I sometimes wonder why I was so unprepared my first year of teaching?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Arky, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. Arky

    Arky Comrade

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    Jan 1, 2009

    I have always been amazed at how unprepared I was for teaching. I was totally clueless as to how to set up a room. I did not have any organizational skills therefore I did not set up a filing system. The teacher's manuals were filled with so many pages that the size of it overwhelmed me. I did not know where to start. I graduated Aug. 8 and reported for work Aug. 13th that year. I had 5 days to get ready. I had a bad student teaching experience, but even if it had been better I landed a job in a completely different grade. I felt like the worse teacher in the world and just knew everyone was better at this than myself. I don't know how I made except by sheer determination. I had a wonderful experienced co-worker that I questioned to death. It took me years to realize what she had done for me. I wonder if the students are better prepared today?
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I felt prepared...Teaching was a second career though for me...I had been in marketing, then stayed home for 10 years with my kids...My grad school did a great job preparing me, plus the experiences I had as a volunteer at my kids' schools. I also think my district does a good job of mentoring new teachers...
     
  4. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    I don't think I was fully prepared but I felt like I just jumped in with two feet and embraced everything I needed to learn and loved every second of it. I think teaching is a profession where you have to do it and try things to learn and grow. :)
     
  5. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I felt totally prepared even though I started mid-year. I actually started a few days before graduation. I think it helped that I had several years of experience in private preschool and my student teaching was in kindergarten as well. My first observation by the principal was 3 days after I started and she couldn't believe it was my first job!
     
  6. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    I think that classroom management and behavior management could be stressed more. Never when I was a pre-teacher did I think that I would have had some of the characters in my class that I did. I almost wish I would have been assigned to observe a teacher with horrible classroom management skills. Or a teacher with kids with behavior issues that handled her class very well. I wish I could have seen the steps that teacher took to get her class in shape. Or if we had a video of a teacher with horrible classroom management skills that we looked at in class so we could see and discuss some of the pitfalls. I'm not saying my classroom management skills were horrible, but it has def. been a trial by fire thing.
     
  7. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    I felt totally unprepared but I know why. Most of the teachers I had in college had never been in a high school classroom. This included the professor that taught me classroom management and my secondary classroom science block. Theory is different than actual experience. I survived because my mom is a teacher and showed me how to set up my classroom, etc.
     
  8. pxydst07

    pxydst07 Comrade

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    Jan 1, 2009

    I don't know if anything prepares you....

    I have to say that I received a wonderful education and I had a wonderful student teaching experience. That being said, I don't think there are enough courses available on classroom management and organizational skills. I think that is where most teachers feel lost. You walk into a huge empty room with desks and you have to figure out where to go from there. The district I am currently in does not have a great mentoring program. My supposed mentor made me feel as though I was a bother, and I didn't really go to her much because I felt that way. So, I did a lot of internet research and buying books to try and prepare myself and read along the way. Once I found this site and another one that is similar, I was blown away by how wonderful teachers can be about sharing advice and resources. I have to say that no matter how prepared you actually feel, you will always have moments that you are not ready for. You learn as you go along and that's okay. I think that's a given in anything that you do in your life. We should never stop learning! :p
     
  9. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I think I was prepared as far as the classroom goes. I don't think I was very prepared to deal with the different admins that are out there. I had wonderful principals in both student teaching placements, and my first year of teaching, but not my second. And though I knew there was paperwork involved, I wasn't prepared for how much.
     
  10. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I thought I was well prepared until I actually got a classroom of my own. I loved my college classes for the most part, and the practical experiences taught me a lot. I thoroughly enjoyed subbing, and i was good at it. However, once I was hired full time I realized just how few classroom management skills I actually possessed. Things started off well, but by Oct. I knew I was in trouble and by December I was begging for help. I was sent to observe a teacher in another school for a day, but I had no idea what I was supposed to take from it or how to use it myself. I survived the year, but just and only because I wasn't going to let them win. I just wish my college had taught more practical hands on strategies for dealing with difficult behaviors and less theory of psychology stuff. Operative conditioning and internal locus of control did nothing to help me when Jonny was practically daring me to try and make him do anything.
     
  11. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I felt overwhelmed, but prepared. I think that starting any new job is scary, but I never felt like I wasn't ready to do the job.
     
  12. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    Jan 2, 2009

    The answer to your question is simple, and that is because there is currently only one known method for acquiring experience. Sorry!

    Becoming a teacher is like learning how to walk or ride a bike. It takes some wobbly practice before it becomes natural. You can't buy the extra pair of eyes, supersonic hearing, and The Look. You can only earn them the hard way.

    ;)
     
  13. MsMaggs

    MsMaggs Comrade

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    Jan 2, 2009

    So true! This is my second year and I'm still feeling wobbly and unsure about a lot of things! Last year was worse, I felt like I had no control over what was going on (even though everyone who came in and observed me told me I had great classroom management)! This year when my kiddos from last year come and visit me, they talk about how I knew *everything* that was going on and they had no idea how I did it. :cool:(Some of the things they talk about I had no idea about, but at least they thought I did!:lol:) It's interesting how we judge ourselves so harshly!
     
  14. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jan 2, 2009

    I was incredibly lucky!

    From student teaching I did get confidence, and an idea of how to approach material in class. But I don't recall getting much of the nitty gritty.

    But my first 7 years of teaching, I taught in an all girls Catholic school. Classroom management wasn't a real big issue. Additionally, I had both a wonderful chairman and a wonderful informal mentor. Both taught me everything I needed to know, and didn't make me feel stupid for not knowing it already.

    They're lessons I remembered when I became chairman.
     
  15. iluvteachin

    iluvteachin Rookie

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    Jan 2, 2009

    I don't think my program prepared me for the day to day stuff of teaching - either my BA or my MA actually. But because I had been in the classroom setting for a few years already, that really helped. I think it is just experience experience experience that counts.
     

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