Overwhelmed and scared to death...

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by soleil00, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    Aug 16, 2011

    I am so overwhelmed by lessons and papers and everything else that I had a minor breakdown today. Got handed a HUGE stack of papers from my veteran co-worker and basically told "go make copies of this stack, these are our first week lessons/activities." I stared at them and I just.. had a minor breakdown, which is completely unlike me. I'm emotional, yes, but I've never cried over something so.... well I would say simple but this is far from simple.


    I really have no clue what I'm going to do because I hear 15 different things from my grade level team and so far is has been nothing but people telling me exactly what to do instead of offering advice. I'm just really freaking out and scared to death that I am going to screw up royally the first week.... unfounded I'm sure but I can't help it. Probably a Freudian Slip that I originally typed "I can't help me."

    :(

    Is this normal or am I just overreacting to it all because it's my first year?
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 16, 2011

    OK, deep breaths.

    Refresh our memories: are there kids in the classroom yet or are you still in preparation mode?
     
  4. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Aug 16, 2011

    I agree take deep breaths and tell yourself you can only do your best! That's it. We've all been there. If you are overwhelmed TELL SOMEONE. Veterans sometimes don't realize we are making the stress on newbies worse. Just say, Whoa. I am really overwhelmed any need to take this a little slower. You are doing your kids no good if you don't take the time to slow down and learn. Good luck....
     
  5. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    Aug 16, 2011

    We are technically still in prep mode, but this week is 100% workshops/conferences/meetings so no real prep time except at night. The kids start on Monday, which is why everyone is in freak out mode.

    And as much as I appreciate my veteran teachers' help, they don't seem to understand that I don't know as much as them and can't just.. absorb a six weeks worth of info in 10 minutes like the rest of them (which is what they've been doing). We've asked them to slow it down, but they don't so I have to go hunt down the ones that like me later on and ask them to go over it again with me.
     
  6. smurfette

    smurfette Habitué

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    Aug 16, 2011

    I agree to let someone that you trust know that you are overwhelmed. It sounds like the other teachers are trying to make it easier for you, maybe just not doing a good job of it.

    You won't screw up royally your first week. If you make a little mistake or forget something one day, fix it or do it the next. I have never had a first week plan go exactly as I planned it. There are always things that get done more quickly than planned or take longer than planned, as every class is different. Outside things will come up. Just be bit flexible and get through that first week.
     
  7. MzMooreTeaches

    MzMooreTeaches Cohort

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    Aug 16, 2011

    Today I heard something good in the staff meeting. Everyone is not going to teach or present something the same way. Know that you were hired for a reason... tap into your "talent" your gift on how you will teach and present.

    Along with the information you have recieved find a crafty way to present that.

    Then yes... you quickly learn who to avoid when asking about curriculum and planning... I to last year recieved either very short and choppy plans OR very lengthy and detailed plans that only confused me.

    The most valuable lesson my mentor ever did for me was to listen to my plans and say yes thats what you should do. Afterwards I learned that many times I was doing the exact same thing everyone else was doing, just in my presentation was different.

    Now... breath easy, relax, get a good nights sleep! Skim the notes/activities, but find your own way to present it.

    Hope that helps!
     
  8. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Aug 16, 2011

    Congrats on the new job.

    It's normal to feel overwhelmed. The first few weeks are really about establishing community and learning procedures and routines. I would really think through how you want you room to run, list out your routines and make your classroom your own. There will be plenty of time to be on the same page in the months to come.

    Maybe just be honest with them. Tell them you need to focus on getting the class up and running and that you look forward to working closely with them as soon as you get a chance to breathe.
     
  9. jleardini

    jleardini Rookie

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    Aug 16, 2011

    I agree with @MzMooreTeaches. Everyone has their spin on the lessons. Your talents won't shine unless you make the lessons your own. Your colleagues probably assume that you're overwhelmed and are "trying" to make things easier on you by giving you a stack of worksheets/lessons to do. My advice, read through them, pick out the best ones and then keep a list of all the discards to ensure that you are covering those objectives. As I said before, your true talents will show once you make the lessons your own. Just make sure you are keeping pace with them.
     
  10. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Aug 16, 2011

    :agreed: Especially with 1st Graders. I was telling our newbie teacher today (and I think we're overwhelming him as well-but I'm the type that has to say it while I'm thinking of it or I'll forget)---one good thing about working with the younger kids is: it's easy to fake it. As long as you fake that confidence-they won't know you are going off script or doing something you hadn't planned.

    Honestly, I think it's hard to plan for the beginning anyway, because you really don't know what you are getting-where they stand academically-what you'll have to stress. It's a bummer though that there's not more collaborative planning-they may think they are helping you by copying what they're doing.

    How did they react when you got upset?
     
  11. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    Aug 16, 2011

    Most chalked it up to the fact that I was/am upset that I was shuffled from 1st to Kinder and then back to 1st over the past week, and I was upset about that because I wasn't allowed to do any planning during that week. The others kinda understood and backed off for a while until I was able to get it together and be able to continue on. :dizzy:


    I hope I do okay. I know in the back of my mind that I will do fine, but everything is happening so fast that I keep second guessing myself! Thank you guys though, for all the votes of confidence. I really really really appreciate it.
     
  12. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 16, 2011

    This is a mom speaking.

    All I want from the first week in first grade is that my son or daughter:
    - gets to the bathroom as necessary
    - has time to eat lunch and classmates to sit with
    - gets put on the right bus at the end of the day.

    EVERYTHING else can be fixed.

    Try hard to just go with the flow. If they say to Xerox, then Xerox, and take a look at what you've done at night. You have this whole weekend to figure out what you're doing next week, and it sounds like your teammates will have it all laid out.

    You can make changes for next year. This year, just take it easy and use their experience to your advantage.
     
  13. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Aug 16, 2011


    From another, I agree. The first, I just really reinforce rules, procedures, etc. We won't get into any curriculum until next week. It really takes a while for the kids to practice, practice, practice how to do what you expect from them. It can be overwhelming, but try to take it easy and do things that will help you to calm down when you might feel anxiety about things. You do have support from your grade level, so that's good. Soon enough you will know what you are doing and everything will be okay. :) :hugs:
     
  14. Toast

    Toast Companion

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    Aug 16, 2011

    Fake it until you make it. Do what you can, and don't sweat the rest. Make sure you just have your kids at specials, lunch, recess, etc at the right time and no one will know any differently.

    Also remember. The first week of school it will just be you and the kids in your room. They will have no idea if you "mess up" or not. Your team will be busy teaching their own classes. The only adult watching you at that time will be yourself. Worry about perfecting details once you've got your head above water.
     
  15. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Aug 16, 2011

    Grab a few books from the library. Use as fillers...kids love to be read to at this age. Also breathe...It will be ok...shut your door and spend your first few days getting to know your kids. I was in the floor yesterday playing Legos with mine. They loved it and I got to know them better.
     
  16. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Aug 17, 2011

    Just sharing: This is my 4th year teaching and I still get into panic mode the last weeks before school starts. (I am an emotional person and get anxiety easily-- I've come to be "okay" with that)

    99% of new teachers have reacted the way you have, so what you're feeling right now is normal. As you can see from the other posts in this topic, feeling overwhelmed happens a lot.

    If you learn one new thing about teaching a day, that is amazing! I recommend keeping a small journal with you to write down notes and ideas-- it can be about anything related to a student, teaching a lesson, a homework or activity idea, what worked in a lesson, what didn't work in a lesson, etc. My brain was mush after teaching a whole day so having a moment to jot something down really helped when I was going over stuff later on.

    You will do okay :)
     
  17. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Aug 17, 2011

    I'm curious as what type of papers they handed you for the first week. I spend my first week doing more fun, get-to-know-you activities, and teaching routines and procedures. I don't jump in to the curriculum for at least a few days. It seems sad to just give 1st-graders worksheets the first week of school.

    Anyway, like Alice said, I would just copy what they gave you, go through it at home, and use what you think is good. Try to just grin and bear it; you don't want to anger them this early on. Be sure to work some of your own lessons in, as well, though! They don't have to know everything you do. It's your classroom, and your students, and to say that every single classroom should be doing things the exact same way is just silly.

    Good luck. Keep us updated.
     
  18. Gracie44

    Gracie44 Rookie

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    Aug 17, 2011

    Hi, make yourself your favorite beverage and give yourself an hour off. Your feelings are normal. What you are about to begin is enormous and will impact kids lives, gulp...but how great is that? You can be the person to smile every morning, to make them feel special, to get them to believe in themselves. It sounds like your team wants to help, but also remember that the time you take to build a community, to develop your routines and procedures will be invaluable as the year goes on. I highly recommend Harry Wong's The First Days of School. Good luck, believe in yourself, your passion and love for the kids will carry you through.
     
  19. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    Aug 17, 2011

    I was given worksheets for the entire six weeks.... and then told that I needed to copy it all a.s.a.p. :rolleyes: Only to be told today that it wasn't necessary and freaking out over it was pointless.

    We got our student rosters today, finally, so I feel that I'm actually ready now. It's all real now that I have kids' names!


    Thank you all though, seriously it does help to know that I'm not the only out here that does this and that I'm not going to completely screw up.
     

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