Next Year

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by newengltchr, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. newengltchr

    newengltchr Rookie

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    Nov 16, 2014

    Hello, everyone:

    I currently teach 10th, 11th, and 12th grade, and this is my first year teaching. I was recently informed that I will not be teaching 10th grade next year, but I wish they didn't tell me! Now that I know I am not teaching that grade level, I have been putting much more time and effort into the other two grade levels that I teach. Has anyone else been in this situation? I am still planning for 10th grade, but it's probably not as detailed and engaging as it could be. I don't feel the need to spend all of my time planning for this class when I know I won't be teaching it next year. Any thoughts? Thank you.
     
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  3. newengltchr

    newengltchr Rookie

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    Nov 16, 2014

    My first and foremost goal is, of course, engagement and success; however, I find it extremely difficult to do this when I have three preps. It is not ideal for any teacher to have three different levels and focus areas. I would prefer one or two that I can eventually master.

    Things could change, but the system that they are proposing will be much more effective. If it comes around in a couple of years, I will have more experience under my belt to prepare for the course. At this point in time, I am doing everything I can just to make it day by day.
     
  4. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Nov 16, 2014

    Do you have colleagues you might be able to ask for advice for the 10th grade classes? As a fellow first (full) year teacher, I've been given the advice to really focus in on one or two areas (elementary teachers, in a sense, have 4-5+ preps, just for the same group of kids) that I feel like I can make significant progress, and then allow myself to co-plan/work with my colleagues to figure out the areas I might feel weaker with. You could put your full emphasis into developing engaging strategies and activities for your upper classes, and then perhaps co-plan or work with others who have taught the 10th grade English before so that you can still learn, but there's less pressure on you. If that made sense...ha
     
  5. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Nov 16, 2014

    Teachers are given way too much to do in a normal working day. I don't blame you one bit for focusing on the course that you'll be teaching next year. You cannot perfect a course with so many preps at once. Make sure you meet the standards in your other classes, of course. But spend a bit more time now on those activities that you can use next year too.
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Nov 16, 2014

    Having three preps is not unheard of. Foreign language teachers regularly have three or four or five preps. A teacher at my school who complained about three preps would probably be viewed as lazy and whiny.

    I would gently caution you that plans change all the time when it comes to scheduling at schools. It is very early in the year for admin to be making plans for next year. Not only might they decide between now and then that they do actually want you to teach 10th grade, but it is also a possibility that they might decide that they don't want you at all if they find out that you're slacking when it comes to one of your classes. Your students deserve to have engaging lessons regardless of what you might or might not be teaching next year.
     
  7. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Nov 16, 2014

    I agree with Caesar. You never know what will happen in the future.

    I'd recommend trying to create some things you can use in multiple preps. For example, my AP kids and my Adv. 12 do read one of the same books during the year. That helps save me some time.
     
  8. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Nov 16, 2014

    I don't know what I'm teaching until August each year. I've changed subjects 4 times in the last 3 years. This year, I was given a brand new prep 2 months INTO the school year, that I will probably never teach again. Those kids don't deserve an iota less of my time than the other classes.

    The first statement you made is very different than the second. Having 3 preps and feeling overwhelmed as a first year teacher is an understandable reason to feel like your lessons aren't top notch. Not giving full effort to one of the preps because you won't have to use these lesson plans again next year is not an understandable reason, IMO.

    Most teachers have 2-3 preps. Gotta make it work. Those first few years are always the hardest.
     
  9. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Nov 16, 2014

    Regardless of what the future might hold, I think you should still do your best with each of your classes. It's not really about you, it's about your 10th graders getting the education they deserve.
    If you make your lessons less engaging, if your heart is not that much into it, I'm sure in time the students will start getting bored, and misbehave, and might even catch on that you don't care so much.

    You never know when you will be teaching 10th grade again. Maybe the year after, maybe even things change for next year.

    I have 3 preps, and I'm doing all this with the knowledge that I will not be able to teach any of these lessons for about 4 years. We have 9-12 grades, mixed together, and the same students return to us (well about half of the students stay the same and come back later in the year. We have students who are indefinitely expelled, others go back to their schools and then get expelled again). So I will have them again next year for English, and I will have to find everything new.
    Besides English I teach ELD, and Geography. Next year I might not teach geography, b ut if I do, I can't teach the same regions again.
    I still do everything I can to make the classes engaging and interesting while still keeping the rigor.
    In about 4 years I can start using the same lessons.
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 16, 2014

    Some of those 10th graders will potentially be your eleventh graders next year so not only are you doing a disservice to them by putting their class on the back burner, but you are setting yourself up for having your own current students next year who haven't been well prepared...ironically because of your choices now..:eek:hmy:
     
  11. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Nov 17, 2014

    This is a good way to think about it. Make sure they're prepared for next year, or else you'll be doing a lot of reteaching.
     
  12. newengltchr

    newengltchr Rookie

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    Nov 19, 2014

    Thank you everyone for your responses. I think that my first post was comprehended differently than I intended it to be. I completely understand that they deserve an education. It's not as if I am not teaching the standards/skills that they need. I don't, however, have enough time to create fully engaging lessons for three different levels every day of the week. Teaching is very important to me and I can't see myself doing anything else, but I have a life outside of school, too. I know many teachers who are in the building until 7 or 8 p.m. every night creating "engaging" lessons for the students, but they are getting burned out. What I am trying to get at is the fact that it seems like a lot for a first-year teacher to have three different preps. It has nothing to do with laziness. I want the absolute best for my students, but I cannot develop a strong curriculum (at least as strong as I would like it to be) with so much to do during each day.

    In addition, my school's administration is putting a plan in place now because they feel as though teachers have too many preps and they are leaving because of it. Rather than waiting until the last minute in July to know what we're teaching, we'll know before the end of the winter. They're also trying to change past practice where most experienced teachers only teach one grade level in one content area. Instead, each teacher will have one content area with two preps. To me, this is much more manageable than what I am doing now. It is important to note that I have received excellent evaluations (under the new Massachusetts' evaluation system) from the administrators and they are impressed with what I am doing in all classes. They also understand that teachers cannot master their content when grade levels keep changing. Hoorraay for administrators who understand!

    Once again, I did not want people to get the wrong impression from my first post. I care deeply about all students and all classes, but there's only so much that I can do.
     

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