I don't think I will make it a whole year...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by giraffe326, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    7,075
    Likes Received:
    15

    Aug 14, 2013

    I've already expressed how rough my year has been thus far (day 8). It was slightly better today than yesterday, but yesterday was really bad. I already feel burned out.

    And I got an email from my P saying we need to set up a time to discuss expectations. I now feel sick to my stomach. I have not gotten a very positive vibe from her since my move (when I had to miss a day of staff development). I'm sure I'm going to be lectured about something.

    I just really, really, really want a new job :(
     
  2.  
  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,958
    Likes Received:
    2,115

    Aug 14, 2013

    Can you clarify with your P what she wants to discuss in terms of expectations? Be prepared to go in with lesson plans, student work samples...
     
  4. chemistrynerd

    chemistrynerd Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2013
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 14, 2013

    It's probably not that big a deal- maybe she wants to talk about expectations with all the teachers.
     
  5. Harmony2

    Harmony2 Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 14, 2013

    Exactly. I would not automatically assume it is something negative, but definitely go in there prepared with examples of student work and lesson plans just in case.
     
  6. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,705
    Likes Received:
    469

    Aug 14, 2013

    Hugs, Giraffe. What are the other classes in your school like? I'm sure you're not the only one having difficulty. From what you've told us, it doesn't sound like your P has it altogether. Hopefully, either things will improve of you will get a new position!
     
  7. teacherwithlove

    teacherwithlove Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    262
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 14, 2013

    :hugs: I am sorry that you are having a rough year thus far. :(

    I would just do what czacza and others have mentioned: bring in your lesson plans, student work, and any rubrics you use for grading. Make sure to CYA, for lack of better terms. :whistle:
     
  8. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Messages:
    1,350
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 14, 2013

    I am sorry to hear things are off to a rough start. I know you worked really hard to get a job and position yourself to move back to Michigan. I was in a very similar situation several years ago. I dedicated all spring and summer to getting a job and then relocating only to find a very unwelcoming atmosphere. It was heartbreaking. Looking back on things several years later, I can see clear indications that my P was very much in the wrong. I wish I hadn't beat myself up as much as I did because I came out of that year really down on myself. I also wish I advocated for myself more because there were times I knew she was mistaken and did not say anything. Please don't make that mistake. You are putting your heart into it and deserve only respect and admiration for doing this very hard job called teaching.
    Hugs to you. I hope tomorrow is a bit better than today.
    p.s. Seek out a possible colleague friend or two. It can make all the difference.
     
  9. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,949
    Likes Received:
    17

    Aug 14, 2013

    Trust me, I say this to myself at least once a day at work but I am always still standing in June - and you will be too.

    Good luck and just think that tomorrow is a new - and hopefully - better day!:)
     
  10. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    8,477
    Likes Received:
    1,608

    Aug 14, 2013

    You still have feelers out AND your principal knows it. Perhaps you can use that as a bargaining chip to improve your lot. Tell him you'd prefer to stay, but the working conditions are making that difficult.

    Also, remember that discipline is expected to clamp down on the students soon. Perhaps that will make things a little smoother for you.
     
  11. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    7,075
    Likes Received:
    15

    Aug 14, 2013

    My P has no connections in the area. She commutes over an hour each way and her experience is in another area an hour the other direction.
    My earlier interview was an hour in yet the opposite direction. I really don't think so.

    Last week, I put my full attention in- I'll admit with the other interview, I had a few days where I was in holding- I stopped unpacking. I have since unpacked my desk and stuff.
     
  12. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    7,075
    Likes Received:
    15

    Aug 14, 2013

    I should have been more clear- the comment was made on a reply to my lesson plans. She did ask me this morning when I do science. The day she popped in my room (Monday) was the day of my three hour math lesson. Science didn't happen that day.
    She wants everything hands-on and PBL, but the behavior is terrible. Plus we have no supplies. At all. I'm at a loss.
     
  13. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    7,075
    Likes Received:
    15

    Aug 14, 2013

    And most teachers at my school are feeling the way I am. There are 2 classes that are much worse behaved than mine. The P has had to come sit in several times already.

    The 4th grade teacher said today that he wishes he could still collect unemployment from his old school. (It closed.) He said he will either quit or get fired before the year is out. I feel the exact same way. And he worked for another charter in this city before- in a worse area! He says our kids are way worse.
     
  14. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,985
    Likes Received:
    435

    Aug 14, 2013

    Personally, if I were in your shoes I would really take this as an opportunity to work on classroom management. Take it as a challenge, to try new techniques, experiment with it a bit. Sounds like you won't be to upset if you leave the school, try some stuff you might not normally try.
     
  15. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    81

    Aug 14, 2013

    I'm so sorry you're going through this. I hope things improve, or, you find a way out. That level of stress isn't good for anyone.
     
  16. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,958
    Likes Received:
    2,115

    Aug 14, 2013

    This isn't about classroom mgt. it's about building mgt. No one who knows Giraffe's dedication would even question her skills.
    Wow, Pashtun.
     
  17. elateacher4life

    elateacher4life Cohort

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Messages:
    687
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 14, 2013

    Hang in there. I hope things get better.
     
  18. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    Messages:
    3,224
    Likes Received:
    147

    Aug 14, 2013

    I think at this point it's proven to be a toxic set up. I think the best thing would be if Giraffe could get a new job.
     
  19. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,985
    Likes Received:
    435

    Aug 14, 2013

    So am I, I just choose to look for a positive in terms of teaching, instead of just saying " I feel for ya, hope things get better".

    To me it's a situation that she can't fail in, its already the worst it can be. Try some things that you would never try out of fear it may make the class or situation worse. I am not talking about sticking it out, making it better, I am talking about trying things you would normally not try, as your walking out the door.
     
  20. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    7,075
    Likes Received:
    15

    Aug 14, 2013

    I HAVE worked on classroom management. I knew I had to go in strong with a plan. I set up a far more structured system that I ever have. I've thrown out my classroom economy and putting 'power' into my kiddos hands via choices. (A Love and Logic technique.) I've went with a very structured, clear cut discipline system.
    However, 90% of my class deserves to lose their afternoon recess and get a note sent home daily. I have been sending more notes home/taking away more recess. It has yet to improve anything yet.

    I'm very anti public behavior system, but I've thought about a clip chart. Seriously thought about it. I'm on the fence whether the visual would be beneficial or not.
     
  21. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Messages:
    851
    Likes Received:
    46

    Aug 14, 2013

    I think you should get out now. If the class is this bad 8 days in, it's going to be even worse later on. Worst Case: Some child could get hurt or you could lose your license. It's not worth it.
     
  22. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    7,075
    Likes Received:
    15

    Aug 14, 2013

    And, thank you both for your support, even in your opposite methods of delivery :)
     
  23. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    7,075
    Likes Received:
    15

    Aug 14, 2013

    How would a child get hurt and result in my loss of license? Unless I were to do the hurting, which I assure you, I will not.

    Despite the P's firm no-suspension until count day policy, she had to suspend 4 kids for fighting.
     
  24. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    7,075
    Likes Received:
    15

    Aug 14, 2013

    I should throw something out there- there is not a child in my classroom that I don't like. Seriously, there is not. (Well, there is one, but he hasn't been here all week....)
    I hate their behavior and their disrespect, but as individuals, I like them all.
     
  25. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,985
    Likes Received:
    435

    Aug 14, 2013

    I mean this in a positive way.

    What about far far far less structure? I don't know the answer, but this is what I mean. Something "unconventional", that should not work....but MAYBE will improve...something to take to your next school.

    I am just saying KEEP experimenting because it sounds like you can't lose. You may find something to take with you to the much much better place.

    Edit: try the clip art, this is exactly the time to try something you don't really think will work. If it fails? Sounds like it won't be any worse. If it improves, wow, how cool you tried something you really don't like or think would work, but had the courage to try.
     
  26. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,958
    Likes Received:
    2,115

    Aug 14, 2013

    Giraffe, if I'm understanding this right, it's not your classroom mgt that te P is questioning...it's your lesson plan...maybe scope and sequence, timing?
    Go in with lesson samples, work, any assessments/ evidence of learning. Of course behaviors still play into how much material you can cover, and while I don't think that's your P's main concern, you might want to be prepared to answer any questions about classroom climate.

    As far as Milsey's advice...Take it in stride...it's not like you are making kids do push ups for unhealthy snacks or showing inappropriate videos...:D
     
  27. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

    Joined:
    May 25, 2012
    Messages:
    1,198
    Likes Received:
    96

    Aug 14, 2013

    My second year teaching was by far the worst of my life. I decided I wanted to teach the LD Classes at the high school. I had been in the self-contained class the year before that. Well, after about the first 2 minutes of the first day, I was done. It was THE WORST situation possible. My classroom was a former closet. I had rival gang members in the same classroom. I was threatened by students daily. It was beyond bad! I also had postpartum depression...so that didn't make it any better.

    The only thing going for me was that I had a very supportive principal and coworkers. I had pretty much proven myself the year before with the class I had. He would always tell me, "You have quite a group of kids....nothing is your fault...hang in there." I tried to quit after Christmas, and he frankly would not let me. Said there was going to be an opening at the middle school in a self-contained class the next year. Said to stick it out. (They had hired another teacher for the self-contained class that I used to have, and he didn't want to leave the position.)

    I did stick with it. To this day, I do not know how. I am not a prayerful person. But, that year I prayed every single night. The last day of school was by far one of the happiest days of my life. Ultimately, I am glad I stuck with it, because I did move to the middle school where I have been ever since....6 years later.

    Without a supportive administration it's hard. Good luck. Let us know how it turns out.
     
  28. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2013
    Messages:
    1,016
    Likes Received:
    38

    Aug 14, 2013

    I actually agree. You already know you want out (and that would be the ultimate solution) so keep looking on the outside. In the meantime, everything you ever even thought about but were hesitant to try, throw it out there.

    There are TONS of things I'd love to try, from classroom management to types of lessons that I never follow through with because I have to think long-term and I can't fit it in. You're in a horrible situation and I feel for you SO hard, but maybe there's a silver lining. You can do anything you want! You can try anything!

    You've already said you were considering the clip chart. Why not? What's the worst that could happen? I'd be treating every day as my own personal petri dish. Until you are able to get out, use this class as your blank slate. We all know you'll still focus on helping the students, so why not have a little "professional fun" until you can get a new gig?

    :love:
     
  29. teacherwithlove

    teacherwithlove Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    262
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 14, 2013

    Your P shouldn't be expecting miracles this early on! Especially if you don't have the correct supplies needed to be an effective teacher. If anything, I think you and your fellow teachers should come together and ask to conduct a meeting with the P. Let the P know the challenges you are facing because of the lack of support and the absence of supplies.

    And seriously... a 3 hour math lesson? I take it the P wants this? What about a 20 minute recess for the kids to run and be kids? Why not section the 3 hour math lesson into chunks with breaks in between?:wow: I'm sorry but if I were in your position... I would be in the P's office A LOT and speaking my mind about this. Does your P have any experience at all in public schools? Or is it a business person who thought, "Oh the public school system sucks and I will open my own non-profit (or for profit :|) charter to save America's kids! That'll teach those public schools!"

    ....:| :| :|

    Giraffe: please don't take this post the wrong way. I may come off as being sarcastic but it's not towards you at all. It's actually towards your P.
     
  30. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    7,075
    Likes Received:
    15

    Aug 14, 2013

    I believe it is in reference to lesson plans. I am about 90% on that.
    I have plenty of pictures- I know we are doing a friends and family event coming up, so I wanted pictures to stick on a slide show.

    It could very well be management, though. She walked in as I had them put their heads down. It was the first time in days that I've had them do that, but when they are completely out of control, I really don't know what else to do. It is the only time they are all quiet- and they don't stay quiet well.

    As for Milsey's advice, I know :) I just wanted to clarify in case anyone else thought I could completely lose it! Not my style, for sure. I'm not even a yeller- at all. I am a guilt tripper. "Wow, I'm really disappointed in your behavior. I wish I could trust you to work independently" type stuff ;)
     
  31. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    7,075
    Likes Received:
    15

    Aug 14, 2013

    No, P is mad about the three hour math lesson. It was a complete they had no clue moment. We started with a problem of the day, went into a partner game, went through some note taking/practice as a glass, and then individual work. I can't group them yet because they cannot (WILL NOT) work independently yet. I'm normally more of a 'guided math' type person. I rarely taught whole group in 2nd grade.

    I had blocked out 2 hours for the math lesson, since it had a lot of components. Science was supposed to be the other hour and got bumped to the next day. We are a STEM school, so bumping science is apparently a no-no.
     
  32. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    7,075
    Likes Received:
    15

    Aug 14, 2013

    In other news.....
    I started DRAs today. I've tested three kiddos, and so far none of them passed the level 10 :tired:
     
  33. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    8,477
    Likes Received:
    1,608

    Aug 14, 2013

    Your P is annoyed you took the time to go back and scaffold learning they missed in their original schools? Is she serious? She should be thrilled that you aren't simply teaching the text to get through in a timely manner. You'd lose them completely, as would every teacher after you.

    BRAVO to your taking the time, early in the school year, to reteach those building blocks. They're probably too tentative in their faith in their abilities to do the work solo. I'd be professionally outraged that you're supposed to teach the lessons, not the students.
     
  34. nyteacher29

    nyteacher29 Comrade

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    Messages:
    390
    Likes Received:
    2

    Aug 14, 2013

    :hugs:Hugs
     
  35. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    7,075
    Likes Received:
    15

    Aug 14, 2013

    She wanted to observe the science lesson. The science lesson was scheduled for Friday, but we didn't get through Wednesday and Thursday's plans at the pace I had planned for. It was pushed to Monday, then science was skipped altogether. I'm assuming it has something to do with this. Or my plans in general. I don't really know.

    I'm behind in all of my plans. Being a brand new school, we have no idea what these kids are capable of, so planning is a nightmare. They originally wanted 6 weeks of plans before the year started. None of us met the deadline. Frankly, I'm glad we didn't since it is taking us twice as long to do everything.

    P sent us a lesson plan template on Saturday to use. I had already had my plans 90% done and finished them on the template I had created. She made me go back and redo them and put them into her template. Next email was to meet about expectations.
    I'm a bit annoyed that she made me fix them. My old P would have said to do it on her template next week.
     
  36. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,959
    Likes Received:
    1,148

    Aug 14, 2013

    All I can say is to do the best you can while keeping your sanity and peace of mind (meaning take care of yourself also and don't get stressed out) , and keep looking for other jobs. This school does not sound like a healthy environment.
     
  37. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,985
    Likes Received:
    435

    Aug 14, 2013

    They wanted 6 weeks of daily detailed lesson plans? As in what exactly you were going to do each day for the next 6 weeks? Or just a skeleton type framework of topics to be learned over 6 weeks, with daily detailed plans as you went?
     
  38. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    7,075
    Likes Received:
    15

    Aug 14, 2013

    We have pacing guides we have to follow, so the skeleton is there already. I never asked, but I assumed day-to-day lessons for 6 weeks.

    (Note: Since we are a charter, we have to follow the pacing guides issued by the university that authorized us. Just clarifying if people were confused. Since I have no other materials, it would be easy to assume the curriculum is not there, but it actually is.)
     
  39. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,985
    Likes Received:
    435

    Aug 14, 2013

    If they expect their teachers to know what, how, lessons are going to look like 6 weeks in advance this school is going to be an absolute failure.

    Having a framework(skeleton) I get, pretending to know on Monday what you are going to do on Wednesday is poor planning, IMO, let alone the Wednesday 6 weeks in the future. You can't know what to do on Tuesday, until you see what happens with activities on Monday.
     
  40. Ted

    Ted Habitué

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 14, 2013

    I didn't read it as a criticism on giraffe's classroom management. I agree with the first part of Pashtun's statement that we can always improve.

    Giraffe - my suggestion is that should you get "called down" for how your class is going, be sure to bring a notebook and very kindly (and sincerely, not in a confrontational manner) ask: "I would greatly welcome any strategies on how I can get my students more focused. I've tried many things from my 'Teacher's Toolbox' and am finding it a struggle. Thank you for being willing to support me and my students in having a very successful year. That's so appreciated!"

    More flies with honey type deal. :)
     
  41. Ted

    Ted Habitué

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 14, 2013

    You teach 3rd grade, yes?

    I'm wondering if three hours is too long a chunk to try to get these seven- and eight-year-olds to focus and/or sit still? (Or was it a type of activity where they were moving from station-to-station, etc?

    I know for me, even as an adult, three hours is quite a long time... at PD, etc... I need to get up, get some water, hit the restroom, etc.

    Now, if they were moving around, building things, etc. for math...then ignore my query above. :)
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Mrs. K.,
  2. RainStorm,
  3. miss-m
Total: 351 (members: 5, guests: 319, robots: 27)
test