Noticing a problem

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by Aliceacc, Nov 7, 2008.

  1. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 7, 2008

    We're starting to have an issue with a number of this year's new teachers.

    Several (not all by any means) seem unwilling or unable to do anything beyond simply teach.

    One of our school policies is that teachers be out in the hallways before homeroom to supervise the hallways. I actually had to ask my doctor what I should do in the event of a fight, since I'm surrounded by new teachers and am FREQUENTLY the only teacher out there.

    One new teacher in particular has several people a little annoyed at the moment.

    Her kids leave her class and homeroom out of uniform and chewing gum, so we have to be the ones correcting them.

    One of the 2nd or 3rd year teachers walked into her classroom and found the windows open from the bottom, a BIG no-no with the fire marshall. Upon clueing her in, the new teacher replied that SHE hadn't opened the windows!!! (OK, that's fine. Maybe the kids opened them between periods before you got there. But you're an adult. When you see a problem you fix it.)

    Yesterday we had 4 homerooms in one triple classroom (foldable doors) for the Puzzles and Games part of our Freshman Fall Frolic. That's over 160 kids waiting to be organized. Our friend Miss J sat down, PUT ON LIPSTICK, and announced that she had grad school and couldn't help. OK, fine. But then when one of the teachers went to her mailbox to get the trivia answer key 15 mintues later, there was Miss J enjoying a cup of coffee in the faculty room.

    That last incident got the teacher riled up enough that the conversation started. OK, I know it's gossip and it's wrong. But this young woman doesn't seem to be making any effort to pitch in, to do the parts of her job beyond simply teaching the material.

    Is it a question of perception on our part? Maybe. Maybe she had a raging migraine and needed the coffee (though I'm not so sure about the lipstick.) But the point is this: as a new teacher, she should be more attuned to all her duties. Teaching is NOT just about the material.

    I would imagine she'll go home and ask her parents why some of the older teachers don't go out of their way to include her, or to clue her in on something. The teacher who told her about the windows is done; from this point at all she'll be politely chilly to Miss J. And the next time, perhaps it will be an administrator who walks by when her homeroom empties out and the kids all need to be corrected for uniform violations. And she'll wonder why she got the "bad" homeroom.

    I realize it's hard being new, as a teacher in general and as a new teacher in a building. But the very first rule has got to be that you are open to the nuances of the building, and are willing to do all that your job entails.
     
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  3. Doug_HSTeach_07

    Doug_HSTeach_07 Comrade

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    Nov 7, 2008

    I completely agree. I believe that lack of involvement, especially with new teachers, immediately throws up a red flag. Fresh off my first year myself, I realize that it was all one big blur and I always felt like I had a million things to do. It was tough just talking to a faculty member because all I could think about was what I had to do next!

    With that said, I still made time to help, whether it was supervising the hallways, coaching track, eating lunch with kids, bus duty, etc. No one likes a non-team player. Getting involved sends a strong message to faculty and staff that you care enough to give up some of your own time for the benefit of the school; it also sends a message to the students that you're interested in them.

    We have several newer teachers in exactly the same boat as yours. One of them leaves at the 2:55 bell every day, is never present for assemblies and pep rallies, calls the students fat, and never shows up for hallway duty or lunch with the teachers. This is a problem because the students know he doesn't care enough to give up his time for them. They realize that he's out the door at 2:55 and doesn't go above and beyond what he's asked to do. The faculty notice as well, and no one even knows this guy. He doesn't help our team.
     
  4. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Nov 7, 2008

    I find myself lacking at times as a new teacher to fulfill my duties. But listen to where a new teacher is coming from (though I'm not saying yours is right for what she's doing)...

    After teaching a class (I teach science), I often need a time to prepare inbetween classes. Get papers, reset up my lesson, clean up after my 5th graders, etc. To leave my classroom in that state to do hallways is shocking, stressful, and gets me off kilter for the next lesson. If I don't have a lesson the next period, I'll go out and walk around--- no problem. But when I'm having a back-to-back I can't always get out into the hallway when I have kids running up to me and asking me this or that. :)

    Lipstick? GEEZ she can still do her make-up? I'm jealous! I'm the type of teacher who likes having her clothes perfect, hair done, and make up done before coming to school. Now though my body is barely getting out of bed 40 minutes before school starts (and I'm having shoulder problems so sometimes getting out of bed is literally impossible). But I need that extra time to sleep--- just so I can stay focused for my students. So make up is starting to go out the window--- I can usually get my face washed and hair brushed and put up (MAYBE some hair spray).

    As for windows--- stuff like that no us new teachers have no clue. You have to tell us, you have to tell us again and again! Remind us as much as you remind yourself.

    Now you could do two things:
    1. Stop reminding her of her duties and talk to an Admin about it--- talk to her superior and have him or her deal with it. They have a right to know how she's doing and if she won't listen to any of the teachers, perhaps she'll listen to a supervisor or admin.

    2. Talk to her privately, be serious, and tell her she won't get any respect from the teachers if this continues. When she's in school, she's a teacher, hallway monitor, safety inspector, parent, mentor, etc etc etc. That's why she's being paid that money--- if she can't then she should leave.
     
  5. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Nov 7, 2008

    That's just unimaginable. I'm at will and am constantly trying to give reasons to be retained for another year, plus I volunteer for activities so I can get to know the kids outside of the classroom. Just about all first year teachers can be replaced, so we should be taking this year to prove ourselves, hopefully without burning out in the process.
     
  6. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Nov 7, 2008

    Exactly! As first year teachers we're the ones who will be replaced (in most circumstances) first--- even my private school might be seeing cuts in teachers cause of the economy. I'm a new teacher, but I'm also the only teacher teaching my grade's subject so I'm praying I'm kept... while at the same time realizing there are other teachers that work closer to my supervisor who could take over my position.

    I do whatever I can to help out--- am I burned out? YES! I'm barely getting out of bed between being tired and having horrible shoulder pain and lower back pain. I go to any social event I can to be seen, I email parents back ASAP even if they do it at 10:30 at night, I have after school tutoring any day of the week the kids need, I'm keeping my own notebook of notes for kids to look over--- I give my own notes out before a quiz.

    I've gotten lots of compliments and a few minor complaints. So I'm being noticed as a good teacher at least by my Admins--- I'm not sure what my Supervisor thinks of me. I know next year we won't have the luxery of calling ourselves "new teachers" and we'll have to do even more--- I'm praying that whatever work I'm doing with lesson planning will be useful for next year and I can focus on reaching out to the community with whatever time I would have spent on lessons.

    (Btw, who else is thankful its Friday and is ready to go home and take a nap??? :thumb: Oh right.... I have an event at school to attend before I do that because if I don't it'll look bad :dizzy:)
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 7, 2008

    :2cents: It can be exhaustng- I mentored a new teacher for a year who just basically didn't help herself- I got coverage and spent about an hour each day in her room for 3 weeks her first year and then went out of my way to try and support her the second year...she was clueless, was being counselled by the administration and really didn't do much to make the needed changes...she was let go despite lots of patience, support and help from her colleagues and administration....:dizzy:
     
  8. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Nov 7, 2008

    I'm not in a Union, but if I had spoken to a teacher about doing certain duties and she still failed to do them, a superior should still be aware of it. There's not reason to not pull her own weight as a teacher--- this one has been (from what I can tell) getting plenty of hints and just not getting it. It's not fair to the rest of the teachers, so why should she be allowed to continue to act like this. I didn't say to "rat" on her--- but if she won't listen to faculty, she really needs to have someone else talk to her about it.
     
  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Nov 7, 2008

    I certainly understand the stress of being a new teacher and the need to try to stay on top of things and be organized for each class--certain things may be late or left undone. Supervision duties, however, are non-negotiable. If we are scheduled to be "on-duty" we are legally responsible for whatever happens during that time. If I am expected to be in the hall monitoring student movement between classes and someone gets injured when I'm not there, I am responsible. If students need to talk to me when I'm on duty, they need to come to where I am. If I don't get all of my papers put away before the bell rings, I need to put them away after my duty. Supervision duty is an added responsibility; it isn't however, a responsibility that is optional.
     

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