I don't feel like I have improved

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by namie7, May 24, 2017.

  1. namie7

    namie7 Rookie

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    May 24, 2017

    I am a first year teacher and my principal is very happy with my work but I don't feel like I have improved as much as I should even this late in the year (May). While my ability to manage and support projects has improved, I don't feel like I have improved on more structured teaching or teacher directed work. I can't do all projects and need to give some direct instruction and more guided work. I can't get the timing and order of supports right. I also feel like some of the questions are asking aren't hitting home. I feel like I did this type of lesson better as a student teacher. I also feel like my classroom management isn't where it should be and that plays into the problems I have with more guided lessons. I think I am just in need of a little reassurance or advice.
     
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  3. kellzy

    kellzy Comrade

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    May 24, 2017

    It takes a couple of years to really get the hang of it. My P is constantly reassuring the new teachers that by third year is when you start to see your personal growth a lot more. Even then teaching is about constant improvement. You will never be perfect at the job and the idea of 'master teacher' is a myth. We're all still learning. Anybody who claims otherwise is not an effective teacher. You are your own harshest critic. You know your weaknesses better than anyone, and so you're judging yourself harsher than is necessary. Give yourself some time, the recognition of where you are weak is critical to being a teacher and gives you a place to focus a lot of energy the following year, or lesson, or whatever. It's good to recognize your weaknesses. And as far as classroom management? While it is a critical skill, it's a hard one to learn. I didn't start to get good at management until around year 4, but each class is different and you have to respond accordingly. Keep at it. Recognize where you want to improve for next year and make those your professional goals for the following year. First year teaching is a little like building a plane while flying it. You're so overwhelmed with a million things and trying to sort everything out, and it's difficult to hit every skill that first year. That's okay! Give it another year or two before you start panicking.
    Oh, and just remember that of course your lessons went better as a student teacher, you had someone watching you every moment of every day and someone who you could run literally every question by and rarely if ever had to make serious decisions on the fly. I rocked my student teaching and my first two years as an actual teacher fell flat on their faces.
     
  4. HistoryTeach4

    HistoryTeach4 Rookie

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    May 25, 2017

    I'm at the end of my third year and I think I finally figured this while thing out. I still don't feel like I'm the best teacher. You're not supposed to be "perfect." If we were we would be robots. It takes time and tweaking. You'll get to a point where you feel like you have a handle on this teaching thing (and yes there will always be days when you feel like you don't). If your principal is happy than you must be doing a good job (and I need to take my own advice on that).
     
  5. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    May 25, 2017

    If you feel like you showed growth in one area - no matter what area it is - be proud of that, and pick another thing to work on next year.
    My "thing" this year was classroom management (this was my first year). I had NO control over my room at the beginning of the year. But that was what I worked on all year at improving, and by March when my P and AP came to observe me, both of them commented that my class had made a complete 180 from the beginning of the year. Did my instruction improve? Not really, or not as much as I would have liked. My small group instruction was hit or miss all year. My whole group instruction was ok, but I had a lot of lessons that could have been way more engaging than they were. But you can't do everything all at once (learned that the hard way this year!). As my team reminded me all of first semester: Just do one thing.

    If your ability to manage projects improved, that's awesome! Reflect on how you made that skill better, and see if you can apply any of it to your teacher-led instruction or classroom management. Then think about what you want to improve next year in areas you didn't see as much personal growth. Read up on that, then practice it and repeat next NEXT year. :)
     
  6. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    May 25, 2017

    It's hard to see growth as a teacher, because you're always reflecting, always growing, but usually in very small increments. Plus, it's harder to notice growth in one's self compared to noticing it in others, i.e. your students.

    I won't add any more, but just agree with what's said above: look small -- I bet you made growth in some small areas, and I bet you know what you want to work on for next year. Make a document, jot thoughts and ideas down, research/discuss with colleagues, and make improvements. You'll get better at noticing your growth as time goes on :)
     
  7. LorixC

    LorixC Rookie

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    Jun 5, 2017

    Hang in there, sometimes we don't realize that we have grown and are still growing, just like the students.
     
  8. namie7

    namie7 Rookie

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    Jun 7, 2017

    Thank you all for your replies. I was just feeling a little down. It feels like I have had more mood swings this year than in my entire life. I go from super proud and excited about my students and what I am teaching to feeling like a failure. I appreciate the encouragemet
     
  9. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

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    Jun 7, 2017

    I've been teaching much longer than you and there are days where I'm feeling very successful and things are going just great. Then I turn around and something is an issue and I feel like I need to start all over. Always look for success. It is there!
     

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