Nervous...help?

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by Teachnewbie12, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. Teachnewbie12

    Teachnewbie12 Rookie

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    Jul 27, 2011

    School starts the 18th for me, and I'm very nervous- 1st year teacher! I have not had the opportunity yet to see my classroom, my students IEPs or schedule. I know I have about 6-7 students, from 1st-3rd grade, but currently that is all I have!

    Is two weeks a good amount of time for preparation for your first classroom? I'm thinking only the worst currently, and of course I want to be as prepared as possible.

    I have so many things running through my head, "How do I exactly start the first few days?" " How will I effectively work with three different grade levels?" "Will I have support?"

    and most importantly..

    Will they expect me to know EVERYTHING right off the bat, I mean student teaching and my coursework had prepared me- BUT many situations I have not encountered. I'm nervous about heading IEPs-I've only been apart of one- the others were for incoming students.



    Any advice? Am I making this much worse? eh..
     
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  3. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Jul 27, 2011

    I don't have the answer but just wanted to say I'm in the same boat! I don't have textbooks, haven't seen the classroom, don't even officially know what I'm teaching! All I know is what they told me in the interview! I'm hoping it's possible since we start on the 18th as well!

    :hugs:
     
  4. Teachnewbie12

    Teachnewbie12 Rookie

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    Glad I'm not the only one!
     
  5. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

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    Jul 27, 2011

    I think you should try to be as prepared as possible to handle everything on your own. Some schools have mentor programs, others just throw you in the classroom and hope you survive.

    It would be a good thing to ask your new principal if there is an opportunity to work a mentor.
     
  6. Croissant

    Croissant Comrade

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    Jul 27, 2011

    I love this forum! I don't really have any advice for you, but I can jump on board and say that I'm scared to death! And I feel completely unprepared and clueless (though rationally, I know that's not true) like the last four years of college never even happened! :dizzy:
     
  7. Teachnewbie12

    Teachnewbie12 Rookie

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    Jul 27, 2011

    That's how I feel! Of course the first year will be the hardest, but I feel ill-prepared. Like I won't meet the expectations expected of me! I do have a mentor teacher, I don't know who she is yet, but hopefully she will be able to guide me along the way.

    Before I student taught, I was a wreck, thinking I wasn't capable (when I actually was.) After the first month, everything came together. I'll have to get the new "lay of the land," so to speak, and hopefully I can take it from there.

    This is going to be a whole new learning experience!
     
  8. mb_teacher

    mb_teacher Companion

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    Jul 28, 2011

    There is time. My friend found out she was teaching the 2days before school started. She worked all night and got her room ready. :)
    As long as it's functional for the first 2 days, you can go in on Saturday and get completely settled.

    I find it a little shocking you haven't heard about a mentor or anything. Maybe it's because I was pushy and asked a lot of questions, but my principal gave me all that information. I even got sample curriculum to familiarize myself with it.

    Email your principal. Ask the questions you need to know. You should be informed of PD or anything along those lines.
    Do you guys not have New Teacher Orientation prior to PD days?

    As for getting ready....have your procedures and guidelines firmly established in your mind. Have review games and reading/writing/spelling assessments to establish what level your students are on. The first 2 days will not be solely academic. It takes an amazingly long time to get the kids settled, introduce yourself, go over rules, run through rules, etc. Have a getting-to-know-you activity, a glyph, etc for the kids to do and then do one of the assessments.
    Do the same thing on the 19th. Go over the rules and procedures, do an activity, then do another assessment.

    It'll all work out! Just take a deep breath! :)
     
  9. mb_teacher

    mb_teacher Companion

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    Jul 28, 2011

    Also, be over prepared on activities. Better to be over prepared than not have enough to do.
     
  10. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    This is soooo hard for me because we just got a new P and our AP left to take a P job somewhere else. At a school with maybe 20 teachers they hired 7 new teachers and may be hiring an 8th! I can't get in touch with anyone in the office. I was going to wait until next week figuring they may be on vacation. My new teacher orientation isn't until the 12th. I tried contacting the other English teacher but it's been a month and he still hasn't e-mailed me back. I know I'll have a mentor but no idea who.

    I have planned out everything I could that I know I'm going to do. For example, I have my procedures and expectations ready to go. I know I'm going to do independent reading so that is all set to go. I am currently making a grammar pre-assessment. It's so hard though since in the interview they told me I would have 8th, 10th, 12th, and maybe one section of speech but that's never been confirmed so I don't want to plan units for those grades until I know for sure!
     
  11. AZMrs.S

    AZMrs.S Cohort

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    Jul 28, 2011

    Yikes that would make me nervous too... I am grateful that my school has been willing to enlighten me in most areas. I still feel like I have a million questions. But I know the basics! :) Good luck! You will pull through! Know that there are a lot of us newbies here if you ever need to vent or encouragement!
     
  12. Teachnewbie12

    Teachnewbie12 Rookie

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    Jul 28, 2011



    I'm hoping it will work out!! I have some procedures and guidelines worked out...I think I will have to change them up during the year, if some of them just aren't realistic for my kids.

    Do you possible have a mock schedule for your first day of school? I'm really wishing now that I had my student teaching in the Fall and not Spring! No one teaches you how to begin the first few days of school.

    I have a bunch of assessments that I have so far categorized, I think I will do a Garfield reading survey with them the first day, and of course a getting to know you activity!

    Thanks so much for the advice!
     
  13. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

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    Jul 28, 2011

    Consider doing "I Am" poems.

    They're one of my favorite first day or two activities. It's a little bit of content, little bit of getting to know you, takes up some time, and if you still need a little more time you can have them decorate the poems to hang on your walls.
     
  14. Croissant

    Croissant Comrade

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    I already have I Am poems down in my first week of lesson ideas! Yes! I'm doing something right :lol:

    It's really nice to know that other new teachers feel the same way I do! I feel like I have a really supportive campus. However, I'm not always the most outgoing person, so I'm having to work really hard at remembering they expect me to have questions. That I won't look stupid. However, a lot of the questions I've asked have been answered with "don't worry about it. You'll find out about that during inservice." :crosseyed

    I think a lot of us operate the same way: we are most comfortable when we are organized, over-prepared, ready for anything, and we feel like we're in control. That's what makes us right for teaching. I get the impression that after awhile administrators forget that teachers are like that. That we have to know everything NOW!

    Or maybe that's just me :whistle:
     
  15. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Croissant, definitely not just you! I'm comfortable when I'm organized and ready to take on the world :lol:
     
  16. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

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    You might want to write down all your questions, and if they AREN'T answered in the in-service, then you'll have a list ready to fire off. Maybe to your department chair, or mentor if you end up getting one. It's always better to ask other people besides admin for basic questions, and only bother admin as a last resort. I've found they either don't know, or don't want to be bothered with the little questions like how to log into your e-mail or how to work the AC in your room :D
     
  17. emmakate218

    emmakate218 Connoisseur

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    Jul 29, 2011

    I'm in the same boat. Even though I have some experience with the type of kiddos that will be in my classroom, it's a new district and a slightly different program. I only know that I'll have about 8 students and that I'll have 2 assistants. I will get a chance to get my hands on their files the week of August 8, which is kinda like a new teacher week in the district (different workshops pertaining to my program). The following week is in-service week and then school starts on the 23. I can't believe it!

    Hang in there! We'll be situated before you know it!
     
  18. newgateacher

    newgateacher Rookie

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    Jul 31, 2011

    So glad I'm not alone!!! I will have about 10 students and one paraprofessional. I feel really lost right now. I will be teaching math, reading and language arts in two different 3rd grade classrooms. I believe my para will be in one class while I am in the other. I am hoping to find out more info. during preplanning. I'm such a planner and have not been able to plan anything yet!
     
  19. IEDUK8

    IEDUK8 Rookie

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    Jul 31, 2011

    I know how scary your first day can be, but it's like a "waiting-in-line-to-ride-a-new-roller-coaster" type scary. Make it exciting! :)

    Also, one thing I wish somebody had told me 17 years ago:

    "You're going to make mistakes this year. Many of them."

    And that's okay. But it's important to realize you WILL make them. If you set yourself up with expectations of being the perfect teacher, you'll feel even more miserable when you aren't. None of us are.

    What's not okay is if you don't learn from them. :)

    Another suggestion. Keep a brightly colored notebook somewhere on your desk... and it's always open. This way, as you remember things that you originally forgot (and that WILL happen)... you just jot it down and take care of it after school or the first weekend of school. Don't just "log it away" in your mind (which will be scattered with all types of chaotic craziness!) :) Write it down so you can deal with it when you have time.

    Also, you're going to be VERY tempted to work through your first lunch and "eat later when I have time". Unless it's urgent (like there's a fire under Sarah's desk), avoid this temptation. Your body is going 90 miles per minute. It's going to need fuel. Feed it (WHILE SITTING DOWN!) in the quiet of your classroom and look around. Enjoy this moment that you are a professional teacher and these kids WILL trust you. Yes, it can be daunting, but it's also rewarding.

    And remember you're in good company... at that very moment hundreds, if not thousands of new teachers are feeling the exact way. :)

    You'll do just fine. I remember my first day...scary as it was. But I didn't have six students. I had 36.

    Best of luck to you and remember we're here for you!
     
  20. IEDUK8

    IEDUK8 Rookie

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    Oooh! Something else I remember:

    If you happen to know how many "support staff" (e.g., secretaries, custodians, etc.) buy them a small little card and tiny gift (little mug or such) to let them know you're grateful for all they do and eager to work with them this year.

    It's amazing that this small gesture will put you in a good light with them and when you're in dire straits and need your hand soap filled quickly... your custodian's GOOD memory will encourage him to get to your room quickly. ;)

    These people are your lifeline. Never bite the hands that feed you! ;)
     
  21. rtucker23661

    rtucker23661 Rookie

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    Aug 4, 2011

    Croissant-

    Wow! I thought I was the only one who felt like that :) I feel comfortable when I have a clear idea of what I'm doing and what's going on. From what I hear, that will NOT happen during the first year of teaching. I'm trying to work on being more relaxed, but it's hard!!!
     
  22. Mellz Bellz

    Mellz Bellz Comrade

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    You'll figure it out. Somehow things get done. I was in the same boat last year. I'd moved to a new state and was just SOOOO overwhelmed at the beginning. Once you get in to start setting up your classroom you'll meet other teachers and they will help you out. Be prepared though for your first year to be an emotional one and for it to be bumpy. No amount of student teaching, subbing, etc. truly prepares you for that first year. It will not go smoothly, so it is best to be prepared for that and very flexible. Especially in Sp Ed when you are teaching multiple grade levels your class can change dramatically over the course of the year.

    I started the year out with 4 students in 3-5th grade and by the end of the year I had 9 ranging from K-5 and they were all coming and going at different times. I wish you the best of luck! I know how you feel because just when I thought I had my first year figured out, I just found out I'm being moved to an entirely new position. I've heard it doesn't start to REALLY come together until the 3rd or 4th year so hang in there!
     
  23. backinthemiddle

    backinthemiddle New Member

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    Aug 6, 2011

    I'm feeling the same way and have many of the same questions you do. I'm starting my first year of teaching in September and will be teaching 7/8 Language and SS.

    I really want to start my planning, but every time I move to start something I'm hit with a wave of panic! I'm at a loss as to where to begin. I have a copy of the standards (or objectives) I'm required to complete, but where do I begin with regards to taking these standard and making a yearly plan? How do I decide what to teach first and how long to spend on each topic? Even coming up with unit ideas is becoming difficult - my mind is a mess with anticipation.

    Help :( Any guidance you can provide would be so appreciated.
     
  24. MsDouglas

    MsDouglas Rookie

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    Aug 8, 2011

    I just wanted to say that you are not alone! You may actually be ahead of me. I got hired on the day you posted. I just found out at the end of last week what I will be teaching. I'm teaching 10/11th grade Tech Math and Algebraic Principals.. I never heard of these classes until last week. I'll have at least 20 students in each of my classes. My new teacher orientation starts on August 15th and in-service days start the 17th. According to the AP I don't have a classroom yet, which is fine because currently I live 4 hours away. I'm moving down after my last day of work on Saturday. Unfortunately, I don't know where I'm moving to yet.

    I'm reading "Teach like a Champion" by Lemov and "First Days of School" by Wong, packing, freaking out, and searching for places to live at the same time. Underneath all of the freaking out, I'm am overly excited about my first classroom. I haven't gone through student teaching. I'm halfway through my graduate program and my solution to being unemployed during student teaching was to get a job.

    The best advise I've gotten so far is "be over prepared for the first week." Plan every second of every day as much as you can. You'll be less concentrated on what is going to happen next, so you can remember to breath and concentrate on not letting the students see you nervous. The second best advise I've gotten is "don't smile until Christmas." I'm not teaching in the greatest area and have been warned about my students.

    Good luck on this great adventure!
     

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