How should I best prepare for my next school year?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Radical Dreamer, Jul 21, 2018.

  1. Radical Dreamer

    Radical Dreamer Rookie

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    Jul 21, 2018

    I have just finished two very rough years first years of teaching. For my first year, I was a substitute teacher for the first 6 weeks, until I practically fell into my first teaching job, where I had to take over a class that only had substitute teachers before me. It was a mess. There were some major behavior issues in the class and it felt like I had to learn everything all at once, since starting late gave me a lot of added time pressure. From the time I got there, grades were due in only 4 weeks, with parent teacher conferences only 1 week after that.

    Since I started out as a long term sub, I was only paid the full salary of a teacher for half of the year, and I had to work during the summer because I couldn't afford not to. I went into my second school year already burnt out. I was rehired one working day before the school year started, and for the first five weeks, my second year of teaching was going just fine...

    Until my district removed me from my class and placed me at a totally different school in the 6th week. I found myself in roughly the same situation I was in the year before: taking over a very behaviorally challenging class that only had subs before me, with the time pressure of grades and conferences coming up very soon. It ended up being even worse than my first year because the cumulative stress of going right back into a job like this with no break was getting to me.

    I still managed to finish the year, and now I'm finally enjoying my first summer vacation in 6 years. I think part of the reason these two years were so tough was that I lacked a lot of knowledge and didn't have much opportunity to prepare. I'm trying to take this summer as an opportunity to prepare in whatever way I can. I've been reading some teacher blogs, organizing my existing materials and documents, and reading a copy of The Continuum of Literacy Learning by Fountas and Pinell.

    With the month or so that I have left, what is the best way I could prepare for the next school year? I have taught 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade, but have no idea what I will be teaching next.
     
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  3. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Jul 22, 2018

    You are reading The Continuum of Literacy Learning??? Wow! I've only used it as a reference, never sat down and read the whole thing.

    Can I suggest you read something on student engagement? Something that could apply to a variety of grade levels. The Curious Classroom might be of interest to you. And the ideas that are presented in the book would also be helpful if you end up switching assignments part way through the year again.
     
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  4. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    Jul 22, 2018

    Will you be starting as a long-term sub in the same district again? Elementary?
     
  5. Radical Dreamer

    Radical Dreamer Rookie

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    Jul 23, 2018

    As of right now, I don't really know. My status has been "temporary" for the past two years, meaning that I'm given a contract to teach with them that expires on June 30th. At that point, my status is rolled back to that of a substitute teacher. My goal right now is to try to get a full time teaching position, even if on another temporary contract, before the school year starts, which I managed to do last year. I really had to fight for it though, which I did by personally contacting about 90 different elementary principals, and I didn't get my position until 1 working day before the school year started. I've done the same thing this year, but there's no guarantee I'll get as lucky as I did last year. If that doesn't work, my goal is to get a full time position one month after the school year starts, when the district reorganizes.
     

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