Just feel like a failure. I just want to quit. :(

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by ChelserG90, Jan 9, 2015.

  1. ChelserG90

    ChelserG90 Rookie

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    Jan 9, 2015

    I just feel like a complete failure. My principal switched two children out of my class that were creating a lot of distractions. She told my team teachers that she felt like she hasn't been as helpful as she could be this year. So, that was her reasoning for switching out my two biggest distractions. Still, it just feels like a way to make me feel "better" about my inability to manage the classroom well. This is my first year, and I've completely failed.

    It just seems like now everyone knows I'm the new teacher who is completely awful. I just wonder to myself, why am I even doing this anymore? I love the job and to teach, but I don't feel like this experience has made me feel any kind of successes.

    Plus, my team teachers noticed that I talked about math being a disaster, and they suggested having the title 1 math teacher model lessons for me. Honestly, yes that is wonderfully helpful. However, it, also, insinuates that I am incompetent and can't teach.Honestly, that's how I felt one of my team teachers felt. Her son is in my class, and I think she feels like I've failed him mathematically.So, without really coming out any saying it, they think I've failed. So, my principal thinks I've failed, my team members think I've failed, the parents think I've failed, my kids don't respect me so I've failed them, too. I've just failed everybody.So, what's the point? Should I just throw in the towel early in the game of teaching? :/

    Sorry, I'm just feeling really depressed and down about everything. I'm just kinda upset.
     
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  3. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    Jan 9, 2015

    It doesn't sound like anyone thinks you're failing horribly -- your principal moved students who were excessively difficult for you, and it sounds like she really just wants to help and support you as a first year teacher (because everyone here will agree the first year is the hardest).
    And your team sounds like they're responding to your voiced concerns -- math isn't going well, so they're offering ways for you to improve. That's not a bad thing, that's just teaching. Sometimes things go horribly wrong and it's good to acknowledge it and work to improve. I had lessons in my student teaching that were really well planned and then just fell apart as soon as I started teaching because I forgot something or missed a crucial point when planning. It happens.

    If you love to teach, and you love your job, and you're working hard to improve -- don't stress too much. You're still learning the ins and outs of your job, and your team and principal know that.
    Don't give up though! And if you're really worried about what your team thinks, you might try taking one of them aside and saying this is how you feel and is it valid at all? I'm betting they don't think you're a failure -- just a first year teacher who is figuring things out.
     
  4. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Jan 9, 2015

    Regardless of how good a teacher you are, sometimes a certain combination of students is a disaster waiting to happen. Putting the children in a different classroom with a different mix of students, may be the best solution simply because it will be a different environment. Every year, I have students act the extreme opposite of the way they did the year before once they have been separated from their buddies. :)

    Math is very hard to teach. Admitting that it isn't going well, is actually a strength. Many new teachers are afraid to admit things aren't going the way they like, or even worse, don't realize the students aren't learning what they should. Talk to the Title 1 teacher, plan with her, observe her, and learn what you can. There is zero failure in growing as a teacher. We all grow---even the 30 year veterans grow, each year.

    Hang in there!
     
  5. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

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    Jan 9, 2015

    Don't feel down!!!!!!!! But I feel your pain. I have some holy terrors that I actually didn't want removed from my class for the very reason that you said. However, if your fellow teachers remember anything about their first year, they should understand.

    I am also a first year teacher and quite literally have had days that I thought I wasn't cut out for it because of dealing with these students. I feel that I just now have any control over my class. My best advice is just continue working hard with your lessons and be firm with consequences. Don't be afraid to ask your P for help! My P loves that I ask so many questions, and I feel that it shows that I want to improve! Good luck. You're doing great.
     
  6. HorseLover

    HorseLover Comrade

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    Jan 9, 2015

    I know it's hard, but try to not to worry about the suggestion to get help from the other teacher. I don't think that they think you are failing. They just know that, like most 1st year teachers, you need some help and support. I'm only in my 2nd year, and I still feel like a failure on some days, but I can look back and see growth from my first year. For many teachers (including me), the first year really stinks until about the end of the year. There were so many times when I almost wouldn't have cared if my P. had fired me. :dizzy: I even cried in front of my P! Try to hang in there, get support and help where you can, and don't feel guilty about it. I've heard it can take several years to really get into the swing of things and that is normal. :hugs: What grade do you teach?
     
  7. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jan 9, 2015

    You're looking at it all wrong. Your principal obviously wants to see you succeed. She could have just watched you struggling with these 2 kids, keep them in your classroom, and then not renew you and say you can't do your job. You should feel great that she's working with you and she realizes that these 2 kids are just too much for any 1st year teacher.


    Well, you complained to them about your own math classes and they offered to help. I don't see that as them insinuating that you're incompetent.

    If things are hard, just take a deep breath. We're halfway through the year. You have a great team and P to work with, and should consider yourself lucky. Definitely don't give up.
     
  8. DressageLady

    DressageLady Comrade

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    Jan 9, 2015

    I am a first year teacher, too, and I sometimes get my back fluffed up when my P or my team mates make suggestions. It is hard not to when so much of our first year feels like such a huge struggle to just stay afloat. Forget about getting ahead! My first instinct is to think, "Crumb! Is it THAT obvious that I am lost"?

    But here is the thing: they do it because they have been where we are and they know what hell the first year can be like. They are trying to be helpful and supportive. To offer concrete things that can help is a sign they want you to succeed. Otherwise they would just try to hunker down and wait until the end of the year.

    Accept the help and use it! Be grateful that your two biggest distractions are gone and take advantage of the time you will now have to address other areas.

    And be easy with yourself. Talk positively to yourself. Be gentle! If this were easy, politicians would be able to teach!
    Sheilah
     
  9. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    Jan 9, 2015

    Also, I just want to say -- if all but 2 of your students are pretty much doing what you need them to do, that is fantastic. If you've got behavior management down with the rest and those 2 are no longer your responsibility, be very very grateful for that!! That is a HUGE success. Focus on improving one thing at a time (in this case, it sounds like you have the means and support to focus on math for a while, which is already one of the hardest things to teach IMO) and you will be ok!
     
  10. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Jan 9, 2015

    Hang in there. My first year, I felt like a complete train wreck. Looking back on it, nothing was as bad as it seemed when I was in the middle of it. Don't be afraid to ask for help, and don't feel offended when people give it (easier said than done, I know!!!). It does get better!
     
  11. 49erteacher

    49erteacher Rookie

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    Jan 9, 2015

    I doubt they think you are a failure. Every first year teacher could use some help. I wish that I had been offered more help/advice my first year. Just remember, we've all been there, and nobody was perfect their first year.

    This is my first year at a school (in a new grade) and I am much better now at asking questions. My first year, I thought I should be an expert. Now, I know that others can help me (and I am confident enough to know that I can contribute also).
     
  12. ChelserG90

    ChelserG90 Rookie

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    Jan 14, 2015

    I teach second grade. My classroom management is awful, which is why the two students probably ended up getting switched. They are doing really well in their other classes, so I know I was doing something wrong. I feel like I'm being too mean, but the other teachers tell me I'm too nice. The students have absolutely no respect for me. I just know this whole switch has opened up a can of worms that will probably result in my firing. I hate to be negative, but I feel so lost when it comes to classroom management. I don't know what is too mean and too nice. I'm just confused. My district is offering a classroom management course. It's a semester long, I was thinking about taking it. The other teachers said it's really good. So, maybe that will help me. I just want to get better at this, but so far my dream job has turned into a bit of a nightmare.

    I'll admit, with those two children gone, my class is a lot quieter. However, the boys in my class are downright disrespectful to me. They throw out the "I don't care." when I tell them I will discipline them. It's just my boys, too. What have I done to make them act that way?

    The one little boy that switched, was pretty disrespectful to me during class, but any other time he's sweet as can be. I did something to make him feel incapable, and I'm not sure what I did. He works just fine for the other teacher. He told me today that he liked this new class, because "the class was nice." He didn't mention it in a hateful way towards me. He was just telling me in a excited tone. The two children have no ill feelings towards me it seems. Still, I've failed them. I'm glad they are happy, but I really don't want to go through another classroom switch.
     
  13. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Jan 14, 2015

    Take the class! I took a Fred Jones seminar the summer after my first year and it helped a lot -- I still think about it and go back to the books over the summer or if I'm having an issue. Classroom management is hard but so essential. I think most people struggle with it at first, and many of us could still improve, myself included. Don't give up on yourself, though -- you know what you need to improve on, and you are being offered an opportunity to learn how to improve it. Don't turn down the help you are being offered!
     
  14. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Jan 14, 2015

    Classroom management is my weak spot as well. Seriously, take a class, get someone to babysit you (really! Have them check on you to see if you are consistent!) It can be improved.
     
  15. ChelserG90

    ChelserG90 Rookie

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    Yeah, when I really start to analyze my day. I start to see that I haven't been as consistent as I should be. The students are confused, because I'll say one thing and do something else. You have to mean what you say.

    I'm excited to take the class, because it's supposed to be very informative. I just didn't want to overwhelm myself. The other teachers said it shouldn't be too bad. It's only one night a week. I feel like I received poor training in classroom management, and I really needed the training. I'm not a natural leader. So, classroom management doesn't come natural to me.
     
  16. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Jan 14, 2015

    I would also highly recommend checking out Fred Jones' book Tools for Teaching. He describes the specific actions to take to become the leader in the classroom. If you ever have a chance to go to one of his seminars, do it! They're not all that expensive or at least weren't when I did it a few years ago.
     
  17. 3Sons

    3Sons Connoisseur

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    Jan 15, 2015

    You probably ARE making a lot of mistakes -- that's okay. Everyone does.

    Maybe try to think of the things you do well, to cheer yourself up if nothing else.
     
  18. daisycakes

    daisycakes Companion

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    Jan 15, 2015

    Wow, it sounds like you are in a really supportive environment. You have management issues and the principal decides it is her fault for not being helpful and moves them out of your class?

    I understand feeling embarrassed that this all did not go as you wanted to. However, this is part of the learning process. I would take advantage of it and let as many people model for me and help me out as I could. My principal makes subs at my school watch their classes in specials (my class) even though that is their prep, so that they can see how I manage them. I recommend you try that, too. I doubt they think you are a failure. It sounds like they are investing in you.
     
  19. ChelserG90

    ChelserG90 Rookie

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    I think the embarrassment was my main concern. It was embarrassing for me for others to see that I couldn't manage the class. After a week without these children, my class has felt more manageable. Do I have children trying to take their spot of being disruptive? You bet. However, I've been more frequent with shutting down the disruptions. This is something I failed to do in the beginning. I miss those two children that left the class, but I now know I wasn't the right teacher for them at the time. They are doing far better in the other classes.

    I'm hoping this 9 week classroom management course will be an eye opener for me. I'm excited to learn more about how to effectively manage the classroom.
     
  20. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jan 20, 2015

    This too shall pass.

    If you're a first year teacher, you are not going to be the teacher of the year. It's simply not going to happen. I was a horrible teacher my first year.

    Okay maybe not horrible, but pretty darn bad and miles behind compared to where I am now. I at least created relationships with students and did my best. I'm certain that you are doing something for these students, helping them and are doing your best.

    It's always hard to have another teacher's child in your class. I'm doing that for the first time this year. Thank goodness the child is an absolute angel! It would be very difficult to have a hard to manage child in my class who was the kid of a teacher.

    Definitely take the time to study classroom management. Read as many books and take as many PD opportunities as you can for it. And continue to do it! I'm still continuing to read CM stuff though I seem to be doing fairly well this year.
     
  21. ArtTeacher01

    ArtTeacher01 Rookie

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    Jan 21, 2015

    I would have to second what has already been said. It's your first year... Even veteran teachers are still learning. You've already taken the first step by reaching out for help in an area you recognize as a weakness.

    There are two parts to classroom management; student engagement and classroom disruption. Engaged students are behaved students. Try to look at your lessons and try to find ways to make students want to engage. Choose high interest topics, find ways to make lessons 'fun,' or give them a reward for getting through the tough stuff (not candy, something like a special science project to reinforce your lesson; talk it up and they'll get really into it).

    The other thing to address is classroom disruption. I address positive behavior with great enthusiasm and disruption with low monotone. This gives students positive reinforcement for desired behavior and does not feed emotion into negative behaviors.

    I hope this helps...

    Adam
     
  22. ChelserG90

    ChelserG90 Rookie

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    Jan 21, 2015

    I do think I'm having trouble creating engaging lesson plans. Things that I think are engaging, the students really don't. Plus, I'm always afraid that certain activities will set these students into a frenzy of loudness.

    Now, I feel like a few of my students are trying to "rise to power." My most difficult student was removed, and now it seems another boy is trying to take his place. He's just rude and disrespectful. I just get the feeling that my students just don't like me. They can be really disrespectful at times, but I've allowed it all year. So, of course, they wouldn't know any different.

    I think my primary concern is just getting the students to respect. I don't think they do. They always want to argue and talk back and they're in 2nd grade! I just fear that students are starting to become disrespectful, because they believe it will get them out of my class and into the other one.

    I'm doing something wrong. I just can't pinpoint how to make it right. I want to have a good relationship with the children, but I want to be respected. So, I feel like I'm either too nice or too mean. I can't find that balance.

    Today was the worst it has been since the other two children left. I just feel like I'm making my class hate school. They all hate the class and don't want to be there. I'M making them hate school. It's the one thing you never want to do as a teacher.

    The little boy who seems to be trying to misbehave more said, " I hate school!" under his breath as he walked by me. Granted, he just got in trouble for misbehaving, but I hate to hear things like that. I just feel like i'm ruining their life by being their teacher, honestly. :/ It was just one of those days.
     
  23. ArtTeacher01

    ArtTeacher01 Rookie

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    Jan 22, 2015

    It's hard to understand sometimes, but know that it is not personal. Your students who were moved out are friendly. Your current students will be too... You haven't scarred them for life or anything...

    It sounds like you are frustrated and so are your students. I was wondering, are you planning lesson with your grade team? If so, how are the lessons going in other classes. You might consider doing some peer observation to see how other teachers are handling the same lessons you are teaching.

    Adam
     
  24. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Jan 22, 2015

    I was once told that the objective is to get them to do what you want them to do. You don't need to have the last word, or create an obvious power struggle within the classroom. Let them grumble - when the work gets done and the grades go up, you will have real things to praise them for. You would be surprised how success changes everything.
     
  25. ChelserG90

    ChelserG90 Rookie

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    Today was much better. My boys are still disrespectful, but now when they are I pull them aside and say, "Can you find a way to say that in a more respectful way?"

    I think they are frustrated. I know I need to improve my lesson plans. My lesson plans have grown significantly from the beginning of the year. I still have a lot of work to do, though. I think I put way too much in my lesson plans, and it doesn't flow very well. Although, I will say, I think my reading lesson was better than it has been. They, also, were far more focused in math, today.

    I, also, started to make them more accountable for their behavior. I used to let everyone do the fun friday activity, but now I think I'm going to reconsider that. If they get less than a 7 two times in a week, they will not get to participate in fun friday. I think the problem is now I'm starting to clash with the students, because I am NOW making them accountable for their behavior. Whereas, as the beginning of the school year, I was very lax. I let a lot of things slip through the cracks, which has lead me to the place I am now management-wise. I really do wish I had a time machine, so I could just restart everything with the knowledge I have now.

    I think it just weighs on me that I get the feeling the other teachers on staff are talking behind my back. Probably, ridiculing my every move. I really only feel like: the principal, my team, and the gym teacher are on my side. I'm just waiting for the moment they stop believing in me, unfortunately.

    I'm pretty sure most of the teachers were surprised I was asked back, which I understand. I'm surprised I was asked back, too.

    I think the students are frustrated, because they don't have a clear expectation. They don't know what I want from them. So, when I take a point away, they like to throw around the "That's not fair!" card. It's easy to do that when your classroom management plan has holes in it. Plus, I don't have any established routines. Although, I will say, I have been trying to slowly gain better control. It's a slow process, but I do feel like I may be getting somewhere.

    The two things I'm working on are calling out and line behavior. I've set very CLEAR expectations for those behaviors and the consequences, so that has helped. They are still struggling, but I hope it continues to improve. I need to start making them accountable for their behavior, that's the major issue.

    All in all, I have totally messed this year up. I'm trying to make it better, though. I'm trying so hard. Then again, parents and other staff members don't care how hard you try, they just look at your performance and the gossip. I understand it, I guess I'm just frustrated by it.
     
  26. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Jan 22, 2015

    I know this may not be what you want to hear, but perhaps you need to take ownership of your new teacher status and responsibility for not heading the ship in a straighter line. I am NOT suggesting that you tell a bunch of second graders "I messed up, and this is all my fault." Instead, make them part of your solution to the end you want. Let them call you on inconsistencies in the areas that you feel you have problems with. They can help you, not blame you, and together the class can grow. I would suggest class meeting times allowing for planning to create a list of acceptable class rules and a code of behavior. You are not going to knock out a seven page document in ten minutes, but perhaps having a BB where new rules of acceptable behaviors can be added. I would also get the kids to buy in by letting them guide what appropriate consequences are. You may be surprised at what they have to say. I am curious - do you use Daily 5? If you don't, looking at some of their literature may benefit you. They have created a culture that embraces time spent learning, a sense of urgency, and everything kind of revolves around respecting others right to learn, and the bad things prevent students from learning when they really want to. The whole program is interesting, but the part about creating the class culture is most applicable in this situation.

    As far as others talking about you behind your back, well, either you are paranoid, or, more likely, they probably are. However, they are probably trying to find ways to help you without stepping on your toes. Instead of making this all about you in a bad way, why not get admin to find you some time to observe some of the best teachers in the school. A picture is often worth a thousand words. Different teachers have different strengths, so perhaps you could share some time tucked away in a corner of the classroom in several teacher's rooms. Vary the grade level, the portion of the day may not matter, but it will allow you to reach out and ask questions of superior teachers, and broaden your base of support. Most teachers are honored when someone wants to observe them, and they are more than willing to share their tricks and the wisdom of years of practice.

    Good luck and don't give up without a fight.
     
  27. GeetGeet

    GeetGeet Companion

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    Jan 22, 2015

    I'd even say that it takes years to discover who you are as a teacher. Ten years in, I finally feel like "myself." I never had bad evaluations, but I finally feel comfortable.
    Classroom management is so hard because each class and each kid is so unique. There is no real formula--but there are many things you can and should do to control negative behavior. Don't beat yourself up--first year teaching is HARD!!!
     
  28. Newkindermom

    Newkindermom Rookie

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    Jan 24, 2015

    I also just posted in this forum about needing help with my class. I just wanted to say that you aren't the only one.. there are a lot of first year teachers struggling. Know that you probably aren't messing it up as badly as you think. I myself take things very personally and feel that everything that goes wrong is my fault. I think it sounds like you also need to remember that not everything is your fault. Kids act up in every class regardless of the teacher. Get a journal or somewhere in your plan book write down everything that went well and everything you'd like to do differently next year every week or so. For me, I know now I needed to spend WAY more time on routines and rules at the beginning of the year and be much more strict to start out (yes even in kindergarten apparently) before trying to do fun stuff or learning. Also, maybe start with a small change. Try to work on one behavior you'd like to change and really enforce that. Once that is under control, start on a new behavior you want to fix. So, basically, don't give up, you're not alone. It's never as bad as you think and you will be much more prepared for next year.
     
  29. FT2012

    FT2012 Rookie

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    Feb 7, 2015

    I failed miserably my first year and had many of the same experiences you did. I did awful on my evaluation and almost quit the profession. I moved to another school the year after and I've been very successful ever since. Last year (my second year), I received Highly Effective on my evaluation, received tons of compliments from my peers, parents and my administration. Now, I'm in my third year and I can't believe how far I've come. It's night and day.

    Finish out the year and then reassess yourself. Are you teaching the right grade level? Are you in a school where you feel comfortable and respected? Is the population of students right for you? There are a lot of factors associated with having a positive teaching experience. It's possible the school, grade level or even the community doesn't fit your personality.
     
  30. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Feb 7, 2015

    Teaching is tough, especially your first year. I think what they are offering could be learning opportunities for you. It sounds like you have already reflected on the areas in which you would like to improve your teaching. Often times we can learn so much from our colleagues and maybe watching some modeled lessons can be one way to get new ideas. It's all about learning and growing. I wish you luck!
     
  31. ChelserG90

    ChelserG90 Rookie

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    Feb 9, 2015

    It's tough. Some days I feel like I've got it together and things are going well. Then, I have a couple days or a week where everything goes wrong, and I'm back to feeling inadequate and incapable. It's hard to gain respect in the classroom. I'm not sure whether the students dislike me or they see me as a "friend" figure, so they feel they can get away with things. When the principal is in the room, they are quiet and respectful towards me and themselves. When she's not, it's like all that goes out the window, and they feel like they can act however they want.

    It's not their fault, I know. I've allowed them to act this way. It's just hard to pull them back. It's hard to realize the mistakes I've made and change them drastically. I have learned a lot this year. I really have, but I'm afraid the students haven't. I've afraid my inadequacy has made their year awful. I know it has. So, I feel like I've learned at the expense of the students.
     
  32. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Feb 9, 2015

    Always strive to do better - that goes without saying.

    Will one less than ideal teacher scar these children for life? I seriously doubt it. Take ownership and know you will do better in the future, but don't assume about what they have or have not learned. I lived through some terrible teachers, and soared with some wonderful ones. Some I loved others hated and refused to learn from.

    The first year has a sharp learning curve, so just accept that and try to do better in the future. Please stop trying to make yourself miserable, as there is nothing good that can come from it. Try sitting down and writing out three concrete items you can change, realistically. When you say you want to change "all of this" with a grand gesture, it only shows that you don't know what you need to change. You have half a year left to see improvement - don't waste it.
     
  33. Education4Life

    Education4Life Rookie

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    Feb 20, 2015

    The way I see it, you are very fortunate to have a principal who wants to create an environment of teamwork. In some instances teachers with 'talkers' in their classrooms are left to their own devices. I would say be grateful you have a principal that cares about you as the teacher and the students whose learning could be impacted by the students who were removed.

    In terms of throwing in the towel, don't quit. Obviously you love what you do, so consider the experience a growing pain. I am sure you've learned from this one, so when you have another encounter you will handle it differently. Based on the support you receive from this thread and from the other teachers around you and of course your principal you will be just fine.
     
  34. suzy7677

    suzy7677 Rookie

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    Feb 21, 2015

    I can relate. However, it is important for the kids that you don't get too down on yourself and concentrate on the positive. (Easier said than done.) I have been teaching for years and one student was just removed completely from our school out of my classroom. We tried everything possible, yet it still left me feeling a bit upset that I could not reach him and the other 23 students simultaneously. Since the major distraction has been removed, the other 23 children are finally learning and they are succeeding - which in turn makes me successful. Give it some time...the first year is all about making mistakes and learning from them. As stated above, each year gives the opportunity for learning. Good luck, do not give up!
     
  35. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Feb 21, 2015

    The one thing that isn't taught in teaching classes is that it really takes time to be a good teacher. Good teachers find the first year really difficult and filled with problems. I have enjoyed teaching, but that first year was just so difficult. You aren't a failure. You are a normal first year teacher.

    Maybe this analogy can help. I sometimes wonder what it would be like if a plant could talk. I could see a rose while it is first going through the earth, looking at the other beautiful flowers saying, "I stink, I am a failure, I will never be beautiful like them." Not stopping and seeing that in time, the rose will be the most beautiful flower. It will take time for you to be that successful teacher that you dream of becoming. Hang in there.
     
  36. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Feb 21, 2015

    I so agree with this. To do anything well in life, you need time. Reflect on what doesn't work and plan to improve. Yes, the whole "reflection" piece is cliche, but it's so true. Take what doesn't work and just make it better. Allow yourself time to grow and become better. I am in year 6 and I have grown so much, but there's so much more growth I want to make. Have realistic expectations of yourself and allow yourself to make mistakes. Take those mistakes as learning opportunities to improve your practice.
     
  37. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Feb 21, 2015

    :thumb:

    Instead of giving into your fears and frustrations (telling teammates that math is a disaster), be proactive. TAke that mgt class. Observe in master teachers' classrooms during your preps. Get the math coach or title 1 (?) teacher in to co-teach. Have a classroom meeting and re establish a class code of conduct with the kids. Have consequences and use them- don't warn kids there might be one, just enforce them! The kids need to know you mean business. You will get better at this but you need to start making improvement now so that no more learning is compromised.
     
  38. ChelserG90

    ChelserG90 Rookie

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    Mar 2, 2015

    Things have been going fairly decent. I've been less negative. I've been making lists of things I need to improve. What I need to do to make things a better class. I've been specific on classroom management behaviors I've been trying to improve.

    Then, I get some potentially bad news. I can't say for sure that it's bad new, but the principal seemed to word it in a positive way. She stopped me and said, "Are you definitely going to make the drive up here next year?" I said, "Yeah." I thought that was odd, because I thought we already agreed to that. Anyways, she said, "Good. I'm glad." Then, she said she was going to make "some changes." She wanted to tell me, because she said I would probably think "Does she really like me?" after seeing them. She wanted to make it clear that she "really loved me" and "not to think that."

    So, my anxious self got up the nerve to ask her specifically about the "changes." She wouldn't tell me about them. She just said, "They're not bad, but I know how you react to things. So, basically what I"m saying is that I know you pretty well. So, I'm telling you ahead of time."

    So, basically she told me a negative thing with a positive spin. I mean her "not bad" could mean really bad to me. She knows I'm not going to take it well, so now I'm pondering constantly about "the change." What kind of changes are going to occur?

    Worst case scenario: I'm put on a plan of improvement, which in most scenarios means I need serious work. If it's this, I'll probably just save them the trouble, and quit. I know this sounds awful, but I think it's clear that I shouldn't be in this profession if I have to be put on a plan of improvement. It's pretty much the death sentence, imo. It sounds childish, but that's just the way I view it.

    Best case scenario: This might sound like a worst case scenario to most, but I actually would probably prefer it. The 2/3 split I agreed to next year would have another head teacher. I would be co-teaching, and working with the lower small group of 3rd graders. The best thing about it, I would be observing another teacher handle management issues and other issues in the classroom. I would have a first hand experience of how to do these things. Then again, it would likely mean that I would be temporary and a sub. So, I wouldn't have a permanent job. Then again, I drive 50 miles every morning, so the school is pretty far away. So, I guess that wouldn't be the worst thing.
     
  39. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Mar 2, 2015

    To be hired for next year and be put on an improvement plan is not the kiss of death and is not worth to quit over. It means that they want to keep you, see the potential in you and are willing to take a chance and train you. They just have to cover themselves by documenting that you have certain areas to improve.
     
  40. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Mar 2, 2015

    The other alternative is that she wants to put you in another grade level altogether.
     
  41. ArtTeacher01

    ArtTeacher01 Rookie

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    Mar 3, 2015

    A professional development plan is not terrible if you change how you view it. A problem with many educators is that they place huge expectations on themselves, and then feel guilt when they cannot live up to them. If you rearrange your thought process, you might consider that you have a supportive principal who wants to help you to become a better educator.

    As mentioned already, the first year is tough. It's easy to look around and think that everyone has it together. However, everyone had a first year and everyone made mistakes and everyone had to learn. You are no exception.

    As an art major in college, we did a lot of group critiques of our artwork. After pouring your heart and soul into a painting, the group would communally analyze your artwork and often point out any flaws. You had the option of getting upset or you could view their criticism for what it was, a reflective process to improve. I think you should apply this concept to your teaching. People are seeing aspects that you could improve and suggesting avenues to aid in improvement.

    Being a great teacher comes first from the heartfelt desire to teach, followed by years of working to learn best practices, often through trial and error! ;)

    Adam
     

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