Nervous about Freshmen

Discussion in 'General Education' started by StudentTeach, May 25, 2011.

  1. StudentTeach

    StudentTeach Comrade

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    May 25, 2011

    Godwilling, I have a job at my school for next year and will be reassigned from seniors to freshmen. I've never taught freshmen before, only sophomores and seniors so I'm not quite sure what to expect. On top of that, other teachers have been making a lot of comments about how terrible they are (and my current students have made similar comments as well!). Now I'm just extremely nervous. I work in a Title I school and the freshmen and senior population are vastly different. I student taught 8th grade and enjoyed it, but it wasn't quite right for me -- I'm concerned freshmen will be just like middle school all over again. I'll also be on a team which I've never done before (except middle school). I'm also excited, though, because it will be a support of other teachers. Any words of encouragement, advice, etc. on teaching freshmen?
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    May 25, 2011

    I teach all grade levels in high school, but most of my students are freshmen. They're different from seniors but not necessarily in a bad way. The biggest struggle is getting them to switch from a middle school mentality to a high school mentality, i.e. they need to stop expecting teachers to hold their hands through every step in every process in every class. In my experience they are resistant at first but start to roll with it by the middle of the year.

    I recommend that you let your students know that you're there to help them, work with them, and support them, but that you won't be doing things for them. Don't let them mistake you for a dictionary or a homework-doing machine or a parent. Keep telling yourself, "Never do for a student what he can do for himself." It'll work out.

    PS Some teachers don't like working with freshmen for whatever reason, so keep that in mind as you overhear them say bad things about freshmen. When I see it at my own school it's usually because they (the teachers) aren't patient enough and expect the freshmen to have high school figured out right away.
     
  4. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    May 25, 2011

    I remember when I was moved from kindergarten to fifth grade and everyone was telling me how horrible it was to teach fifth grade. They told me horror stories. So, I was nervous all summer long. Funny, it was my best year ever. I LOVED that age group.

    So, you may be surprised. I think what helped me is that I spent all summer long on here talking to other fifth grade teachers and browsing websites to get ideas on everything from classroom management to book report ideas.

    :)
     
  5. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    May 25, 2011

    Also, freshman are going to be very immature compared to seniors. That was the biggest difference I saw between the two groups.
     
  6. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    May 25, 2011

    :yeahthat:

    I have had a low-level freshman class this year for the first time...and I hope the last! I'm much more comfortable with seniors, but I know other teachers who love teaching freshman and wouldn't take my seniors classes on a bet. The freshmen are much more immature; they're still just kids, while many of the seniors are working their way toward young adulthood.
     
  7. Bioguru

    Bioguru Companion

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    May 25, 2011

    I teach both seniors and freshmen. I agree with Caesar that they take a little time for them to lose the dependence mindset. It takes a few weeks for them to realize there is no longer a spoon being held out for them.

    I hope this doesn't come off in the wrong way, but I like the fact that they are still quite intimidated by the whole idea of high school. My seniors know they have mastered high school and are on their way out; this tends to make them a little *too* comfortable in the classroom. Freshmen are generally so nervous that they will work hard out of fear. I don't seek to inspire fear, but I will take advantage of it:p

    I thoroughly enjoy molding freshmen for the rest of their high school career. I'm quite a bit tougher than my colleagues, so my students are well prepared for high school after they have had my class. I really enjoy helping them out and letting them know that I'm there to aid and coach them. They can be a lot of fun! I would teach all freshmen if given the opportunity!
     
  8. StudentTeach

    StudentTeach Comrade

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    May 25, 2011

    Thanks for all of your responses, everyone. It has made me realize that SOME people do not click with them, but that doesn't mean that I won't. I've been a sleepaway camp counselor since I was 15 and the cabin of girls they always gave me was 12-14 (I haven't done it the past two years but will be returning this summer) because I seemed to get along with them the best. I'm hoping that that is telling of how I will or can deal with that age group. I suppose my experience this summer will be a good buffer for the fall!
     

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