How do you feel this year?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Teaching Grace, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. Teaching Grace

    Teaching Grace Connoisseur

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    Sep 18, 2010

    I'm sitting here grading papers. I'm starting to feel like there's so much other stuff in life right now that I'm not sure that I'm teaching to the best of my ability. Is anyone else feeling this way? How are you dealing with the "other stuff"?
     
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  3. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Sep 18, 2010

    Yes!!!!!

    I've been thinking the same thing since school started. I had a baby in June, my first. It's been hard, and still not accomplished, trying to juggle everything. I leave the house at 7:00 to take him to the sitter, and I usually stay at school until 5:00 or so. Last night was 6:30 because I didn't want to go back this weekend. The only thing I can think of during the day is how I want to hold my little boy. I feel really bad because this group is way low and way needy. I find myself giving them the same work as I gave my kids last year even though they need to start out a little easier/slower. At times I wonder if I should leave teaching.

    Anyway, I'm sorry - didn't mean to hijack. You are not alone in feeling this way. Hopefully we'll both find a balance.

    Beth
     
  4. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Well, I think I am teaching to the best of my ability...but at the cost of nearly everything else in life.
     
  5. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Sep 18, 2010

    I feel like I'm teaching everything I can but I feel like there is not enough minutes in the day to teach everything that I need to. I just need an extra 20 minutes, :lol:.

    My problem is that all of my students have special needs and there is only one other program that they could go to once I feel they are ready to move on. If they test too well, they won't qualify for the program. So if they test too high, they are stuck in my program for another 3 years or they get placed in a regular ed. class where they will probably have severe behaviours again due to their being frustrated because they are at least 2 grade levels behind. They will then end up in my class again. It is frustrating because I want them to learn as much as they can but I'm worried that I'm doing them a dis-service because I'll be making them "too smart".
     
  6. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    Sep 18, 2010

    I am happy to say that I am on the other end of the perspective. I moved from first to second and I am really enjoying this year. Though I have to make everything new and adjust to new ways of doing things, it is really good. Nine of my 20 students were in my class last year.
     
  7. Teaching Grace

    Teaching Grace Connoisseur

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    Sep 18, 2010

    Well, added to the mix now, I have a parent who wants me to change her daughter's grade. She's coming in first thing Monday to discuss it with me :( Essentially she didn't follow the directions on this sheet. She was supposed to underline the present tense verb in the first sentence and rewrite it as past tense in the second sentence. Well, she rewrote it but didn't underline it. I counted each thing as a question. I had a 1/3 of my class get 100's on this sheet so I don't feel like I should give in to this mother. What would ya'll do?

    ** Sorry for hijacking my own thread!
     
  8. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    I'm doing pretty good this year. I wanted to upgrade my science teaching. I've worked on lesson plans while looking at the required Standards today. I wrote plans this summer for my reading and writing which is a biggie for us.

    I have to miss some time with my husbands upcoming surgery so I've tried to plan ahead for that. I hate it when my class misses a beat if I'm not there.
     
  9. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Sep 18, 2010

    THis is how I felt last year. Just never really got in the groove. Had a really high class, which I thought was going to be good, but honestly, they all turned out kinda bratty. Know it all already, so why do we need to pay attention attitudes.

    Luckily, it was temporary. This year is feeling pretty good! Keep working hard at it, you'll get it!
     
  10. eddygirl

    eddygirl Companion

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    Sep 19, 2010

    teaching-n-2, did she answer the questions correctly but just forgot to underline? If so, I would give her credit, but take off a minimal amount of points for not following directions. I think it would be hard to defend 0 credit to mom if the student did indeed grasp the concept, but forgot the underline.

    Some kids struggle with directions; I remember reading somewhere that a string of more than three directions (i.e. read the sentence below, label X, circle Y, then underline Z) is difficult for many students. I usually make up my own tests, and even for high school, limit it to less than three directions per section.
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 19, 2010

    I'm not sure where you are in terms of your teaching career, and I think that makes a difference. I've been at it long enough that I can go through something of a lull without doubting my teaching abilities.

    This year, yes, I think I'm doing a good-to-great job in the classroom.

    But 2 years ago there was a huge black cloud over my head. You can read about it here:http://forums.atozteacherstuff.com/showthread.php?t=109942&highlight=black+cloud

    But suffice to say, I was hanging on by my fingernails.

    Was I the world's best teacher that year? Probably not. But I gave it all I could; it was just a year when "all I could" wasn't all I would have liked it to be.

    I do have to say: the kids I taught that year and I still share a special bond. They were phenomenal kids, and incredibly kind in working around all my absences and issues. I have some of them now in SAT prep, and I just love the kids in that grade!

    So hang in there. The nature of our job is that some years will be better than others; there are simply too many variables for it to be otherwise. If this is a down year, then do all you can to make it a good one, both for yourself and the kids you're teaching. Then move on to a better year.
     
  12. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 19, 2010

    I would handle it as ONE Mistake, and take off for it once, then grade the rest of the questions as right or wrong.

    Yes, they're supposed to follow directions, so it wouldn't be penalty-free. But the overwhelming issue is whether or not she understands the material, and it appears that she does. So give her a 5 point (or whatever you think is fair) penalty, and re-grade the test.

    I did the same thing on Friday's test. One of my sophomores forgot to put all 6 questions on one section into set notation. Technically the answer must be written as a set. But he got the correct elements-- he knew how to do the math, just forgot about the correct way of expressing it. (There were 6 questions, worth 6 points each.) So I wrote "Set notation, -5" and graded the rest as right. Again, big picture, he knows his math. He'll be a lot more careful next time on the instructions.

    And this is a high school sophomore, not a 3rd grader.
     
  13. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Sep 19, 2010

    I'm feeling good about teaching this year. I feel much more comfortable with grade two than I did with grade one last year. Some of the kids I had last year who had special needs have shown some added maturity which has me very excited.

    My biggest struggle, that I find somewhat overwhelming is how little time I really have to teach. It's mind boggling. Being only a half-time teacher, I'm squeezing everything into the morning, then they get Art, library, and Literacy enrichment in the afternoons.
     
  14. Charger

    Charger Companion

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    Sep 19, 2010

    I feel like I'm doing the best I can, but it doesn't seem like enough. This year just feels harder than last year.
     
  15. Starista

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    Sep 19, 2010

    So simply put. So what's on my mind. :)
     
  16. TiffanyL

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    Sep 19, 2010

    Was the objective of your lesson learning how to underline or mastering verb tense? That should tell you how to grade her paper.
     
  17. teachgrade5

    teachgrade5 Comrade

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    Sep 19, 2010

    I am actually having a pretty good year so far. Last year was a rough year for me. The kids I have this year in 5th grade are acting more like kids and not trying to act like they are teenagers(like last year's class). I have some quirky kids but they are not disrespectful (like last year's class).

    But, I wish I had more time to teach during the day! I am doing pretty well getting the language arts block, social studies, and math in during the day, but science is suffering. I only have about 20-25 minutes a day to teach science, which is not enough.
     
  18. beccmo

    beccmo Comrade

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    Sep 19, 2010

    Overall, I think I am doing OK, but feel myself slipping downhill. Last week was a testament to reasons why you shouldn't have 4 science preps with labs. It would be manageable if the same courses were back to back, but they are not, so I have to change gears after every period. I gave my regular class the honors lab to prep, was subbed out on a day I had 2 different subject labs to switch out, and kept getting my course schedule mixed up in my head. Came home Friday totally exhausted. Finally feel better today and hope next week I get into a better groove so I feel more "with it."
     
  19. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 19, 2010

    I can feel for your confusion beccmo!

    This year I'm in 9 different classrooms. Five periods per day, out of 9, are identical every day. Another is identical 5 days out of 6. But the rest of the time I'm all over the place.

    I'm just resigned to checking my schedule several times a day all year. I have it inside the cover of my plan book, so I can check at the end of each period to figure out where I should be.

    And every time the phone rings in the faculty room, I check to be sure I'm not supposed to be somewhere else. :)
     
  20. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    Sep 19, 2010

    If she only did half of the problem, then she should get half of the credit. We had a 5th grade teacher at our school last year who marked every question wrong because the directions said to underline and he circled. She said he did not follow her directions. We are supposed to be teaching our students to life skills and this could be important when his/her employer are giving specific directions. I would stand my ground with the parent. I understand her point as a parent, but also understand your point as a teacher.
     
  21. Teaching Grace

    Teaching Grace Connoisseur

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    One of our standards is actually that they learn to follow multi-step written directions. She was supposed to underline and then rewrite by adding -ed. She rewrote the correct words with the -ed but did not underline. We did the first one together so they would know how to do the remaining ones. I had 6 students who received a 100 because they followed directions. I feel like it would be extremely unfair to them if I was to change this girl's grade. I'm going to talk to my administrator in the morning before meeting with this parent to see how she thinks I should handle this.
     
  22. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Sep 19, 2010

    The other stuff in life isn't affecting my teaching - my teaching is affecting everything else in my life. Last week was bad - a million people stopped in my room with questions, I was at school late every day, I've had meetings every day, I'm trying out a new style/approach of teaching (I love it, but it's very time consuming to plan for), the district has a new literacy initiative that dictates exactly how many minutes I spend on reading, writing, and grammar every week and it does NOT fit in with the scope and sequence or state test... and then I actually have to teach at some point. I was exhausted and I *know* they didn't get my best.

    Ah well. I did actually do laundry and go grocery shopping for this week. Tomorrow is a new day and a new beginning!
     
  23. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Sep 19, 2010

    While one of your standards may be that they learn to follow multi-step written directions, your lesson did not teach to that standard. While some of those children may have met that standard, it is possible that NONE of them were able to meet the standard and still were able to complete the assignment correctly, based on the example you demonstrated.

    Since you demonstrated how to answer, none of your students have demonstrated they have met the standard of following "written directions". I don't see how taking off marks for each question gives a fair assessment of this student's knowledge, or ability to meet a specific standard.
     
  24. Miss Nelson

    Miss Nelson Rookie

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    Sep 19, 2010

    I am having a hard time this year getting into the swing of things. My school day has gone from 8.5 hours to 10 hours ( including dismissal duties). my commute is 30 minutes longer and I have several hard to handle children and while I am very used to having challenging students, this year with the extended hours, more added to the curriculum and no real "break" I am feeling very overwhelmed and depressed. The school year is just underway and usually I am excited...this year I am in a funk. I am hoping I snap out of it. Anyone have any advice?
     
  25. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Sep 19, 2010

    One word sums up how I feel this year: HAPPY!

    At the end of May, I was informed that I was going to be "bumped" from my previous school (due to declining enrollment...I had the least amount of seniority so I was transferred to another site in the same district).

    Anyway, my new site is much more relaxed (with regard to teacher expectations). Teachers aren't as stressed out and "on edge" as we were at my old school. School gets out at 2:10, and I'm normally home by 3:30 or 4, which gives me time to hit the gym and fix dinner.

    Also, now that I've been teaching the same grade level for 5 years, I feel like I truly have a good grasp on 2nd grade standards and I know EXACTLY what my kids should leave my classroom knowing!

    I'm lovin' this school year!!!
     
  26. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Sep 19, 2010

    This year is going to be a challenge. The behaviors are worse and the kiddos are just so much lower than last years.

    As far as the grading, if she didn't follow directions I would take 5 pts off her total grade for NFD (not following directions).
     
  27. Kate Change

    Kate Change Companion

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    Sep 19, 2010

    I feel like teaching is the only thing in my life right now, which I don't think is good. On good days at school, I'm on top of the world, but on bad days...ugh. I have a bunch of great kids, one crazy parent, one helicopter parent who I kind of like, so far and generally, if the crazy parent is around, life is pretty good. But I think I need to put more into my own life. Teaching can't be absolutely everything to me, can it?
     
  28. Doug_HSTeach_07

    Doug_HSTeach_07 Comrade

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    Sep 19, 2010

    This year is probably the most stressful for me so far as I am pursuing my National Board Certification and finishing grad school. I am so thankful that I have most of my preps already done and saved on my computer!
     
  29. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    How would re-examining your grading philosophy be unfair to them? I can't see that it would effect them in any way at all. As I see it, the only one being treated unfairly in either scenario is the young lady who made one mistake on procedure, and repeated it, and lost a whole lot of credit on an English test.

    Were your students aware that this was a standard being tested? Or that it was a standard being covered this week at all? Or did she think the test was just on grammar?
     
  30. Starista

    Starista Cohort

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    I love your attitude! I remind myself constantly that tomorrow is a new day! :) :love:
     
  31. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    My year is going to be a challenge as well. I teach English to the class with the most Special Ed students (9 out of 31) and I'm in the dual role of classroom teacher and Special Ed teacher. I think I'm up for it, but it's going to take a lot of time and energy.

    Our grading must reflect mastery of concepts. Period. If a student doesn't follow directions, I'll usually pull them aside, ask them to read the directions aloud to me and then show me what they missed. In the case of the original poster, I'd ask the student to show me which word(s) they should have underlined. While I may dock one or two marks, I would have a very difficult time justifying giving only half marks for a skill she demonstrated. I'm also really clear with students exactly how they are being evaluated and on what so there are never any surprises in what I mark.

    Edited to add: Another solution in the original case could be to assign 2 marks (after telling the students this before-hand, of course)--one for following directions and one for demonstration of the skill.
     

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