Not a real teacher?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by TamiJ, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Ok, I heard a student today say to another student "Oh, she's not a real teacher," referring to me. That one comment pretty much ruined my day. I am taking my credentialing courses, so maybe I am not technically certified yet, but I am a tutor with my own classroom, and my job requires that I be credentialed (they have allowed me to work in this position because I am enrolled in a teacher preparation program). Anyway, this happened when I was in another teacher's classroom, helping her out. One of the reasons why the students might not view me as a "real" teacher is that some of the teachers do not utilize me the way that they are supposed to. I am not an aid, I am not a helper, I am there to help bring our C students up. However, many of the teachers sign up for me, and then what they need me to do is grade papers and silly things like that. There is only 1 teacher who consistently sends students to my classroom. Some days no one needs me. Oh well, I am pretty much venting right now. In spite of how I am perceived, I really love my job, but I will be happy when I am finally a regular classroom teacher, and no one can question my validity... :(
     
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  3. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Tami-I have heard student refer to our resource teacher and Title teacher as "not real" also. I think some students just have it in their mind that the "teacher" is the one in front of the room all day. Don't feel disheartened, although I know it is hard, kids say unintentionally mean things all the time. What I would be more worried about is the way the other teachers treat you. Do you have a job description? What I would do is type a nicely worded letter to teachers describing exactly what you are available to do. You may have to explicitly explain that you are busy tutoring students all day and are not available for copies, etc. Then you have to stick to that when they ask. If you are not credentialed, maybe this wouldn't be possible or allowed, but perhaps you could offer to monitor their class for 15 minutes while they did their own secretarial work?
     
  4. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I do have my emergency credential, so I can technically monitor their classes. One teacher, in fact, has me doing vocabulary all day with her students while she does other things at her desk. I love your suggestion about letting the teachers know what I am available for. Here are some of the things on my job description: Assist students individually or in a group; assist students in achieving a better understanding... Maintain records on each student including follow-up and assessments; provide evaluations and other reports, etc...

    Ok, I know you didn't ask to see my job description (that is only part of it), but I just wanted to show that my job is legit. Should I make copies of my job description and include a typed letter, or should I just type the letter and include some of the things with my job description.
     
  5. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Oh, I know your job is legit. I hope my comments didn't make it seem that I didn't think that-sorry for that! I just meant that there are some teachers out there that see "tutor" and read "gopher" or "secretary" or worse!

    If I were going to write a letter, I would say something like:

    Dear Colleagues,

    (Introduce yourself, even if they already know you...list your credential information, etc)

    As a tutor, I am available during the day to provide several services to our students.

    (Then list the items from your job description)

    I also understand that as a classroom teacher, your schedule is very full and does not leave you with a lot of time to perform tasks such as copying or grading papers. During times that I am not assisting students, I am available to monitor your classes while you perform such duties. I am comfortable teaching lessons in (list subjects).

    Please contact me to set up a regular schedule. I look forward to assisting you help our students succeed!

    Your colleague,
    TamiJ

    That's probably not the best-I am on some serious medication and not thinking very well right now. But you get the idea!
     
  6. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Thanks so much! That is a great help... I have started writing something, and will include it here in a second. I like your idea about including my credential information. I have to add that.

    Sorry, I know you know that my job is legit, so no worries there. I think I just threw that in to make myself feel better, especially after the comment I heard today. I know I shouldn't let it bother me, but looking at my job title did help me reaffirm that I am a real teacher. I will post below my letter that I am currently composing...

    Thanks again for all of your help...
    :)
     
  7. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Here is what I have so far. I am going to add my credentials in the letter:

    January 29, 2008


    Dear Teachers,

    This letter is to remind all of you that I am available to help tutor any of your students who might be struggling, or who just need extra support. I am currently utilizing room XX as a work area where you may send your students. I am also willing to go into your classrooms and help your students there as well. Here is an incomplete list of how some teachers have used my services: help prepare students for spelling tests, study for tests, write essays, reading circles, take students to the computer lab and library, etc. I am here to provide extra support to our students who need it, so please do not hesitate to sign up for my assistance (my sign-up sheet is next to the mailboxes in the office). I do request that you provide me with information on what you’ll be having me do so that I can prepare. A simple note in my mailbox will suffice.
    I would like to conclude that I strongly believe in the potential of each and every one of our students, and want to do my best to help our students realize their potential. I look forward to continue helping support the academic success of the students here at XXXX.

    Sincerely,

    TamiJ [obviosly this is my screen name]

    Language Arts Tutor
     
  8. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    good idea, i was going to suggest that you include something about having them include their lesson plan or giving them a form to fill out for you when they sign up for you.
     
  9. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Tami-looks good! Hope you have better luck with your colleagues!
     
  10. ctmem

    ctmem Rookie

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    It might not hurt to inform them that if they can't properly recognize titles and authority, then they are not "real students."

    -Ctmem
    teachersoffaith.com
     
  11. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Hmm, I don't know ctmem. I don't think these kids were being intentionally hurtful or even disrespectful. I think they were just following the lead of the adults around them who were not treating Tami like an equal. I think once she establishes a routine and schedule, these kids will respond.
     
  12. Jungle

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    I applaud what you do and wish that we had someone in our school that could help out like that. I use high school students to help one on one, but they just don't have the proper training to sit down and help with language arts the way that kids need. Don't feel discouraged, just remember, you are there for the kids!
     
  13. La Profesora

    La Profesora Cohort

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    I agree, but whatever teacher put into the kids heads that she was "not a real teacher" certainly acted unprofessionally!!!
     
  14. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Definitely not. It's surprising to me how hurtful teachers can be sometimes. I think sometimes that it is ingrained in our minds to not let others get ahead, which is sad...
     
  15. TxHopeful

    TxHopeful Rookie

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    I understand how frustrating that can be. I was once a lead teacher in a 4 year old class and was told by the school's director that I had done really well with a task, "like a real teacher". This was pretty offensive because I am actually certified and had my own classroom. It was just one example of how the administration viewed their staff. My association with that school did not last very long.
     
  16. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I love that!
     
  17. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    So true! It is very sad, but people truly don't want to let others get ahead. I've even tried to explain this to my 6 year old, telling her that her education is sooo important; that everyone wants to keep everyone else down, and that without a college education, you're doomed (there are exceptions, I know).
     
  18. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    I am currently working as a conflict resolution teacher in various classrooms in my school.I had previously spent twenty years as an upper elementary school teacher, grades 4&5.One day I was in a fifth grade classroom where the teacher had just finished doing a math lesson.I mentioned when I was A fifth grade teacher I found my class loved doing that in math. One of the boys then called out "you used to be a teacher." Taken by surprise,.I asked aren't I still a teacher. The confused answer was I don't think so,you don't have a class.
    .
    Don't think about it. It's not what you are called,but the type of job you do,I also think you might inform the teachers you are assigned to that your job is to help students who are struggling in their work and that is what you have been asked by the administration to do.Be nice about it.
     
  19. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Yank7: Thanks so much for that story! You are very right, I really should not pay attention to it. I guess kids think that you are only a "real" teacher if you have a classroom with regular students.

    Good news! I wrote the letter to all the teachers reminding them to sign up for me (many days none of the teachers need me, which is not good! I know there are kids who need my help), and reminding me of some of the ways that I can help their student. I left a copy of the letter to my DC, and in a note she left me about what I'll be doing tomorrow with her kids, she wrote "your letter was great!" to me. So happy!!! Now lets see if things change... I hope so!
     
  20. Mister Teacher

    Mister Teacher Companion

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    Just tell them that you might not be a real teacher, but you play one on TV...
     
  21. historyteacher

    historyteacher Companion

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    I would love to have some help with my "C" and below students. I hope the letter/memo work. If not have you thought about going to your school's lead teacher or adm.?
     
  22. Budaka

    Budaka Cohort

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    If you would come to my school and help me with my language arts students I would roll out a red carpet for you to walk on! I would love to have someone to help my students! Those teachers don't know how lucky they are!
     
  23. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I think the letter is great. Some teachers really don't know what pull out or resource teachers do. They have a general idea but it doesn't clarify enough HOW it can help the students.
     
  24. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Now that's what I'm talkin' about!
     
  25. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I have gone to the DC, and even gave her a copy of the letter, which she said was great. She has tried to talk to the teachers, but nothing seems to make a difference. Even though I have distributed my letters, I noticed that I still have an empty schedule for the next two weeks (at least one teacher will sign up to send students, she always does-so that gives me two periods).

    I notified one of the teachers, whose class I was going into regularly during 4th period, that I want her to start sending her C students to me, and that we need to sit down together and see what things her students need me for. I went to talk to her at lunch, but she ended up going to the classroom nextdoor (she just walked out, without saying she'll be right back or anything-I don't think she was trying to be rude, but she just kind of wandered off and left me in her classroom). Finally, I went to go hunt her down nextdoor and told her I would stop by after 7th period if she could spare a few minutes. She said she was going to go have a pedicure after school was over, so I said "ok, well let's get together next week." I have decided that I have to take the initiative. If these teachers won't voluntarily think of ways I can help, and go sign up, then I am going to go to them and figure it out myself. My job is only for this school year, and I don't want the principal to think that I have not done my job. Hopefully he understands that I have been trying my hardest. I have written several notes to my DC about trying to get the teachers to cooperate so that I have students all day long. The DC and I have also discussed this in person, and in our Department meetings. I am taking the initiative now and I am going to put something together on my own. :mad:
     
  26. Noggin

    Noggin Rookie

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    TamiJ,

    We have a couple pull-out teachers/tutors like you at our campus and they are veeeery much loved and respected. They're our heroes for being willing to take on any struggling kid on any lesson whenever needed! None of us have near enough hours in the day to meet all the needs of all these kids and I'll gratefully take any willing hand I can get. Frankly, even if you weren't emergency certified and your title was "Unqualified Random Person Off the Street Here to Offer Tutoring Help", I'd still be ecstatic to have your assistance and I certainly wouldn't be expecting you to make my copies. Any teacher treating you like a gopher is just a schmuck and might need "tutor" defined for them. :p

    I hope the letter works wonders for you! I know I jumped on board quickly when I found out about the tutors on our campus. :D
     
  27. Noggin

    Noggin Rookie

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    Just saw your last post- maybe the counselors could help as a referral source? They are involved on our campus since they have access to all grades. They pop out a list of kids who might need help every so often and that would give you a targeted list of which kids need help in which subjects and who their teachers are. Might get more of a response if you directly asked Teacher X if you could assist Student Y instead of them having to decide who to send to you. Might help. :)
     
  28. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    :toofunny::lol:HAHAHAHAHAHA!:lol::toofunny:
     
  29. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Thanks! That's a great idea! Actually, I just spoke (or, attempted to speak, rather) to one of the teachers who has been misusing me. I told her to let me know who her C students are so that she can start sending them to me, so we are going to discuss it next week. What is so aggravating is that this job is new this year; this school has never had a language arts tutor, so the job was not developed at all when I came in. Basically, it looks like I am going to have to be the one to piece it together and make it work.
     
  30. historyteacher

    historyteacher Companion

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    This just really mystifies me why the teachers at your school are doing this. The finger is constantly pointed at us to raise scores and get kids to grade level standards. Here you are there to help and are treated the way you are.

    As a last resort get with your principal and tell him what is going on. if after a few days you are still getting snubbed get access to school records and identify every child who did not pass the reading section of "the test". Let each grade level team leader know you identified "your students" and find out which time period they have reading. At our school that's when our students are pulled to work with our remedial teacher. Your principal needs to let team leaders know this is not a choice on their part.
     

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