. It really helps:)
     
  10. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I don't think you should have to take on something. I was forced to run the school play my first year. It was a disaster. I was always exhausted. I hated every minute of it. I felt really bitter about the whole thing.

    When I started at my new school, I didn't do any clubs. It was very nice. Now I do NHS and I love it!
     
  11. teachart

    teachart Comrade

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    Nov 28, 2013

    Part of our evaluation is participation in the community. I think if you find the right activities, you'll be able to balance them. Talk to some staff members about wanting to help but being afraid of the workload, they might have suggestions or be able to partner with you to run an activity.
     
  12. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Nov 29, 2013

    If you were in my school, you would be expected to be involved somehow.
     
  13. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    All new teachers in my state are required to complete a leadership project of some sort. Yeah, it can be a lot of work especially for a new teacher...but welcome to teaching. :)
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    As a non tenured teacher I wanted to so ingrain myself into my school community that it would be noticed and appreciated. I'm still quit active on several school, district and local committees, but now it's more out of an interest in particular areas and the ability to make a potential difference.
     
  15. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Are there other new teachers at your school? Are they volunteering? I'd say your primary focus should be being the best teacher you can be and not burning out. But you don't want to stand out as the only one not volunteering so if it's a kind of "everyone else is doing it" thing I'd look for something small to take on. But I think it's better if you're not spreading yourself too thin for now.
     
  16. mazzystar

    mazzystar Rookie

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    Nov 30, 2013

    I understand. I'm a first year teacher and there is so much going on that I never expected. Besides on-going district trainings, my ACP preps and actual preparation for the classroom, there is not much time, or energy, to volunteer.

    However, it matters that you contribute in some way to the school and that admins see this. What I do is volunteer for one time events. You need an audience for the school play? I'm there. Bravo! You need a chaperone for a dance? I'm teaching the kids the kid-n-play.

    Next year I hope to sponsor a club but for now, It's a series of one-offs.
     
  17. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Nov 30, 2013

    My first year I started small - I did some musical accompaniment for the Christmas concert. Over the last 4 years I have gradually become more involved as I started to find my interests as a teacher.
     
  18. Kaley12

    Kaley12 Companion

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    Nov 30, 2013

    I like the idea of getting involved in one time events. I'm going to see if there's something I can do to help at an upcoming school concert. Maybe decorate or help supervise.
    I'm going to take a look at some upcoming events in the new year and see what catches my eye. I agree it's important to get involved, even if it's just small at first.
     
  19. Teachings4Me

    Teachings4Me Companion

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    Nov 30, 2013

    We're expected to tutor once a week, host a club, in addition to work the after school/weekend family events. I've not known a life of not volunteering in addition to everything else. Consider yourself very fortunate, but I would still find some small way to get involved. Work a single event rather than committing to an ongoing program or club. Not getting involved has come back to bite people in our school. :/
     
  20. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Nov 30, 2013

    This year, I'm only volunteering for occasional events--nothing like a club or anything.

    I don't feel guilty.
     
  21. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Nov 30, 2013

    As a "Busy Bee" teacher, I'd rather do something on my own that rely on a partner whose heart wasn't in something. Don't volunteer because you feel you need to... volunteer because you want to. Otherwise, don't volunteer.
     

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