major anxiety

Discussion in 'General Education' started by FourSquare, Aug 4, 2016.

  1. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Aug 4, 2016

    Have any of you ever switched teaching contexts entirely? (Different position, geographic location, population, etc.?) I am leaving a position I've had for 4 years. I've been teaching at a huge low SES school that is overcrowded, under-resourced, etc. I achieved high ratings with some really difficult kids, but sometimes our school-wide academics were scattered due to us having to focus on behavior, social/emotional needs, etc.

    My new gig is in a higher SES school that is tiny. The staff all seem incredible and award winning. We had a few meetings to plan and they all seem to teach texts that are above grade level. The pacing is much faster. I'm not even sure how to plan at the level of detail that they plan. They also do so many wonderful things with technology that I've never done because, frankly, we barely ever had any computers that worked. I feel like I'm just "ohhhing and ahhing" everything and looking so dumb.

    I've never been at a "together" school before! What if I'm not actually good enough? :(
     
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  3. justwanttoteach

    justwanttoteach Cohort

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    Aug 4, 2016

    Yup! I left a small district close to home teaching High School. I start Wednesday teaching middle school at a much larger district about 30mins away. Everyone I have met at new district seems awesome. But like you I struggle with the "What if I am not enough" anxiety. I hang on to the Growth mindset and remind myself that they saw something in me. (Otherwise, why did the hire me) I think it will get easier as the year gets going. I am nervous but excited!

    Remember every expert at ANYTHING was once a beginner....
    If the tech is freaking you out get to an edcamp soon! They are FREE and teacher led! I have learned a ton by attending these events. I have even one free subscriptions and technology tools!

    www.edcamp.org
     
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  4. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Aug 5, 2016

    My situation 2 years ago was very similar to yours. I went from 1st grade in a very large low SES school that was over 90% Hispanic with a high English learner population to 5th at my current school - a smaller, higher SES (mostly middle class) racially diverse school with less ELs. It was quite an adjustment. As far as technology, my old school had interactive whiteboards and computers, but this school has Google Apps for Education, Chromebooks, iPads, drones...etc etc etc. That was a big learning curve at first. It helped that I wasn't the only new person. I attended every PD available, asked questions, and was just generally willing and ready to learn. Now I feel very comfortable with what we do at my school.

    The kids as a whole perform at higher levels than at my former school, but since I went from 1st to 5th, I was already dealing with a big adjustment toward harder content!

    I did feel intimidated at first. However, I've since learned that my school is a perfect fit for me. I've been told that my admin figured that out in my interview. ;) If you're there, it's because they saw something in you that they knew would make you a good fit. Remember that. Now I feel so at home there and am just thrilled to be somewhere that matches my philosophy and teaching style so perfectly. I hope you have a similar experience with your new school! :)
     
  5. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Aug 5, 2016

    I taught for six years in 99% free/ reduced lunch, low performing schools in the inner city, then moved to a high SES, high performing school in the suburbs. This will be my sixth year at my current school. I think you will find you are definitely good enough. Many of my coworkers have only taught at my school, and while they were great with the on and above level students, they did sometimes struggle to teach the low level students because they didn't have a full toolbox of strategies. They shared strategies with me to enrich the higher ones, and I shared strategies with them to intervene with the lower ones. Don't underestimate what you are bringing to the school!
     
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  6. christie

    christie Rookie

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    Aug 5, 2016

    I taught middle school for 15 years and moved to an elementary school last year. Eeep! I found that while I definitely had a pretty big learning curve and often worried that I wasn't as effective as I could have been, I was OK. I think important things to remember: Ask questions, find people willing to collaborate, and keep notes about what works and what doesn't.
     
  7. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Aug 7, 2016

    Thank you! People keep saying this. It's all just so different. I'm meeting with a colleague to plan tomorrow, and after looking at some prior units, I feel a little better. I hope I like the kids!
     
  8. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Aug 7, 2016

    My maternity sub last year was a veteran teacher of almost 40 years. She had never taught in a low SES area before. She was shocked.... but she had the skill aND made it.
     
  9. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Aug 7, 2016

    You'll be fine.
    I'm not saying that to be encouraging, I'm just being honest. We tend to overestimate "how good" others are (places, teachers). In the end, you're the same as they are if you care about your job.
    The question is whether you'll get along with them.
     
  10. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Aug 7, 2016

    Take it as an opportunity for growth....I really like sticking to what I know, but the downside is I am not growing in experience that way...By venturing out into different grades, schools, curriculum, resources, etc., your abilities and skills will only grow.
     
  11. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Aug 7, 2016

    I think if you're just open to learning new things and trying out new activities, you'll do great. The wonderful thing is that you've identified some areas that you haven't mastered yet, so start looking for ways to learn about those areas and grow stronger. You can perhaps even ask to observe some classes to better understand how they use those tools or a lesson.
     
  12. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    Aug 7, 2016

    Part of what drew me to the profession was that every year could be different between different kids, grades,schools etc.

    The first time I was in a position where something felt out of my comfort zone was when I was asked to teach Kindergarten. I was afraid at first but I embraced it and it was actually one of my favorite years teaching. I would never teach K again but I appreciated the change. A few years later they moved me down to pre-k which I HATED I lasted about a month (I was looking for a different job). But I'm not even certified for pre-k and never will be so that was not the best move for me.

    In my 10 years teaching I've taught every grade from pre-k to 6th in a few different schools (public, private and charter). With the exception of teaching 2nd for 5 years and this coming year teaching 4th again I have not taught the same grade back to back or the same grade across schools. I will say each school had generally the same population all Title 1, lots of behavior issues etc. In a few years I hope to have obtained my G&T cert so I can teach G&T classes because I want the option for something different.

    I think you'll be fine, kids are still kids and you'll be able to teach them.
     
  13. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Aug 7, 2016

    Congrats on the new position! I'll be interested to hear what you think once you get started. I've only worked in very low SES schools. Last time I was job searching, I ended up getting an offer from a really high SES school at the same time as I got the offer for my current school. My friends and family told me I'd be "bored." I ended up taking the offer at my current school instead because I much prefer to live in this city vs. the city the other offer was in. Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like though!
     

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