Resonable expectations for a brand new teacher

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by justfluttering, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. justfluttering

    justfluttering Rookie

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    Mar 10, 2009

    I had my first preconference interview today. I have been teaching about 2.5 months. My AP was surprised to hear that my students do Bell Work, we discuss the answers, we do a worksheet or an activity, watch a short video, clean up and do a quick closure every day. Why was she surprised? I had the impression that she thought this didn't happen very often with my classes. Is this not the minimum I should be doing: taking role, teaching different concepts from the state standards, finding cool videos, and having the students clean up the classroom. To me this is a minimum standard. I need better questioning techniques, better closures and of course I need to do more activities and less worksheets, but with no budget for labs...
     
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  3. justfluttering

    justfluttering Rookie

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    Mar 10, 2009

    I am about a week behind in my grading and of course I am still working on a bunch of stuff, but I do teach every day, really...
     
  4. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Mar 11, 2009

    and is it a problem for some reason for you to do the bellwork and things like that?
     
  5. justfluttering

    justfluttering Rookie

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    Mar 11, 2009

    I don't know, I got off to a bad start with my AP. Someone told her a bunch of negative stuff about me. Yes, I have had a couple of rough days and I spouted off in the break room. Most of what I said got back to her, but worse. Now she thinks I am incompetent or that I hate kids.
     
  6. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Mar 11, 2009

    First rule for new teachers: keep your opinions to yourself! Whether it's nice (or accurate) or not, people love to gossip, and by spouting off in front of other staff, you gave them a perfect "did you hear what the new teacher said?" opportunity.

    From now on, be positive and work your butt off to engage those kids. The AP needs to see you teach, not just give seatwork - you need to be sure you're providing instruction in a variety of ways.
     
  7. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Well, I definitely agree that the teacher needs to see you teach, but bellwork is a great warmup, and I believe every teacher should have some sort of routine with a warm up. How else do you get attendance done? Just have the kids sit there???
     
  8. Historygeek

    Historygeek Companion

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    Mar 11, 2009

    I'm not teaching yet but I thought Bell Work was a good thing, am I wrong? Otherwise kids are noisy and not learing. I thought Bell Work was to help with those things while taking attendance and getting them ready for the class.

    As far as the AP, I would find out if there were any suggestions he/she has for you.
     
  9. Historyteaching

    Historyteaching Cohort

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    Mar 11, 2009

    I direct my students to get out books, notes, study for the test that's coming in 3 or 4 minutes while I do attendance..it takes me less than 2 minutes to do it. The university that I'm attending to get my Masters for the alt. cert. degree pushes entrance slips (bellwork) and exit slips. The only time I do them is when they were observing me. I don't have time to do them. I am a 2nd yr teacher btw too. Entrance and Exits take 10 minutes total to do..roughly. Say for example my first period class. Bell rings for them to go from gym to class at 805. By the time they get through the halls to class its working on 810..class ends at 855. If I'm on bus duty..I don't get back to my room until after they clear the hallway 810-815. I sit them down, get out what they need..if they did bellwork that would take us to 820..leaving only from 825, by the time we go over it and start notes until 850 to do actualy teaching to leave only 5 minutes for the exit slip..if they need to clean up after a project..I'd start that at 845. When I need to get them to a certain point in the year..only have 20-25 min a class period to teach equates to 1 hr and 40 minutes a week.

    I agree..don't say anything about anyone to people in a workplace..people you think you 'trust' will turn on you and gossip. Especially in a teacher's lounge! Save it til you get home and rant to your spouse, your parents, your best gf who doesn't know people..or your dog :p
     
  10. Historyteaching

    Historyteaching Cohort

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    I think you are doing great work for a new teacher! Especailly not being there a while. Most admin dont like worksheets ( I hate them...but use them on rare occasions)..however if you don't have lab equipment, you have to get a hands-on manipulative in somewhere. Did you ask why she seemed surprised?
     
  11. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    Mar 13, 2009



    Classroom management is THE ISSUE for all new teachers. You couldn't pull off what you're doing without good classroom management.

    Once you have the CM down pat you can grow into other aspects like more activities, cooperative learning, discovery learning, etc. However, NOTHING works (not even teacher centered learning) unless you have good CM.

    Your AP was surprised because you have excelled where most struggle. (I know it took me a while to get CM to a reasonable level and I'm still working on getting it where I want it to be.)

    Keep up the good work!!!!!
     
  12. justfluttering

    justfluttering Rookie

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    Mar 14, 2009

    I like your interpretation of the situation, it is hopeful and inspires me to do better. My AP told me I was not going to be renewed and so did the P. I have not been evaluated so I am not sure what they are basing themselves on. I guess they just assumed my classes were a disaster. After I told them what I have been doing, my P has been popping his head in my different classes. So far he has caught me and my students testing solar ovens outside and the next day he caught me discussing the results from all the solar ovens. I had the temps. both in Celsius and Fahrenheit on the board for the different teams from all of my class periods. So far he has caught my classes working and behaving. Like I said, I thought this was what I was supposed to be doing. Come heck or high water, I thought I HAD to control the kids. It's not easy and Friday I had a girl hang a tampon out one nostril, but I tossed her out and sent her to the security office ASAP and kept on with my class.
    It has taken a monumental effort to bring even some measure of CM into my classroom. Even this small measure of CM has allowed me to work with my students in a positive way most days.
     
  13. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    Mar 14, 2009

    It is often difficult to ask why when you're told that, but you really need to get the details on why they don't want to rehire you.

    Request a meeting with the P. Force yourself to avoid being defensive or accusatory. Ask bluntly "I want to understand why I'm not being rehired and I just want to know where I can improve so that I will do a better job at my next school."

    Keep the questions focused on you and how you can improve. Be humble and express the recognition that you're on the learning curve.

    Good response tactics include, "Yes, I had a problem with that early on. I made these adjustments and it improved. In my next position I intend to do this, this and this from day one. Do you have some suggestions on more adjustments that I can make?"


    This approach will improve your references for the next position. It's impossible to say if he will change his mind as you don't know what the basis of his decision was.

    In the mean time, start job shopping TODAY.
     
  14. justfluttering

    justfluttering Rookie

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    Mar 14, 2009

    I did ask and the P said that I had been heard making derogatory statements about the students, he said the AP told him that I have been doing this. Last week when I had my preconference meeting with the AP, she read from some paper that was supposed to be what I had said. Since I have had a total of TWO short conversations with the AP, whatever she has written down must be gossip or hearsay and not accurate.
    The AP does not believe in disruptive students and told me that the reason I have problems controlling my classes is because I have no skills whatsoever and she questions why I even went into teaching at all, this was our first conversation. Our second conversation was when she told me what to have ready for my evaluation. She was curt but civil, but she had a file on her desk that she read from, supposedly "my words" but again I don't normally speak to hear so I don't know where she gets her information. I am on spring break, so yes, I am job shopping. I don't want to work there anyway if that is how the AP is going to treat people.
     

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