Is it normal to be a poor educator during my first year of teaching?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by pinkcupcake90, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. pinkcupcake90

    pinkcupcake90 Companion

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    Nov 18, 2015

    Hi, everybody.
    I'm a high school English teacher that was hired via alternate route. Getting the job was a blessing, but I have no teaching experience. I don't know how to make a lesson plan, how to effectively manage class time, or how to calm down a loud classroom.

    I'm slowly getting there, but sometimes, I feel like a bad teacher. I got hired in September, so I had no time to prepare or reread any of the works that I will be teaching. :(

    Will I suck less as time goes on? I want to do this for the rest of my life, but I don't want to suck at it. :(
     
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  3. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Nov 18, 2015

    (I'm elementary, but this is universal)
    If you are constantly/consistently reflecting upon your practice, thinking about what worked and what would better drive student success, you will become much, much better.

    I'm in my second year, and while I'm far from "amazing", there are significant improvements in many areas of my practice, and that happened because I actively reflected and sought out advice/feedback/resources to figure out how to change what needed to change.

    Hang in there! I'm slightly hypocritical saying this, but identify something each day that you felt you really succeeded with - even if it's a small interaction with a kiddo. You'll find yourself much happier, and you'll also be knowing what you need to continue to do in the future because you identified what worked.
     
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  4. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Nov 18, 2015

    Short answer, I think: yes. Of course some people enter the classroom and are just naturals at it, but those are the few and the far between. Most of us are pretty bad at it and get better over time and with work.

    It shouldn't be a problem as long as you strive to get better, and take steps to do so.

    Next year, you'll probably be doing a lot of the same content, so you'll know what's up, and you'll have new ideas on how to teach it better based on your experiences with your last year's students. Every following year, you'll have new ideas of how to improve. Go with it, and follow through.

    Best of luck!
     
  5. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Yes! As the above posters have mentioned, we all go through major growth in our first year(s) in the classroom, and ideally that growth and change never stops.

    I also believe that most of us aren't as bad as we think, but that as teachers, we tend to be perfectionists and be really hard on ourselves. We hold ourselves to high standards, which is good! I look back at my first years teaching and wish I could do it all over, but I also look back and think, hey, I made it, I made some cool things happen, and I probably wasn't as much of a train wreck as I though I was (although there were certainly some days were I really was a hot mess!).
     
  6. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    Nov 18, 2015

    You care, therefore you "don't suck" (to use your terminology). that's half (or more of) the battle..the other half is time. stick with it. keep working on things. Discard what doesn't work. Adapt. Know that somedays will not go as planned. The growth that one experiences year over year, assuming they do not quit, is phenomal...and rewarding. Best wishes
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 18, 2015

    You will suck less provided you are given an opportunity to return. Lack of classroom mgt and lesson design are major factors in the decision whether to keep a new teacher or not
     
  8. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Nov 18, 2015

    Deleted--misread post
     
  9. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Nov 18, 2015

    Over the Thanksgiving break, read a classroom management book and look up how to write a lesson plan online. You might not get much of a break, but when you come back from the break better prepared, it'll be worth it.
     
  10. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    You are not a bad teacher; you are a growing teacher. Some quick tips: For managing time and lesson planning, if you over-plan, try to make sure the essential parts of the lesson are what you intend to accomplish. Assume anything else in your plan is extra and can be left out or modified. Assume, while planning, that you have 10 minutes less time than you think you have. Go through the curriculum and benchmark where you should be throughout the year and try to stick with the plan by avoiding catching up the next day. Catching up tends to snowball and put you behind in finishing.
     
  11. pinkcupcake90

    pinkcupcake90 Companion

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    Nov 19, 2015

    You guys are so amazing. I'm so blessed to have found this forum. Thank you so much! :) <3
     
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  12. Puppet Debris

    Puppet Debris Rookie

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    Someone said some are naturals. I agree to some extent. I have seen "naturals" in one school who have completely wiped out in other schools.
    But then, maybe everyone would be a natural if they were in a school that is best fit for them. Probably impossible, but it would be amazing if true and could find ways to place everyone in their perfect little niche.
     
  13. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    welcome. i have nothing to say other than your pseudonym is awesome.
     
  14. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Dec 17, 2015

    Like others, I would say it is not about being a poor teacher in the first year, but rather that you are a teacher in rapid growth mode. Big difference between the two, in my mind. If you are reflecting and considering your strengths and weaknesses, on a consistent schedule, you should start to see growth and improvement. I would hope that this is where you are coming from. Your mentor should help you define you strengths and weaknesses and point you towards exemplars within your field, to help you grow. Before someone piles on and tells me that this doesn't happen in the real world let me say that it can exist if the new teacher is persistent and dedicated to the craft.
     
  15. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Dec 18, 2015

    Well, my feeling is that that they were aware of your education and experience before they hired you. If they want you to succeed they should provide a mentor or at least someone in your department to assist you with writing a lesson plan that is acceptable in your particular school. For the other things such as classroom management you can do research on your own and also ask advice from experienced teachers that are familiar with your students.
     
  16. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    One of my favorite things about this forum is watching how much the newer teachers grow over time. Peregrin5 in particular comes to mind as someone who came to the forum as a struggling new educator. He's now probably one of the forum's top experts in classroom management.
    It does NOT come overnight, but it comes to those who work at it and find ways to grow.
     
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  17. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Dec 18, 2015

    Thanks. :flushed:
     

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