I feel so discouraged!!!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Joy, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. Joy

    Joy Cohort

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    Apr 12, 2013

    I'm just wondering if the second year of teaching can be draining and discouraging. I just started my second year since I started mid-year last year. There are some issues in my district though that are making me feel really down. I teach K-5 Music.

    The big thing that has been bothering me is dealing with some of the people. I've never had to deal with people like this! I have four concerts left for the year. Two of them are next week. I filled out the paperwork to have chairs set up as usual and ran into the Custodian complaining about doing it without help from kids. I just don't get this. He acts like it's my responsibility to set up chairs. I went to our principal and she said she would take care of it and it was not my job.

    This week I also worked with my PLC. One member on the team had a ridiculous attitude and got really mad at the rest of us. The reason didn't even make sense.

    I also keep having parents send me emails telling me that their kids can't be at the concert (I guess it has only been three) because they've planned trips and if they had known the date of the concert, they would have planned them differently. I sent a paper copy of all the concerts home with each student at the beginning of the year. I put it in the newsletter at the beginning of the year. I've made posters and hung them through the entire building since the beginning of the year and I've been sending home letters and putting it in the newsletter for the past month. I just don't get why parents don't read the stuff.

    I just feel discouraged with everything right now. I hope next week will be better!
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 12, 2013

    How many concerts do you have a year? 4 left seems like a lot...

    I wouldn't have gone to the P about the chairs...the custodian was complaining but you don't know that th chairs wouldn't have been set up...were they set up for your other concerts?

    Everyone has a lot on their plates in my district...new eval plan, tenure reform, contract negotiations, CCSS, it's testing season, new regs coming dwn from state constantly...it doesn't take much for someone to crack a bit...its no wonder you are feeling overwhelmed...these are times to buoy each other...
     
  4. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Apr 12, 2013

    I would say my second year was harder than my first. I got moved to one of the most challenging schools in the district I work in in November. I was moved from a 2/3 to fifth. It was challenging. It was around March the class started to move anywhere close to smoothly.
     
  5. HorseLover

    HorseLover Comrade

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    Apr 12, 2013

    I've heard that the 2nd year of teaching can be even harder than the first because you are realizing all the things you should have done the first year. Keep up the good work; it's almost summer time! :)
     
  6. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Apr 13, 2013

    I think some of it is you start becoming more aware of your mistakes.
     
  7. Joy

    Joy Cohort

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    Apr 13, 2013

    I have 6 concerts each year. They need to be towards the end of the year because the students are demonstrating what they have learned all year.

    I had to go to the principal over this because the custodian started arguing with me. He thought that I should get students out of class to go and help him set up chairs. This is not my job and I really can't ask the grade level teachers if I can take them out of their classes to go do this. If he is wanting help, he needs to ask the upper grade level teachers if there are a few kids to help him. He then told me that he would just go talk to the principal. I went to her and explained what was going on and asked her if I had misunderstood and this was my responsibility. This custodian is known for being exstremely disrespectful to certain people. I often even hear him screaming at the kids for stuff which I don't think is appropriate. Also with hundreds of parents showing up for this, I really can't gamble that the chairs will be set up. I did talk with him twice about this since I didn't want to seem like I couldn't handle it to my principal. However, she seemed to completely understand and told me not to worry about it. She has been helpful.
     
  8. Joy

    Joy Cohort

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    Apr 13, 2013

    I have a massive amount of work left to do but that isn't really what I'm down about. It's been the people lately that have been getting to me. Some of it I really can't post but it's been a lot. I also feel somewhat of a loner. Grade level teachers always have other people teaching the same thing. I'm all alone. Most of the time I like it but lately it's been hard to feel that I don't really have anyone in the building to ask some stuff to. I know everyone and am always friendly but I don't know anyone well enough to ask advice on some of this stuff that has been happening lately. I have a mentor but she has been somewhat a problem lately too.
     
  9. readforxboxguy

    readforxboxguy Rookie

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    Apr 13, 2013

    As you get more experienced in the profession, it gets easier to manage because you will know what to expect. The early years are difficult for a number of reasons. You will eventually figure out who you can talk to and who you cannot. You will also learn to expect less than full support from some parents. It's a learning curve we all go through. If the custodian complains I would not go to the principal right away. Ask the custodian what the correct process is for setting up a concert. If it becomes a pattern or he or she refuses, then take it to the next level. No matter who the staff member is, going to the principal is a last resort as jobs our on the line.
     
  10. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Apr 13, 2013

    This is also a tough time of the year. The kids are starting to get antsy, parents are starting to now worry about their kids passing, etc. Teachers are dealing with testing and everything else that needs to be done by the end of the year. I think people are under a lot of stress these last couple of months and just may not be able to hide it as well.

    I do agree with you that parents definitely don't always read everything that comes home, but you don't have much control over that. I just make sure it's send in different forms like you have and that's the best we can do.
     
  11. Joy

    Joy Cohort

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    I talked with him twice about this. The former music teacher who still works in the building with a different job warned me about staying on top of him about concerts. There were apparently times when the kids didn't even have the risers to practice on when she asked for them. I have asked the process for getting things set up from the secretary and I've had two nights of concerts before this. This is the first time he pulled this one. He has a very sassy attitude and is very hard to work with. It just comes down to that he doesn't want to do any extra work at all! All I'm asking for are chairs for the parents and risers for the kids. I move all of the Orff instruments, my keyboard, and everything else I need myself. That moving takes me about 40 minutes.

    I'm not the only one who has a problem with him. The heat in my room and the band room didn't work for months this winter. We had to wear coats and so did the kids. We kept asking him to call someone to come and and fix it and he wouldn't. Finally, the band teacher had to go to the principal.

    I certainly don't mean to get anyone in trouble but if he isn't going to do his job, I have to go to someone. I also had to go to her this time because he threatened that he would go talk to her and complain that he had to do them alone. While I'm sure that she would have understood the problem even if he had, I did need to tell her what was going in before he went in and shot his mouth off.
     
  12. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Apr 13, 2013

    To deal (a little) with the isolation issue, you might see about connecting with music teachers at nearby schools; they're probably going through pretty much what you're going through, except for the second-year and custodian issues.

    Given your fuller account of what occurred before you went to the principal, I think you handled that appropriately.

    Hugs to you; feeling isolated can be very hard.
     
  13. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Apr 13, 2013

    In teaching there are so much on lots of our plates. In the beginning many teachers and other staff members say yes to most anything. That changes fast when they see they will not make it unless they start saying "no". Most schools are understaffed and so it is difficult to always get others to volunteer to help a lot. One thing I have found is that the earlier you ask the more likely you will get cooperation.

    When I have a large event including parents I require parents to either e-mail me or have a slip signed that they read it. Maybe you could also get your events on the school calendar at the beginning of the year. Parent communication can be a challenge. Good luck to you.
     
  14. catlover

    catlover Rookie

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    Apr 13, 2013

    It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job! What you describe yourself doing reminds me a lot of what I see my own son's music teacher doing -- he is in 3rd grade. I am amazed when he comes home humming, for example, "Fur Elise" and then tells me the title and composer. I wish I had had that kind of music program when I was young.

    It sounds like you're doing a great job!. You just want to have a higher number of positive interactions with adults. Just remind yourself that the happy, impressed parents are usually the ones who never think to send an email to the music teacher.

    If someone emails you with some left-field criticism about not knowing concert dates, don't internalize the criticism. Of *course* they're going to complain -- blaming you allows them to not look bad in their child's eyes for having to make them miss the concert, or not feel bad about their own disorganization. Just smile, say, "Oh dear, I'm so sorry to hear that," and move on. That sort of email is about them, not you.

    I'm sorry you have to deal with the crotchety custodian. One thing I'm not clear on though -- if you've been warned about him, and if he has a reputation throughout the school for being difficult, why take his behavior so much to heart? Sounds like that's just the way he is. No amount of wonderfulness on your part will exempt you from his crotchety outbursts. I wonder why he's like that? Well, whatever the reason, it doesn't really have anything to do with you.

    Just mentally pat yourself on the back and remember that it is more virtuous to be kind to crotchety troublemakers and whiny snipers than to be kind to sweethearts. Be nicer to them than you think they possibly deserve, and all your colleagues will be impressed with your uncanny ability to get along with anybody and still have a smile on your face. That's the sort of reputation that will take you far.

    And it is easier TO BE crotchety and whiny TO a sweetheart!! Aw, see? You're getting pelted with lemons because you're so lovable!!! :hugs:
     
  15. Joy

    Joy Cohort

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    Thank you so much for your wonderful advice! That is what I needed! I think all of it bothers me more (the parents, the custodian, etc) because I love everything to be perfect and I pretty well work constantly to get it that way. I'm finding out though that no matter how hard I work, there are some things out of my control and the way people act is one of them. I think I just need to start ignoring some of their attitudes and focus on the positive stuff even though it happens less often it seems. I guess this is a valuable lesson for this second year teacher to learn and it hasn't been easy!
     
  16. catlover

    catlover Rookie

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    Apr 13, 2013

    Precisely! Like water off a duck's back.

    BE THE DUCK :lol:
     
  17. LisaLisa

    LisaLisa Companion

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    Apr 13, 2013

    Keep your chin up

    Teaching can be isolating but it doesn't have to be. It depends on what you teach and the culture of the school.

    There is apt to be someone you can buddy up with. P.E., Special Ed, Art, or the specialists such as Speech or O.T. might be worth getting to know if you haven't already. This is a rough time of year (as previously stated) and people get busy. The custodian sounds like he needs a vacation.

    Look at it this way. You are a teacher but this is a learning situation. Now you know what can go wrong and when things go right you can celebrate. Music teachers truly deserve a great deal of respect and consideration but unfortunately it isn't always given. I've seen it happen in other schools. The same goes for art teachers.

    Keep your chin up.
     
  18. wonderingwhat2d

    wonderingwhat2d Rookie

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    May 5, 2013

    It bothers as well when people are hard to work with.

    You're doing a good job but need someone to tell you.
     
  19. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    May 5, 2013

    I'm an SLP (intern) & the 2nd year was a WHOLE LOT harder than my 1st, which I knew it would be because more is being expected of me. My mentors did a lot more for me during my first because I didn't know how to do it. Nowadays, it's about how to write up the proper wording & terminologies in the reports I have to do, but my mentors weren't great nor had time to show me much.
     

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