How do you feel about new students?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Elcsmith, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. Elcsmith

    Elcsmith Companion

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    Mar 17, 2009

    I recently posted my frustration with getting a new student on my blog. I was so annoyed because I got the last new student and my numbers were already higher than the other classes.

    This was a response I received from my aunt.

    "Maybe I don't get it, but I don't get it. What's so bad about getting the new student? No wonder being the new kid is so hard. Not only do the kids not like them, but apparently the teachers don't either? Help me understand..."

    I am LIVID. Can I not have job frustrations because I'm a teacher??? Do I have to take everything with a smile??? NO, I DON'T!

    I would never let a student know how frustrated I was because I'm not mad at them. I'm annoyed by the paperwork, restructuring my classroom, potential for disaster. It has nothing to do with the actual student!

    UGH, I could just scream. Why can't I be mad about something that happens at work. Can anyone honestly say they've never been frustrated with something at work.

    AND most people work with adults where they can just let them know how they feel. Can we walk up to students and say "yeah, so, I'm really not happy about the inconvienance of a new student but I'm glad you're here." I don't dislike new students. I just dislike everything that comes with it.
     
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  3. Blkjacq

    Blkjacq Companion

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    New students can be frustrating. I hear ya on that. They involve moving desks, prepping them so they're caught up, etc and usually a whole new class dynamic. When I taught younger kids, the school followed a policy of new students going to the smallest class. Now that I teach middle school, it all depends on if the student is in Honors or not and that determines where they're put. So I have giant classes and small classes due to that.

    I was told once, though, that if an exception is made and a student is added to your class, there's a reason behind it. Maybe someone felt you'd be a better fit for this student.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I'm not so sure why you're so angry.

    Sure, you're allowed to vent.

    But your aunt isn't a teacher. She doesn't understand. She asked you to explain.

    Is she supposed to agree with you simply because she loves you?

    You were mad about something that happened at work. If you had vented at work, or here, where people share your frustration, you probably would have gotten the response you wanted.

    But you blogged it for the world to see. Your aunt was kind enough to read your blog.

    Is she not allowed to disagree? Or, worse, to ask questions?
     
  5. peggy27

    peggy27 Cohort

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    I am use to getting new students. Some years I have had turnovers of up to 10 kids.There is really nothing I can do about it, our secretary puts them in the classes. I feel that it is my job to make them feel welcome and part of our class. It's not their fault. I think we will see it more and more with the economy.
     
  6. pxydst07

    pxydst07 Comrade

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    I understand the frustration. I am at a school where kids seem to come and go constantly. It really throws everything off. The frustration is never against the kids!
     
  7. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Maybe since she asked you to help her understand you can help her understand.

    I think I am next in line for the new student. I should have received the last one but he was identified as ADHD and my class is already packed with them so they gave him to another teacher. Since then I had another child move so I am actually down two students now. The other 7 teachers in my grade have 19 (2 have 20) and I am sitting at 17.
     
  8. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Job security for me!
     
  9. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Mar 17, 2009

    I get frustrated sometimes when I get a new kiddo, but its usually gone by the time they arrive. Except for the last kid because he spoke NO English and I didn't know what to do with him. lol

    And yes, to answer your questions, of course you can be upset and angry and frustrated. But maybe your aunt is just looking for an explanation b/c if she isn't a teacher, she just doesn't understand.
     
  10. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    New students have been a way of life in my school. One year, I started the year with 25 students and ended with 30, but I had 9 new students during the year (obviously, lost 4). Sure, they can cause a bump in the road, but they often bring a new richness and dynamic.

    As others have said, those who aren't teachers often don't understand why we feel the way we do about many situations.
     
  11. TampaTeacher

    TampaTeacher Comrade

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    Usually it's a bit of a hassle because of extra paperwork and getting the kid involved in ongoing activities, but things settle pretty quickly. However, this year I got a new boy in my class who has this "too cool for school" attitude, and the little girls are loving it. Since his arrival, I'm having more disruptions from the girls trying to impress him and the boys trying to compete with him. Sigh. I'm working with him to try and get him to WANT to be there in hopes that he will be happier and his classmates will chill out.
     
  12. yearroundteach

    yearroundteach Companion

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    I know where you're coming from. I dread getting new students. Not because I don't like the child but because of the extra work it creates. I have very detailed procedures in my room which typically makes my life easy and my room run like clock work. The one exception to that rule is when I get a new student. Due to the fact that my procedures are different from other teachers, the student is essentially lost and I (or a helper student) spend the better part of the week trying to get them caught up. This coupled with the extra paperwork, remembering to make extras of copies of assignments I've already made, introducing them to school expectations, the difficult task of finding them a desk, and worrying that they feel welcomed and happy is quite overwhelming. I, of course, would never let the student know I felt any of this but it doesn't make it any less stressful.

    I also disagree with some other posters. I don't think your aunt was just asking a simple question. To me the extra sentence about "no wonder they don't feel welcome" was confrontational and unnecessary if she really just wanted to understand. I just don't think the general population understands the stress that teachers go through. On top of that, I don't think the understand that the stress we go through is not taken out on the kids by the vast majority of us. That's what our friends, families, and blogs are for.... to vent :) If she were my aunt, I would gently inform her that I'd love to fill her in on any aspects of my career she is interested in but that I'd appreciate the judgement being left out of it. Then again that's probably because I can picture my own judgemental aunt saying this exact thing and she'd definitely mean it to be judgemental. :p
     
  13. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    Umm....I have heard finding them a desk mentioned more than once. Are all of you pegged out on your seating????

    Currently, I only have 1 block where all 30 of my desks are taken. A 31st student in that class would be a problem as is any reseating in that class, but this is the exception.
     
  14. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    They have to keep bringing me extra desks because of the new students I've gotten this year, along with the fact that I teach the inclusion ss/sci class which puts me up to 32 kids (and I need seats for all of them!)
     
  15. Samothrace

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    Mar 17, 2009

    Everyday I have new kids come and go. Sometimes more than one. of course I have 800 students I see in a week, but there is always something in my mailbox.

    It never dawned on one of the teachrs I work with that I get the name when she gets a new kid. They are my student's as well! I've had it happen where a kid will come and go before I ever even meet them depending on how they days fell.Talk about a revolving door!
     
  16. fuzed_fizzion

    fuzed_fizzion Comrade

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    Mar 17, 2009

    I don't mind having a new student as much as I did before our school instituted a policy that teachers get 24 hours notice before a new student attends your class. It gives me time to get materials together, talk to another student to buddy up, move in the desk...whatever I need to do. A new student used to be hard when they would just show up at my door with no notice.
     
  17. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    I never had a problem with new kids (lots of migrants in the area) but what killed me was every time an ESE kid was mainstreamed, they went into my class. The same period. It ended up with more than 50% of the students having IEPs. When I talked to the coordinator, she said it was because I just worked SO WELL with them and they adjusted SO MUCH FASTER and I was JUST WONDERFUL with them. Um, that's really nice, but I was also the only LA teacher without ANY ESE training.

    So brick wall: teacher can't complain about unfair inclusion class without aide because she'll sound like a heartless b**ch.

    (But there was so much paper work, guys! And no training at all! And no aide!)
     
  18. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    Mar 17, 2009



    WOW....I feel more and more blessed.



    I just picked up 2 new students, but they put them into my smallest class and they're both good students.

    They bombed my first quiz because I'm big on vocab and the teachers they came from weren't. That said, it was a good chance to emphasize my retake policy and to point out "You have to work to get a grade in this class."
     
  19. Elcsmith

    Elcsmith Companion

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    Mar 17, 2009

    Aliceacc...I didn't vent it for the world to see. It's a private blog. Most of my friends are teachers and we communicate through our blogs. Nothing wrong with that! The blog wasn't made to keep up with family members. My dad looks at it and sent a link to my aunt....anyway no need to justify that.

    I privately emailed her and let her know why it's such a frustrating situation. I also let her know that I would in no way take it out on this student.

    I know new students are part of the job. I guess I'm so frustrated because I just got one two weeks ago and he's more less destroyed my peaceful class that I worked so hard for.
     
  20. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    Sorry to hear that. Maybe he is upset and frustrated about the move as well and is responding in the only way he knows how? What is he doing to destroy your class?

    I got a new student the week before the TAKS test. She is very talkative, and I have had to try her in different seating arrangements to see where she can be the quietest. I was the same way at her age -- because of my dad's job, we moved every year or two, sometimes during the middle of the school year, and I was eager to quickly make new friends wherever we landed.
     
  21. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Your aunt wasn't being nice. Best to ignore her. A lot of people say mean-spirited things about teachers because ....well, why?

    Jealousy? Bad experience? A "don't even think you're better than me" attitude? Ignorance? Spouting off what they think is the common feeling so that they feel like they belong?

    Whatever. Just e-mail back next time and tell her that the blog is for teachers who know what education is like. No, you can't do that because she's family. Just be nice and ignore her.

    The only time I really really dislike getting new kids is when they enroll in the middle of testing week. Their name is on my roll, their results are on my list, and I had nothing to do with their teaching.

    Other than that, it's just annoying to have to go find all the materials and ask for a desk and squeeze them in to all the set-ups already in place, and give them placement tests, and get the rest of the kids calmed down, get them caught up with the rest, enter the new e-mail address, wait for paperwork, and.....
     
  22. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Whenever our receptionist walks a new student upstairs to my class, I smile and say "The more, the merrier!"

    However...on the inside that is not what I am thinking! I admit it. Most new students are no big problem. Sometimes they are behind, or take a few days to work-in, but then there are the unforgettable ones! The ones who come because they were suspended or expelled from their private school, and we are the public school and must take them, the ones that have issues bigger than the Great Wall of China, and the ones who will change the classroom dynamic for the worse, or the ones that change schools 2-3 times per year, and therefore are years behind in their learning. Fortunately, those only come now and again over the years, so I always hope for the best.

    The receptionist always tells me that I'm the only one on my grade level who cheerfully accepts new students -- the rest always complain "Why me?" or "I am too crowded already!"

    If only she knew what I'm really thinking... :)
     
  23. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Ouch! I would never let the new kid hear me complain! I really hope your team members aren't doing that in front of the kid!

    A new one came on Monday and was placed in a co-worker's class. She says he doesn't speak, just "grunts". Knows next to nothing. Where's the paperwork? How long before he's placed where he's supposed to go? Or was testing ever done on him?
     
  24. Crzy_ArtTeacher

    Crzy_ArtTeacher Comrade

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    I think that must be the most frustrating part for classroom teachers, when you get a kid that obviously has some sort of issue and they are tossed to you to figure out what to do with them.
     
  25. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    If students with serious learning difficulties arrive in a classroom without anyone knowing about their history, I put that back on the parents. I know that if my child had a learninging disability, had been receiving Special Ed or ESL support at their previous school, was on meds for ADHD or OCD, or had been through testing, I would mention it when registering at the new school! It sometimes takes many weeks for us to obtain student files from previous schools and we have been, on more than one occasion, to find out that a student had been receiving extensive, pull-out support or alternative programming and the parents hadn't bothered to let us know. We then need to do some serious back-pedalling and, in some cases, change a child's placement.
     
  26. Kindergarten31

    Kindergarten31 Cohort

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    My poor teammate has lost and gotten 10 new students since the beginning of the year. She began the year with the fewest students and because of that, she has gotten every new student. And the bad part is that she has gotten all the things ready for the child (and in Kindergarten it involves alot of stuff). The child stays for a month and then leaves--and leaving involves gather a huge check list of items to go into the CUMs. She seems to never get finished with paperwork. She still has the basic core of students she began with-it's all the newest children that leave. She is always very welcoming, but is groaning inside. At our school, we are always looking at data and growth and hers looks bad because of the children coming and going.
     
  27. mom2ohc

    mom2ohc Habitué

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    It depends on the student really, sometimes new students are good!

    but, if it were me, I would not put it into writing, like in a blog, private or not, you never know...
     
  28. GoehringTeaches

    GoehringTeaches Comrade

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    I have lost seven students already this year. Luckily, all of my new ones calm down after about a week of learning the rules etc. It is very hard for other people to understand. I wouldn't have understand even when I was student teachign what that meant. It's once you get slammed your first year with records and all of the other paperwork that you realize, hey our job is quite stressful! My aunt wouldn't have understood either and probably would have made the same comments, but I've learned not to talk to her about teaching!
     
  29. Elcsmith

    Elcsmith Companion

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    So glad to hear all the feedback. Just for the record, all I said in my blog was that I was "frustrated about getting a new student." Which is nothing I wouldn't voice at school.
     
  30. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    The only reason I get frustrated with new students is bc I never know they are coming till they walk into my classroom. I feel bad for them I don't have anything for them. I am scrabbling to get them settled. I have had a few new students arrive in the middle of the year and some of them were my favorite.
     
  31. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    New students are just a fact of life. families move into a new area and their kids need a school. OK it can be inconvenient but you cannot avoid it so why get stressed. If the kids is bright they will soon catch up. Borrow the notes of a reliable student and photocopy them for the new guy. Put the new guy with a buddy to help them fit in. Of course not all new students will be models of good behaviour. In my school the majority of new students are there because they have been thrown out of another local school and we have a scheme whereby we share out the trouble makers (You have one of ours and we will have one of yours) to give them a fresh start. Most of the time however this does not work and they move on pretty soon anyway to be replaced with another little darling!

    Our curriculum helps a bit with new students as every school teaches the same stuff all over the country so a child moving will be pretty close to speed anyway unless they are one who for some reason hasn't been to school for a while.
     
  32. kteachone

    kteachone Companion

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    I've gotten two new kids in the past 2 weeks. It throws the whole class off, and it just feels strange to have another kid thrown in the mix when you're finally in a good groove.

    I think I'm angrier at their old teachers. One of my new kids has been with me for over a week and I STILL do not have his records, books, etc. I had to BEG for his report card and when I got it, the darn thing wasn't even finished! They faxed it to me the DAY report cards were going out!

    Then my new kid that I got yesterday should be receiving some kind of SPED services, but is not. He should be in speech, but he's not. THE TEACHER SHOULD HAVE DONE PAPERWORK ON HIM, BUT HAS NOT.

    On top of that, you have to readjust reading groups, centers, etc. Also, any papers that you copied you'll need another copy. It's just a lot of work.
     
  33. Go 4th

    Go 4th Habitué

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    I've had the revolving door this year--14 come and/or go. I got a new one last week and lost one of my fav's today.

    I don't mind getting a regular new student. I have issues with transfers that don't include all of the paperwork if they are special ed. I had a MOD student for 3 weeks and now have had an autistic one for 2, because of slow paperwork and delays. It is detrimental to the students and very hard to maintain a normal class.
     
  34. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I would imagine that the economy is partially to bleme for some of this year's shifts; that parents are following the jobs or the job leads, and there isn't any choice but to move the kids.

    I'm in a Catholic school. We don't take transfers. So I haven't experienced the issues you guys are dealing with.
     
  35. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I get students and lose students coninuously. It doesn't bother me.
     
  36. taryn_liz

    taryn_liz Rookie

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    I teach at a private, church run preschool. The other 3+4 year old teacher has been less than stellar this year, so they've put most of the new students in my class. At one point, I had 17 kids and she had 8. I'd always be frustrated when hearing I get a new one, but then remember the reason she didn't get that kid (she's not a good teacher) and it makes me feel a little better. Thankfully though, all my new kids have adjusted well this year.
     
  37. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    I had years where only one third of my students were there the whole year but my class size stayed about the same the whole year

    also at times my class sizes were not even close to being equal and where does the new student go? in my biggest class!
    That messed up group activities.....
     

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