Overwhelmed new teacher...help!

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by katanakira, Jul 30, 2015.

  1. katanakira

    katanakira New Member

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    Jul 30, 2015

    I'm a new teacher and I am freaking out. It didn't happen until I went to my room today. I guess it hit me then, not sure. I am going to be teaching middle school social studies for grades 5-8. I will be the only social studies teacher for those grades, but the teachers who taught the subject last year will still be there. One thing that is really bothering me is my lack of "teacher handwriting." I mean I knew I didn't have it, but I am just worrying about how students and parents will feel about it. I plan on typing as much as possible, but some parents might want "written proof" of something. My handwriting will look like a student forged the note, it's that bad. I spent the past three years as a paraprofessional in a high school so on top of learning how to teach in my own classroom, I have to reprogram myself from interacting with 15-19 year olds to now interacting with 10-14 year olds. Classroom expectations/rules are another thing I am struggling with for this age range.

    If anyone has any advice for me, that would be great!
     
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  3. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Jul 30, 2015

    Don't worry about your handwriting even one more minute. It is most definitely NOT the thing that will make or break you as a teacher. "Teacher handwriting" is so over-rated, and many do not have it. There are so many other things to focus on; don't let that be one of them.
     
  4. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Jul 30, 2015

    I was going to say this also! My handwriting is horrible, and I teach elementary, where "teacher handwriting" seems to be more expected. If I go really slowly/have lines (like when I'm teaching letter formation), it's fine, but if I'm just writing a quick note, most of my students have better handwriting then I do. I type as much as possible. Unless I'm specifically teaching letter formation, when I model a writing strategy I hook my laptop up the smartboard and type. Any signs/notes in my room are typed. I can't think of anything that a parent would demand be handwritten? If I'm communicating in writing with a parent, it's pretty much always through e-mail. Handwriting is so not a big deal, especially for a middle school teacher. Like Bella said, of all the things to worry about, this is not one of them!
     
  5. justwanttoteach

    justwanttoteach Cohort

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    Jul 30, 2015

    The transition from para to teacher can be rough. (I did it)
    The biggest thing to remember is now YOU are in charge, if you aren't sure of something FAKE IT. You need to appear confident and collected. Feel free to have a mental break down or curl up in the corner in tears..but do it WHEN YOURE AT HOME OR AWAY FROM STUDENTS.

    High school kids and middle school kids have a lot of the same behaviors. They are big on shock and awe. Being accepted and seen as cool to their peers is a big deal at both levels.

    Rules/procedures work the same...I think the only difference maybe in how they are worded but even then not much different.

    Never under estimate what a kid ANY age will do for a jolly rancher or sticker. Find what motivates them and use it to your advantage. It gets easier with practice
     
  6. justwanttoteach

    justwanttoteach Cohort

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    Jul 30, 2015

    FIND A VETRAN TEACHER on your site to mentor you. Find someone you can bounce ideas off of and problem solve with. teaching is a team sport..your classroom/school should not feel like an undiscovered island.
     
  7. katanakira

    katanakira New Member

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    Aug 2, 2015

    Thank you so much for the advice! Tomorrow is my first day and the whole week is teacher orientation.
     
  8. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Aug 2, 2015

    Some of the things to remember going from high school age to middle school age:
    - things need to be much more structured, avoid downtime as much as possible. For example if we have 5 minutes at the end of class, I can just let my high schoolers chit-chat, but with middle schoolers that can get out of hand.
    - watch the transitions between activities, they need to be told / need to learn exactly what to do and how quickly
    - they're much more immature, so a lot of the topics wouldn't work for them that worked for high school kids
    - in my opinion, classroom management is a lot harder
    - they're not as independent as the older kids yet, so they need more help with deadlines, assignments, etc.
    - the younger they are, the more elementary style approach works for them.

    And as others said, the handwriting should be the least of your concern.
     
  9. MissPapa

    MissPapa Comrade

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    Aug 16, 2015

    Breathe! I was in your shoes last year and let's just say I had a rewarding first year after I went through my first few months.

    The first year WILL be your hardest! You'll be exploring what methods works for you. If your school district offers a mentoring program, listen to your mentor because it is the year you learn new things! If not, make friends with any teacher who is willing to show you the ropes (just be careful of the gossipy or extremely burnt out ones).

    And I am elementary, but I subbed in middle school before. Not my cup of tea, but one thing is that you need to be on top of them when it comes to behavior, work, assignments, etc. Don't let them intimidate you.

    And please, my handwriting stinks. Worry about your teaching methods, pedagogy, and classroom management. The kids need to learn, not your style of handwriting. Trust me!

    Best of luck!!!! You'll do great!!!
     

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