Is this what teaching is really like?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by teachercici_, May 5, 2017.

  1. teachercici_

    teachercici_ New Member

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    May 5, 2017

    I am a first year teacher and I am finding my new career to not be anything what I expected. I've been basically advised by other teachers not to ask anyone for help because it will get around that I "don't know how to do my job". I have been told not to ask the office or anyone if I need extra supplies because I'll annoy them. I have heard other teachers asking about me: "is she even any good?". I know I'm not awful, my students love me and they're growing, so I know I'm not that bad. There just seems to be a lack of support. I've had zero pd or trainings of any sort. Been observed once for 30 min by admin. Is this all schools? Are all teacher coworkers standoffish and mean? I can't imagine feeling so isolated and judged for my entire career. I'm feeling so disappointed.
     
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  3. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    May 5, 2017

    Not every school is like that I can assure you. But some schools have a toxic culture that permeates from admin down to teaching staff. It is what it is. That's not within your control and you can't change the situation unless you change schools.

    If you need help you should ask for it, especially if not asking for help impacts your teaching in a negative way. As a first year teacher, I really didn't know much about anything. Student teaching gave me an idea of what to expect, but the responsibility of the classroom was still the CTs. As a teacher, it's all on you and the learning curve is too big to expect any first year teacher to handle on their own.

    I wouldn't worry about what other teachers say about you. You can only control how you do your job, not what others say about you. At the end of the day, your teaching speaks for itself. If your students are improving, you are doing something right. So focus on the positive and don't let them get to you. Once you have experience under your belt, you can think about changing schools, because this school doesn't seem like the right fit for you.
     
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  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    May 5, 2017

    Even veteran teachers can feel intimidated by a new teacher who appears to be doing really well in the classroom. Jealousy shows up in many ways...standofishness, criticizing, gossiping, etc.
     
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  5. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    May 5, 2017

    To answer the question in the title, in some schools yes, in other schools, absolutely not, but each school will have its own culture, even within the same district. If admin is bringing you back for next year, I would brush off some staff comments, since admin's vote counts most. Also, beware of a few people who pass on "what they have heard" simply to "stir the pot." If they are not happy, they will make sure they pull others to their level.
     
  6. Mrs Teacher

    Mrs Teacher Rookie

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    May 5, 2017

    No, not all schools are like that, not at all! But some schools are, and unfortunately you are in one of them. I work in a building where the teachers are very supportive, especially of new teachers.. where the administration is supportive... and where there are systems in place for you to feel comfortable asking questions and seeking out resources. Sorry you're in one of the "bad examples" :(

    My advice would be to try to seek out a teacher in the building, any teacher, who you can connect with. If you feel uncomfortable exposing yourself as the rookie, hopefully there is at least 1 teacher who can help you out after hours or for a quick question here and there? Also, in regards to the teachers who seem to be walking negativity, just avoid them.

    How long have you been in this building?
     
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  7. miss-m

    miss-m Groupie

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    May 5, 2017

    This is terrible advice for a new teacher... and if this is the culture at your school you may want to think about looking for a better work environment.
    This year was my first year and I would have quit if I hadn't been able to ask for help. It's your first year - you're not supposed to know everything about how to do your job, and that's ok. Asking is how you learn. If office people are annoyed about you asking for supplies you need in order to do your job, then that's their problem, not yours.
    I agree with Mrs Teacher - if you DO stay in this building, find someone in the building who can act as a mentor teacher to answer questions and give you support. Teaching is hard enough without trying to do it all and figure it all out by yourself!
     
  8. carolinafan

    carolinafan Rookie

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    May 5, 2017

    I'm finishing up my second year teaching, and my first year I was basically hung out to dry by the other grade level teacher in my subject. The overall culture of the school though was nothing like what you described. I still felt like I was just barely hanging on at certain points during that first year. I decided to switch schools, and I've got to say it's been a big difference this year. I have a partner teacher that WANTS to help me and collaborate, and I have supportive admin and fellow teachers. I agree with some of the other posters that you might want to consider looking at other schools near you for a change of scenery. Teaching is definitely not easy, especially for first year teachers, but it shouldn't be anywhere near as bad as you've described.
     
    Caesar753 likes this.
  9. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    May 6, 2017

    Oh my goodness. This is SO true!
     

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