Please Help Me :(

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Falconeddie1970, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. Falconeddie1970

    Falconeddie1970 Rookie

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    Aug 4, 2015

    Hi everybody :):thanks:

    I graduated w/ my bachelor's degree in Elementary Education in 1999, then got my master's (same field) in 2003.
    I was living in a state of Alabama, where nobody was hiring public school teachers (even during the 90's), so I ended up taking what I could get working as a kindergarten teacher. I was unable to move out of state because my spouse refused to leave. The private school I taught at closed down permanently in 2008, and my spouse took a job in a city that was 1.5 hours away. In a nutshell, I couldn't even land a private school position there because all the people getting laid off (pink slipped) from the public schools were competing for private school jobs. So, I got out of the business in 2008, until I got divorced, and decided to renew my teaching license.

    I decided to move to Nevada in the hopes of landing a position. I was successful in being offered a first grade position at a public charter school. I told the principal that I will work hard, and whatever I lack in experience, I will make up in having a strong work ethic.

    Right now, I am terrified. So much has changed since the last time I was in a public school classroom everyday (internship), and I feel like I'm going to be the old fart who doesn't know the new system. I was never trained to write my lessons using Common Core, as such a thing did not exist when I last taught. Plus, there was no Smart Board, or other technical gadgets outside of the overhead projector. Moreover, I have been involved in the state testing that is now common, as the private kindergarten I did teach at (until 2008), was not accredited.
    Due to all of this, I have tried my best to use the Internet as a guide in learning what I have never been formally taught. However, I am a nervous wreck, as the last thing I want to appear to my principal is incompetent.

    My question is, will there be some type of training for me, or do they just stick you in a classroom to either sink or swim?
    Also, I am a little bit tapped out financially from the move to Nevada from Alabama. Am I expected to shell out a lot of money to get my classroom up and running correctly? :dizzy:
     
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  3. miss-m

    miss-m Groupie

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    Aug 4, 2015

    I don't have much advice other than to just read up on CCSS as much as possible and find another (probably younger/recent grad) teacher to help with tech stuff. Asking questions is a great way to show that you really want to learn and improve as a teacher, even though it can sometimes feel awkward.

    Good luck on your new job! I hope it goes really smoothly. :)
     
  4. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Aug 4, 2015

    First things first... don't think about writing lessons for Common Core. It's a set of standards. Alabama had them when you taught. If you write good lessons, they'll fit Common Core. Check out the standards, be familiar with them, but they really don't require you to do anything you weren't already doing.

    As far as state testing goes... you teach first grade. They don't subject children to those awful tests until third grade. You'll probably have a school test of some sort, but it won't be as onerous as what the older kids have to take.

    As far as the tech stuff goes... there will probably be a tech person on site that can help you. Always remember with anything tech-related... it's there as a tool to make your life easier, and to improve student learning. If the Smart Board isn't making your life easier or improving student learning, don't use it. I tend to use my SmartBoard a lot, but that's because I'm really techy... and because my handwriting stinks, and Smart Notebook has handwriting recognition.

    As far as training... that's a resounding... maybe. A lot of districts do, a lot don't. That's a principal question. Since it's a charter, I'd lean towards probably not, but your principal will know. Don't word it as a training though. Ask him/her if there is a new teacher orientation, or any recommended professional development opportunities. The nice part about a new teacher orientation is that if they have it, it's probably paid.

    For your classroom... different schools give different supplies. You can be reasonably sure you'll have access to a black and white printer, butcher paper, a laminator, and construction paper. Anything else varies from school to school. You'll probably get at least some basic office supplies, and with any luck, you'll have access to a color printer, some sort of die cutting machine. You will probably also have access to some type of blank chart paper, but in terms of commercial posters, or nametags, you'll probably be on your own. Same for things like an alphabet train.
     
  5. Mr. Nobody

    Mr. Nobody Rookie

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    Aug 4, 2015

    Wow, that sounds like a tough situation. I am glad that you have found a position teaching. The job market is a lot rougher in some parts of the country than others.

    I can understand why you are feeling nervous, but it is okay! Teachers are lifelong learners and it is okay if you do not know everything all the time.

    Does your grade have a team leader? If so, I would ask your P for their e-mail address and consider reaching out to them. If you do not have a team leader, then I would try the same thing with your other teammates. If that is not an option, than what about the Reading, Math or another Instructional Specialist?

    Also, look and see what courses the county offers. Our county website has an online catalogue of courses, but the P usually has a hard copy floating around their office.

    In my state, there are a lot of PDs that teach about Common Core and standards based lesson plans and how to use Smartboards, running a small group, etc.

    There is a literacy course that teaches teachers how to do Guided Reading. It used to be mandatory for all new teachers, but now you have to ask for it. I would check with your P and ask her if there are any PDs she would recommend, especially Math and Reading (which were the hardest subjects for me when I first started teaching)

    We have a county-wide template for lesson plans that we are required to use for the core subject areas.

    They are very helpful to new teachers because it has a lot of notes and prompts. I would ask your P if you all have a template and/or if there are sample lesson plans from a teacher at your school that you could see. My plans have been used in that manner before, and it did not bother me.

    Some of them you have to pay for, but to me it is worth $50 - 100 out of pocket if it will help me do my job successfully. I just budget for it.

    Using the internet is a great resource. Maybe there are blogs you can follow of people who work in Nevada? Then you could email them questions. I follow a few blogs and the writer's are always very nice and helpful.

    Good luck!
     
  6. Falconeddie1970

    Falconeddie1970 Rookie

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    Aug 4, 2015

    Thanks for all the advice. :)

    @Mr. Nobody -After moving here, I went looking for PD classes that were specific to learning the Smartboard , or anything about learning CCSS. I did find a website w/ summer PD courses, but nothing fit this description. Then on my interview, I asked the principal if she knew of any training workshops or PDs just specific to learning how to work a SB or CCSS, but she did not know of any off the top of her head.
    I would love to find a PD on Guided Reading, and I will continue to be on the lookout. Once I build up my finances, I would love to audit a night class at the local university. Those courses sure are expensive, but it can also be used towards my continuing education hours. This summer, I just studied a lot on the Four Block Framework of literacy -just watching videos and reading current info.
     
  7. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Aug 5, 2015

    I got a job after having been away from the classroom for 15 years, aside from 1 day/week subbing and I remember having a similar feeling. I was so grateful to have my neighbor teacher who was an awesome reference. He never minded when I'd stop in with questions. My advice is to make some good friends who will be happy to help you. The teaching part came back naturally for me. Good luck and congrats!
     

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