Overwhelmed, want to cry

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by nyteacher29, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. nyteacher29

    nyteacher29 Comrade

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    Sep 10, 2012

    :help: So this weekend I was so excited planning my lessons and then BAM today came. I am still trying to get used to the routines and policies (this is my first year at this school and first year teaching in a regular public school). My head director , who is also one of the APs, is new to the curriculum and is completely overwhelmed herself, so much that she even stated she doesnt know when she will be able to meet with me to discuss the new things. I have tried to ask fellow curriculum teachers and i hate to say this but my group isnt the "friendliest" and it is the curriculum stuff i need the most help with. (in terms of good ideas and mapping) i just feel like i have no where to go despite the overall friendly vibe of the building (other subject teachers)

    I have a bulletin board due Friday (or mid next week the latest) and i have no idea what is supposed to go up! They say a writing sample with a rubric but school just started!!

    I cried my whole way home today. I am still trying to learn all 155 names as well as all the procedures! I feel like there are always a million things i need to get done. Sometimes i doubt myself as a teacher bc of moments like these. Plus, I live outside of the city and therefore cannot stay much later than the last bell due to major traffic (it would take me over 3 hours to get home if i stayed late)

    I guess i am just venting in this post but any suggestions/tips/advice would be greatly appreciated! thank you for listening <3
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 10, 2012

    OK, deep breaths.

    Number one, you've got to get that bulletin board done. So Tuesday's homework is to have the kids read and summarize a science article that you're going to find tonight and run off tomorrow. Make the assignment pretty concrete. I'm not sure what grade you teach, but come up with some questions that they can answer, in full sentences of course. It's due Wednesday, you grade it and get it up by Friday.

    As to the curriculum stuff: are you high school or elementary?? If you're high school, take a look at the Regents. If you're elementary, google "Grade ___ science syllabus, NY." Somewhere, someone in this state has posted a timeline for what they'll cover. Unless and until someone in your school tells you otherwise, piggyback on that curriculum until you get your feet under you.

    OK, get started :)

    And hang in there; it does get easier!
     
  4. nyteacher29

    nyteacher29 Comrade

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    Sep 10, 2012

    Sorry , i probably wrote in mass confusion..I am teaching social studies. I was able to get in contact with one of the social studies teachers and he did say he will meet with me sometime tomorrow to help me. For homework tn they have to expalin what topic in ss they are excited/interested in studying. I think I am going to go over that tomorrow and then tell them that they must write another paragraph explaining why social studies is important to study.

    I do have an outline printed out from NYS so that is what I am doing...piggybacking. i wish more teachers would remember what it is like to be new!!

    (i like your idea of an article,...i am going to google if i can find someting about why ss is impt)

    Thank you.
     
  5. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    Sep 10, 2012

    It does get easier. Alice gave you good, solid, practical advice. And Sweetie, you will make it. I promise:)
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 10, 2012

    As a teacher in NY, on the eve of September 11, I would imagine this won't be much of a stretch. Someone must have written an OpEd piece today on the importance of remembering what happened on 9/11.
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 10, 2012

    Good, so you're on your way.
     
  8. nyteacher29

    nyteacher29 Comrade

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    Sep 10, 2012

    Yes, I already had an article and a poem planned for 911, however our BB has to be curriculum based and apparently 9.11 does not fall under our curriculum (i was given permission to spend a day on 911)
     
  9. imanashhole

    imanashhole Companion

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    Sep 10, 2012

    relax...it sounds like you have it under control. your ideas sound great. its your first year and you will make mistakes...its OK!!!! you will learn from them :)

    im from LI and i had to commute from brooklyn so i know what it's like to rush home!
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 10, 2012

    OK, so what are some of the things that are in your curriculum?
     
  11. nyteacher29

    nyteacher29 Comrade

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    imaashhole....i know, my bf yells at me that i need to remember that i am a first year, but i feel like no one else will remember that. I am a perfectionist and like to get things right the first time. i hate feeling like im doing a bad job in the eyes of others.

    alice...youre amazing!! the first unit is on migration to americas. i am going to be teaching the land bridge theory hopefully by next week(wed) bc we have off monday and tuesday so im going to try and come up wtih a writing assignment for that. (got an email fromthe union saying that they talked to the P bc a week to get the BB up with writing sample did not seem reasonable, esp since he said they were due monday when we have off (i think that was a mistake on his part lol), so he said he would be flexible with the due date). my thinking is he wants things up for back to school night the 24th. I am goingt o double double triple check with two aps to see if i have something up by next week if that is ok.
     
  12. imanashhole

    imanashhole Companion

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    trust me i am so hard on myself. my first year was so difficult...i strived for perfection everyday, trying to emulate my amazing cooperating teacher from student teaching who had been doing it for 15 years. not only did i hate where i worked, being so hard on myself made it hard to get up every day. my advice to you is to always strive to be better, of course, but don't put that pressure of perfection on yourself. you can't be perfect, and no one expects you to be. you will make mistakes and it's ok. :) is your school in queens?
     
  13. nyteacher29

    nyteacher29 Comrade

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    Yeah I guess I feel like I should know everything already and I don't. I'm the only new person in my department and everyone is so experienced. I like where I work, everyone is nice for the most part and I completely understand that my ap is overwhelmed esp with her being new to the subject, but I don't want to fall through the cracks :/ I guess I really have to believe ppl will expect me to make mistakes lol. Like I said before though, I like doing things right the first time. I don't take criticism very well. I feel like I let thR world down and whoever is talking to me down . I made a to do list for tomorrow in order of "musts" I have off one period tomorrow so I'm praying the teacher who said he would help me is off that period too . Yes, my school is in queens
     
  14. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 10, 2012

    OK, so you're in NY and you need a writing assignment in immigration?

    If you're near NYC, your kids are familiar with the Statue of Liberty. Can you hit the Ellis Island site, and maybe get some ideas there? I bet you can find some writings from those immigrants on how it felt to first see the Statue of Liberty; maybe you can have your kids put themselves into the situation and write what their first impressions would have been?

    http://www.nps.gov/elis/forteachers/oral-histories.htm
     
  15. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

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    Sep 10, 2012

    What grade level do you teach? If you need to add some depth to your topic, it would be very interesting to have students read about migration from the viewpoint of the First Peoples and from the viewpoint of the more dominant cultures and then to compare the two. I'm not sure that you could find enough information in short order to create a DBQ, but the comparison itself would be interesting to write about!
     
  16. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 11, 2012

    I do have a question for you though: why the email from the union rep?

    Had you already spoken to the principal about this and gotten nowhere?

    We don't have a union, so I'm not sure exactly how they operate in a case like this. But I am sure that if I were really stressed by this, I would have gone to the administration first. Be careful about being seen as someone who goes "over the head" of administration to the union when there's an issue that can be solved with a conversation-- does that make sense?
     
  17. nyteacher29

    nyteacher29 Comrade

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    Sep 11, 2012

    i teach 7th grade social studies...the union sends out a weekly email and she is a teacher in our school and she herself (as a teacher, not a union rep) felt it was not enough time and was due on a holiday, so she went to speak to him ( as a teacher). I didnt go to the union at all nor did I mention anything to her besides if she had any ideas/suggestions. How i see it, I am knew. You tell me what needs to get done and it will get done!
     
  18. nyteacher29

    nyteacher29 Comrade

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    I am going to be teaching the land bridge to at least one class this friday so I think i am going to assign a writing assignment to be due over the weekend where they explain the land bridge theory.I am thinking that perhaps they can write to a student who was absent and "teach" them through their writing.
     
  19. Roobunny

    Roobunny Comrade

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    Sep 11, 2012

    nyteacher - I was about to post something very similar but thought I would just add it into your post. I am in the same boat. My school is still under construction and everything is so chaotic. We had grades due tonight, but no one even showed us how to correctly input grades, etc. I did what I could and hoped it was good enough.

    I am trying to get Daily 5 up and running in my classroom, but all last week was spent giving reading assessments. I had no help doing these and still haven't finished scoring the students I managed to complete.

    I have my first observation on Thursday and need detailed lessons prepared. I was originally going to be reviewing Daily 5 concepts and continuing to build the student's stamina for Read to Self, but now I feel like I need to do more of a "lesson" so I am going to talk about what independent reading means, what it looks like and sounds like. Then I am going to go into a discussion on what the students should be doing during Read to Self and what the teacher should be doing - it's nothing fantastic, but it's all I have time to do and I don't want to rework my entire plan this week.

    Meanwhile, we are starting tutoring next week, I have a mandatory club I sponsor on Wednesday, and staff meetings are on Tuesdays. Our lesson plans are due Saturday morning and I always turn mine in late because I never have time to plan during the week. During specials I am reading/answering emails or making copies and using the restroom (lol!).

    Our library is not up and running, our computer lab time should be an off period, but we don't have a technology teacher hired so two days in a row I don't get any off periods. I also have lunch duty on Fridays. Did I mention our kids don't have scheduled recess? I teach second grade by the way...

    My fiancee and I have had a strained relationship lately. He hardly sees me at all anymore and when he does see me, I am working. I really don't want to burn out, but every time I turn around I have something else I need to turn in or type up. I am already behind on so many deadlines it's not even funny.

    My one saving grace is my homeroom class. I don't know if it's my classroom management or if I just lucked out, but my kids are really great! On the flip side, I have another class half the day that is the complete opposite.

    *sigh* I keep trying to tell myself it will get better. I know that's what everyone says, but I just feel like the impossible is expected of me right now.

    I did not mean to hijack your thread nyteacher! I just want you to know that there are some of us out there who sympathize :)
     
  20. HOPE-fulTeacher

    HOPE-fulTeacher Comrade

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    Sep 18, 2012

    I feel for you nyteacher. The first year of teaching is really, really rough- there's just no way around it. My first year was last year, and with a new school, new state, new people to meet (and like you, I'm a perfectionist, so I also felt the need to impress), new procedures, new everything- it really affected me emotionally. I am usually not an overly emotional person, but I found myself crying everyday those first few weeks, I couldn't sleep, and I developed anxiety about teaching. And I LOVE teaching. I actually needed anxiety medication to help me cope. I really didn't feel like myself, and it was frustrating because I knew I was a good teacher, but I was so stressed out that my skills weren't coming out to their full potential.

    The good news? Even though my first year was awful, I grew so much. I spent this summer reflecting on my year, I did some professional reading in my areas of need, and I really spent a lot of time preparing to tackle this year. I am in the 3rd week of my second year now, and I can already tell that it's paid off tremendously. I no longer need the medication, I look forward to coming to school, and I can really enjoy my students and have fun with them because I'm more relaxed.

    Do what you can, but know that you can't do it all. (And that's okay.)

    Make a list each day of 3 things you can do each night at your house. Make sure they're manageable things (not something like "grade all of the essays"), and then do only those things, and no more. That helps me because I still feel productive, and I'm still crossing things off my list, but I'm not killing myself staying up late every night trying to get my to-do list completely finished. (Because *spoiler alert*... it never will be.)

    Keep looking online for resources- teacherspayteachers.com has great stuff that's already made, and a lot of it even aligns with the Common Core if that's what you need. Teacher blogs are another great resource for lessons, ideas, and inspiration.

    Keep going to subject-alike or grade-alike colleagues with questions.

    Good luck- it is tough, but you'll get through it. And you'll really appreciate all that you've learned when you start your second year. I promise. :)
     

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