should I just quit?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Kenz501, Dec 2, 2017.

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  1. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Outside of the OCD, though, it really is just a communication problem. I have a tendency to downplay my strengths, focus on my weaknesses, and concentrate on the things that go wrong rather than the things that go right. If I get enough nerve to hold a conversation with a coworker, I have to be careful not to constantly explain how inadequate I feel like I am.
     
  2. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    The main issue, besides being disorganized, is not really being able to communicate effectively at times. It's like my thoughts are disorganized, too. This might be related to just not getting enough sleep, though.
     
  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    You sound like a few of my students; you are so overwhelmed that you can't find a starting place. You bemoan not having anyone to help you, but if you read carefully through all of your threads, you'll find a number of people who are trying to offer guidance. No one else can do it for you, but take the suggestions in the spirit they are given, as an attempt to help.

    Today is Sunday, I'll be sitting down at some point to write my plans for the week and I assume that you'll be doing the same. What standards/topics/texts are you focusing on right now?
     
  4. Genesiser

    Genesiser Rookie

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    Start calling home. For 2 weeks, take an hour to call parents and tell them what their children are doing. As soon as a student has a teacher call home, all their friends know about it because they will text their friends. After a while, the parents get tired of you calling them and they start laying down the law on their children. Once the students know you will be calling home when they act out consistently, it will change their behavior.

    I had one student that was constantly making noises and trying to disrupt everyone and was a big cause for other students to act out. Every day I called his parents and after 2 weeks his mom finally had enough of it and on the phone she literally said to her son, "If I have to have this white boy call me one more time, I am going to kick your *** so hard!" For the rest of the year I had no more issues with the student and the class as a whole behaved much better.

    Once you get those students that try to rule the classroom to stop doing so by calling their parents constantly, you will be able to succeed in getting the students to learn. Many times we have the feeling that we aren't engaging the students and it's our fault that they are out of control and not paying attention, but when you have some students constantly interrupting the class and getting away with it, it makes the entire class suffer. When it's hard for the other students to pay attention because those other students are constantly disrupting, they too get disengaged and start acting out and start doing poorly.
     
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  5. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    So I'm going to disagree about the calling home thing. Do I think calling home is worthwhile. Absolutely. Do I think it should be used to fix classroom management issues? I think it depends. Hattie's research actually shows that if parents punish kids for behaviour at school that in the majority of cases it actually leads to worse results at school. What is effective however, is being on the same page as parents. So I will call home and say, John is displaying X at school. I'm working with John on X as we can't have X at school. It would be really helpful if you could support the message. I don't need you to harp on John, but reminding him that we need Y and not X can be very helpful.
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    There's also a danger of parents claiming that you're "picking on" their kid. I've been accused of that after I called home to discuss behavior concerns with a parent. The fact that I identified a behavior concern at all seemed to trigger those claims, like where parents were angry that I didn't notice any of the other kids with behavior issues (how did they know that I didn't?).
     
  7. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Last week I gave my students a diagnostic covering what they needed to know to do well on the state test. I plan to move in to poetry this week for the evaluation, then I plan to work on their weak areas some more so that they will be ready for state tests.
     
  8. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    What if I just made a habit of calling home with a general "status report?" or maybe even a "thank you for speaking with your child about X issue; I noticed that he / she is much better behaved than last time."

    I can also assign lunch detention and after school detention if it's necessary, but a general call to parents just to let them know how their kid is doing might not hurt, and it may help get me and the parents on the same page? Maybe? I don't know, but I don't want the kids to get the idea that I'm "out to get them," and I think by constantly threatening punishment, I'm sending a message I don't want to send.

    I'm reluctant to do that, though, because what if some parents don't know English very well, and a phone call home means to them that the student was poorly behaved, regardless of intention? I guess I could just try the neutral phone call approach with the kids I'm actually having a little trouble with. That might work?
     
  9. TrademarkTer

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    That's not a bad idea overall. Sending home positive messages can go a long way. Phone calls can take a lot of time. I know a lot of people give the advice to call, rather than email, but for me, email is much more convenient and time-efficient so that phone-call people haven't won me over.
     
  10. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Don’t you think these calls would be a lot to add to your plate?
     
  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oh, I didn't intend to suggest that phone calls are bad. I was more responding to the idea of very frequent calls, because I think that they can read as either the teacher doesn't have control over the classroom or the teacher is picking on a student (neither of which may necessarily be true). It all depends on the parents of your particular students, which can vary from school to school, classroom to classroom, and year to year.
     
  12. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

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    Dec 4, 2017

    I trained to be a PA (Pre-Med). It never panned out because I couldn't do it. I also have a criminal justice degree and desired for a long time to work in Juvenile Justice. It never happened. So here is a list of jobs, which many people with ASD have successfully done:

    Teaching is not necessarily the best option.
    Here is a very useful website with some great resources. It has a myriad of job suggestions for people on the ASD.

    https://www.iidc.indiana.edu/pages/...-for-People-with-Autism-or-Aspergers-Syndrome

    Good luck. Because, there is always something you can do.
     
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  13. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    I guess I really am asking for too much, but I've heard that all new teachers struggle. I think I've already mentioned my issues elsewhere, but here's a quick list:

    There's no connection between me and my students.
    I feel like lesson planning has something to do with this. If I were a doctor, I wouldn't have good rapport with my patients if I couldn't help them with their problems, and this is what I feel like is going on. I've been on the defensive due to my assumed lack of competence. I'm very frustrated. I know it's not the kids' fault, and I don't blame them, but I've had to take a more authoritarian stance to cover up my own insecurities and keep control of the class. I don't think the other teachers on my hall have this problem; I don't think they fight with their students for control of the classroom.

    I have trouble communicating with and building rapport with parents.
    I doubt my own classroom management abilities, and I don't know when to reach out for help.

    Even though I've been given plenty of resources, I can't put them together into what I feel is an effective lesson.
    Even though I've looked up information on how to plan lessons and can write a decent lesson plan to turn in, I feel like my actual lessons are ineffective and not engaging. I don't feel like I'm actually teaching anything.
     
  14. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Because of my OCD, I feel like I need to challenge myself to stay mentally healthy. I don't want to give in and say that I can't. I could if I could find the right support.
     
  15. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Bottom line---I need a script because I'm not familiar with my job. I don't understand why my principal won't just let me copy someone else's lesson plans. I'm failing because I can't provide myself with the proper structure, but I can't get anyone to see that. I guess the idea is I'm lazy if I can't come up with my own lessons. I guess maybe teacher education in Texas prepared teachers better than they did in Alabama, or maybe this is just an autism spectrum thing. I crave structure to feel comfortable and competent.
     
  16. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

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    Nobody is going to give you a script. My vote is that you get out of teaching I’m Sorry, just does not seem your forte’ plenty of other jobs give You the structure you need, teaching is not necessarily it. For the sake of the kids please consider another career path.
     
  17. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    How can I approach my principal, or whoever I need to talk to, to get them to understand this?
     
  18. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    You say that no one is going to give me a script, yet primary education and ESL teachers use textbooks that have built-in lesson plans; they don't have to feel like they are starting from scratch---why should I?
     
  19. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Besides, that's just not what I want to hear. I could do the job well if I had the proper training, but no one will give it to me. Who is to say that won't be the issue with any other job I take in the future?
     
  20. Kelster95

    Kelster95 Companion

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    If all you want is pre made lessons you can buy units on pretty much anything aligned to most state or common core standards on teacher pay teacher.
     
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  21. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Exactly
     
  22. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Teaching is hard. And no teacher is the "perfect teacher" even often after decades of experience. You're not going to be Ron Clark out of the gate. Or you may never be Ron Clark. It may not even be a good idea to be Ron Clark as that may not be your personality and your kids may not respond to it well.

    You have to learn to crawl before you can walk, and you're going to have to accept that your lessons will be under your standards for a while until you get the hang of things. Teaching is a messy, unstructured, and a very autonomous job. Some people find freedom in that. If you don't you may want to seek a different job, though most jobs require employees to have some level of self-reliance. As others said, there are resources online. Not just curriculum, but if that's where you feel weak, there is tons out there, but also videos of good teachers doing good jobs that you can emulate. There are good books on classroom management and teaching methods and current research based teaching practices for different subjects and particular student sub-groups. You have to show some resourcefulness to research, adapt and make things work for you, even when you're not the most experienced or experiencing adversity, especially to model these characteristics for your students. Good luck.
     
  23. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Get over the fact that you didn't learn what you needed to learn. None of us did. If you're unhappy about a lack of structure, create your own structure.
     
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  24. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Didn’t your teaching credential program teach you how to write lesson plans? And didn’t you have to submit lesson plans when you student taught in your subject area? I’m confused.
     
  25. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    This.

    And on an off day I'd say even Ron Clark isn't Ron Clark.
     
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  26. Kelster95

    Kelster95 Companion

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    It is not reasonable for even Ron Clark to be the public image of Ron Clark every day. Not everyday in a classroom can be standing on tables singing and dancing teaching, scaffolding, and practice has to happen at some point. Every teacher has great days and not so great days.
     
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  27. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    It's not writing them; it's teaching them without it being scaffolded. It's knowing how to accommodate students who can't use regular instruction but have to have it modified in some way. It's also knowing how to handle the kid or kids who decide that they are bored and use your classroom as a stage to perform for their peers. It's one thing to have solutions written on a piece of paper and actually having to use all of that to teach a lesson.

    Student teaching taught me very little about classroom management. There's a lot I don't really know, like when it is appropriate to call parents and assign detentions vs. just talking to the student and trying to figure out the real problem? When is a student making an excuse or making fun of you vs. just asking a question because he / she genuinely doesn't know? How can I get the student, his / her parents, my coworkers, and my principal on my side? How can I prove that I'm a competent professional willing to learn this job? The approach I originally learned in teacher education was to try to make class an entertaining show; in the real world, though, it doesn't always work. There will be complainers, people who are bored, for what ever reason, and people who apparently derive joy from derailing instruction, regardless of how much thought you put into it to make it fun.

    Yes, I do feel like one thing feeds into another. If the kid is bored and feels like he / she is not being challenged enough, there will probably be behavior problems. That's why I hate that my lessons are so bland; I feel like they are directly causing the poor student behavior I've had to deal with.

    The experienced teacher and my principal had a different take on the whole thing, though. I hope I'm not as bad as I think I am. I have an evaluation tomorrow, and I want to knock it out of the park, but I have not been batting a thousand with the kids. They brag about the more experienced teacher, though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
  28. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    After teaching for 5 years, I was still asking myself a lot of these questions. You have to be comfortable that you will not always have the exact right answer and that the answer may change depending on the situation. Sometimes you'll get it wrong, but that's okay and you learn from your mistakes, and you make less mistakes the next time around.

    Whoever taught you this was doing you a terrible disservice. Education is not supposed to be an entertaining show. Small doses of engagement can be fine, but you're an educator. Not an entertainer. You have to be willing to teach lessons that will bore kids and be a strict disciplinarian when your rules are broken.

    Welcome to teaching children. Some lovely kiddos make it their hobby to figure out what you spent your own money and hours of your own free time lovingly preparing and crafting for them, and then do all they can to take a great big steaming poo on it in front of you and everybody in the class. The trick is to expect that some will try to do that, and learn to not care. They're likely lashing out for some other reason anyway. Learn to shrug things off, laugh them off, and still make them do it anyway. (and if they were being disrespectful, pull them aside for a warning or consequence) Again, you're here to educate, not entertain. The students aren't your audience at a comedy show where you can be booed off stage. You own the stage, and you get rid of the members of the audience when you need to. Within reason, you have to not give a fig if they're bored or not entertained by your lesson. You should be most concerned with preparing them for the future, and a lot of the future includes being able to behave well in boring situations where you're expected to exist for hours without any form of entertainment.

    While there is always the possibility that a boring lesson might contribute to poor behavior, don't beat yourself up about it. You'll get there with practice. I believe the full moon contributes to poor behavior, but there's not much I can do about it. I do what I can and do my job and move on. Also don't use that as an excuse for their behavior. It's THEIR responsibility to behave well in the classroom regardless of how entertaining you are, and it is YOUR responsibility to hold them accountable for kind, respectful, and acceptable behavior in the classroom. If they are not bringing that, you start with a chat with them. If it continues after the chat, then you call home. That's it. One discussion with a warning. Then follow through with consequences.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
  29. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    Hi. I've been reading with interest your posts on this thread. Can I be perfectly honest? You sound as though you are in a personal struggle, not a professional one. You sound to me, and it is just an opinion, like you may tend toward depression.. If you were my family member, I'd be dragging you to see someone.
    As to the professional aspect, you may be a little idealistic about the feelings of being a teacher. Students do not always love your lessons. Students don't always come and share their deep feelings and thoughts and aspirations. From your posts, and I could be wrong here, I hear you saying that you are looking for a connection with your students and your feelings of non-success stem in large part from this lack of connection. You are teaching. If you teach, but don't have a great relationship with each child, you have done your job. Yes, it's nice to be able to make personal connections, but it is not a hallmark of success. It's just a thought, but perhaps if you focused on teaching what you know, using the curriculum you have, as well as things you can obtain from the internet, you will be on your way to better teaching. I wish you well.
     
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  30. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Yeah. In my mind, I'm competing for attention with video games, cell phones, and other awesome pieces of technology that keep people glued. I think I could still be as entertaining as the latest computer game, but could I do that while teaching? I don't think so, not now anyway, because I want the students to learn. Right now, I'm concentrating on putting out fires. It does hurt when the kids say that they are bored. I was taught in teacher education that I need to work to promote engagement of the "digital native," but that's not the area I need to work on the most.

    My weakest area is classroom management. Almost all of the professional development I've gone to has been about engaging the kid, strategies for helping improve reading, strategies for supporting language learners, but I feel overwhelmed when I have to deal with behavior problems on top of all of that. It makes me feel like I do not know how to do my job, and I start to look for "curriculum in a box" with lesson plans already written. I don't know why a kid acting up in class makes me feel like I'm a horrible teacher, but it really does play with my mind.
     
  31. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    I should have done my research before I went into teaching. My original goal was to become an entertainer, but I was told over and over again that I could not make money off of, say, a drama or creative writing degree, so I took their advice and also majored in Education so that I would have something to fall back on if the career as an aspiring artist didn't pan out. I put a lot of energy into my job as a teacher, and, well, needless to say, I've been disappointed with the returns. I would rather be a comedian bombing on stage than putting up with a bunch of kids who say things are terrible when they really aren't.

    I don't think I'm the first person to make this mistake. A lot of people with degrees in drama, creative writing, journalism, etc. become English teachers. It's amazing what we end up having to put up with, though. I guess there are worse chew-them-up-and-spit-them-out professions than teaching, but the amount of blame and toxicity that can be found in an environment that is supposed to be engaging and nourishing is surprising. I'm happy I'm at least away from all of that and being given a fair chance, but the disapproval from the kids is discouraging.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  32. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    All of it makes me wonder what my real skill set is. I was sold the dream, and maybe the lie, that I could be anything I wanted to be with the proper training. The university took my money and made me take all of these courses. I substitute taught and put up with behavior problems; I thought I was learning something, but after working in the real world for a few years, I wonder how much of what I was sold was true.

    I do have my own issues to work through. Wanting to be liked is one of my biggest weaknesses.
     
  33. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    TPT is hit or miss. Some of the best resources I've found are free or very low cost. Do you have any specific products you would recommend?
     
  34. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    For classroom management, buy Dr. Wong’s video series. They are amazing!

    For scaffolding, just write regular lesson plans and when you have the students do collaborative group work you can provide differentiated instruction to meet the struggling student’s needs. You provide accommodations such as preferential seating to limit distractions, you regularly check in with those students to see if they understand the directions, you provide a truncated problem set, you provide summaries of the notes or printed notes with fill-in-the-blanks, allow the students to use a 3x5 index card on the quizzes and tests, etc. These are just some of the many things you can do!
     
  35. Kelster95

    Kelster95 Companion

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    What is a specific skill, standard, or text you are getting ready to teach? Don’t restrict your search by grade level, I sometimes use some lower grade level materials to introduce skills like inferencing/ drawing conclusions. For these skills there are tons of mystery units on tpt I introduce them to the idea and we practice with lower grade level mysteries and build up as the year progresses. There are a lot of seasonal ones so they can be used all through out the year. These lessons are fun for the kids and build inferencing and logic skills as well as team work and communication skills.
     
  36. CherryOak

    CherryOak Companion

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    How many education books have you read in the past year? Have you attended conferences? Are you considering your next course? I hope it's a bunch. You aren't going to find sufficient assistance online or in others. Take your career by the horns, so to say. As much as us adults talk about being there for one another, it really comes down to personal responsibility and determination. Identify a weakness, forgive yourself, happily research solutions, practice, master...repeat.
     
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  37. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    All I can add is that there old adage about the best laid plans of mice and men . . . OP, I don't know if teaching is will make you happy, nor do I know that it won't. I do have a strong feeling that you struggle to stay focused, and getting help isn't wrong, but spending all of your time "researching" possibilities without the follow through to engage and implement the recommended changes may be very frustrating and counter productive. All the research in the world about your "problems" will fail if you can't find ways to incorporate the strategies so that your teaching improves. We all need/desire to grow as a teacher. If we can't manage to do that, we aren't happy or productive.

    Many people on the spectrum benefit from life coaches who can help them tweak and manage their executive function skills, so that they function better in the real world. There is only so much that others, especially those of us who only "know" you from your posts, can say with 100% certainty. Here's what I know:
    1. new teachers across the board need to work their behinds off to fill in the gaps between their coursework and their real needs;
    2. if you struggle with depression symptoms, you need to get help:
    3. if you believe that anyone else can/should do the hard work for you, you will be disappointed when YOU are the person responsible for "changing the person in the mirror"; expecting others to bail you out will fail, and make you feel hopeless;
    4. despite best efforts, not everyone who studies for one career will shine there.
    The good news is that skills learned while studying for the less than stellar career don't disappear - the positives stay with you in any new plans for the future. You chose the teacher dream, maybe without sharing your special needs with people who could have seen your dream through clearer eyes - maybe not. If you want to salvage the dream, wake up and smell the coffee, then roll up your sleeves and get to work shoring up your weaknesses, while building on any strengths.

    My gut feeling is that IF you get a life coach to help you with organization, IF you take responsibility for knowing and accepting that the buck stops with you, IF you realize that there are no free rides and that you are obligated to put in the hard work to learn what is currently lacking, and IF when you ask for help you actually let people know that you did or did not understand the directions (which may require coming at the problem from a different angle), you may learn to teach in a way that makes you happy and proud. Teachers share (and "borrow") from each other all the time - it is up to you to acquire the "help" and then find ways to modify the help into something that actually benefits you. Whining won't help, neither will blaming everyone else you come into contact with. You have the responsibility of reading the staff manual or acquiring the staff manual if you don't have one, for whatever reason. You are responsible for finding ways of working around your problems - being on the spectrum doesn't mean that the world changes for you. You are obligated to find modifications that work for you, and you should be the one to put them into effect.

    Should you quit? Only you can answer that question, but if I were you, I wouldn't consider answering that question until I had sought out multiple sources listed in this post which may be able to help you find the skill sets that you need to fix the problems. Personally, I'm not a quitter, and I would try to move heaven and earth to solve my problems before throwing in the towel. Without passing any judgement, only you can decide if you are willing to find the help you need and commit to the help that you need, embracing the (often difficult) course of actions necessary to turn your career around. I do wish you the best of luck.

    .
     
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  38. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Dec 8, 2017


    I'm just upset. I feel like I've obviously missed something very simple that no one will share with me regardless of how much I ask. My lessons are bad because they aren't focusing on the required objectives, as I barely know what those are, let alone how to present them, and my classroom management is poor because the kids don't have the proper incentives. I simply don't know the formula, the method, and no one will share it with me. I know there is a method, because I've seen it repeated in several classrooms of different subjects.

    For example, if I were a foreign language teacher, I would need to follow a general pattern so that the kids would learn the material, probably something like, introduce the lesson, go over the new words, allow the kids to watch and read content with the new words embedded in it, and then give a short quiz for understanding of those new words or expressions. Likewise, if I were a math teacher, I would also have to follow a general pattern, introduce the concepts, work a few problems with the kids, explain and / or show a video of real-world application of the concepts, and then give them a short worksheet for them to practice.

    English / Language Arts and Reading, on the other hand, what am I supposed to do with that? I'm comfortable enough teaching grammar, even though it's the kids' least favorite part, but how am I supposed to teach reading, writing, and critical thinking? Even though these are skills at which I'm adept (well, at least on paper anyway), how do I break them down into their component parts (I know they give me a list of objectives but we aren't using Common Core here, and I'm a little lost on how to teach most of them)? Furthermore, how do I scaffold learning for kids who aren't going to benefit from regular instruction of these concepts? See, if I don't know what I'm supposed to be teaching, how am I supposed to teach it? True to form, I sometimes become frustrated with what to most people is extremely obvious stuff. Sorry to seem obtuse, but I really don't get it.

    I feel like I would get it, though, if I had some kind of canned (or is it boxed?) curriculum that could show me exactly what I'm supposed to be doing to teach the kids the concepts (or at least give me a good idea). I might be creative, but if I don't know what I'm doing, it will take me longer than necessary to find a solution to the problem. I know that other teachers do not have this problem, but I do not know how to explain my problem to them. Every time I try, I either get pointed to resources that won't help me because I don't know how to use them, or eventually they give up and tell me that I should have learned some things in teacher education.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
  39. Kenz501

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    Dec 8, 2017

    Plus, we had a snow day, so now I've got even less time to teach them the necessary skills.
     
  40. Kenz501

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    Dec 8, 2017

    I really do think that this is related to my problem. I sometimes don't notice obvious things, and I have a habit of making things too complicated unless I'm steered in the right direction.

    If someone could help me find some "canned curriculum" or "curriculum-in-a-box" that would walk me through, step by step, what to do with the kids--what activities, what objectives, what materials, etc., I think I would get it pretty easily. Maybe I was supposed to have this during student teaching, but I was afraid to ask too many questions, because the attitude again, was, "you should have picked that up in teacher education," and I didn't want to face ridicule or embarrassment for something that wasn't really my fault.
     
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