So happy to get a job offer but overwhelmed!

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Camel13, Jul 18, 2017.

  1. Camel13

    Camel13 Companion

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2013
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    31

    Jul 18, 2017

    Three years since graduation I finally have a teaching job offer which I accepted, but I am unsure how to approach my next steps. I am Integrated Science endorsed and will be teaching science for 6th through 12th in a small rural school. For the high school levels I will always have Physical science and Biology with Chemistry and Physics alternating. I realize my first year is going to have a huge load to plan for six separate grade levels and classes. I obviously want to start planning lessons now! Any suggestions on how to survive this first year?! I asked about mentors and they do assign a fellow teacher, but they admitted they have five new hires this year and only 17 teachers total, so I know I can't rely too much on hand-holding. I am teaching in Northern Michigan by the way if that gives any context.
     
  2.  
  3. mckbearcat48

    mckbearcat48 Cohort

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2016
    Messages:
    545
    Likes Received:
    206

    Jul 18, 2017

    I would think that with 6 preps, I would probably want to knock out preparations for the highest level course you're teaching and work backwards. There's no law that dictates you can't use a lesson for multiple grades (science is great for this because you could literally lead all your classes with a discussion/activity about the scientific method)...and it gives you time to prepare more for your other classes.

    Congrats, and best of luck to you!
     
    futuremathsprof and Camel13 like this.
  4. rpan

    rpan Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2017
    Messages:
    686
    Likes Received:
    515

    Jul 19, 2017

    I would go the STEM approach (if the topic allows) of having an investigation that is more closed and scaffolded for lower ages and more open ended with students coming up with investigative questions they would like to investigate for higher ages.
     
    futuremathsprof likes this.
  5. Camel13

    Camel13 Companion

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2013
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    31

    Jul 19, 2017

    I feel like I should know this but do small districts usually ask new teachers to use previous year's textbooks or do you get to pick the textbook curriculum? I am having a hard time determining if there is a set text for Michigan middle school. Obviously, I will ask this question but just wondering if it is different everywhere.
     
  6. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    11,096
    Likes Received:
    2,752

    Jul 19, 2017

    Ask at your new school what curriculum and text they have been using. Sometimes, if the texts are aging out, you may get to help choose a replacement, but I wouldn't count on it. If not happy with the text, you can find so much online to supplement any resources. If in doubt, visit the thread on Free Links and Resources. I stay after that almost daily, and it began because I was looking for a source of posters for my new classroom. Now I pull in resources from everywhere, whatever catches my eye. Since I am a science teacher by content, then SPED, and ESL, you can guess the resources, but because I work with teachers in other contents, I am always quick to note anything that applies to a wide range of topics. Best of luck!
     
  7. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Messages:
    3,735
    Likes Received:
    299

    Jul 20, 2017

    My district, which is fairly large and suburban, rotates textbook adoption, and each subject goes 6 years until the next adoption. I doubt if a small district could afford very often to change books. I rarely use textbooks so it doesn't bother me.

    Wishing you the best of luck!
    We lived in Oscoda for 8 years when it used to have an AFB; wondering if you are anywhere close?
     
  8. Camel13

    Camel13 Companion

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2013
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    31

    Jul 20, 2017

    Thank you so much for the suggestions thus far! I feel like if I was fresh out of student teaching I would feel much more prepared, but it took me this long to find a teaching job! Missy, I live in the UP! I will be teaching in Ewen Trout Creek.
    I just found out today that most of the textbooks are around three years old and will need to keep. The 6th grade science needs updating....so... how do I even go about figuring out the best to get. My training never taught me how to select textbooks! Haha. I like the idea of operating without, but how do I go about creating a curriculum making sure everything is covered. The Next Gen Science Standards apply 6-8th, so how do I know what needs to be covered in 6th. I feel like I should know this, but maybe I have more free reign than I think I do?
     
  9. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    11,096
    Likes Received:
    2,752

    Jul 20, 2017

    First, there will be work from the year before to look at. See if you can look at old lesson plans - admin probably has them. NGSS isn't new information, but rather new ways of thinking about how we present and how we can help students see that there are connections across entire curriculums, the cross cutting principles. Once you figure out the scope for each year, it makes it much easier to pick and choose where your material will come from, what are the most important principles, and how you can have some leeway in fleshing it out. It's do and learn, and who knows, you may find your chance to truly shine. I draw heavily from current resources, which is why I have continue to man the Free Links thread. There is a wealth of information out there, and we are the people who are teaching 21st Century Skills. It helps if we actively use them ourselves.
     
  10. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,896
    Likes Received:
    1,868

    Jul 20, 2017

    This isn't something you should be doing alone. I get that you work in a small rural district, and you're probably the only secondary science teacher in your district, but this is something that larger districts have entire committees devoted to doing - writing curriculum (like the scope and sequence you're wondering about - what to teach at each grade level) and selecting curriculum resources (textbooks - there are usually entire pilot programs devoted to this). Being a first year teacher, you definitely need to seek out support. Does your district have a director of curriculum or anyone whose job is to oversee the curriculum? Can you partner with a science teacher in another district? Does your state offer support (mine does)? Do you have a college professor who can help you out? It's admirable that you want to take on this project, but it's WAAAAY too much for one person, especially someone in their first year of teaching! Get help.
     
  11. Geologygirl

    Geologygirl Comrade

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    58

    Jul 22, 2017

    Firstly, 6 preps is a tall order for anyone. My hat is off to you for accepting the challenge. Second, they are still writing the ngss aligned textbooks so there are not really any out there to follow. I would look at the standards and framework for your state and start there. There is more stuff written for the middle school grades than high school presently, but for high school resources I hear that pogils have been made for bio, chem, and physics. Pogils are like little hands-on lessons or units that use text or computer problems that are solved as a group. Model-based reasoning is also a big deal in the NGSS so you might find some books on how to teach model based reasoning helpfull. NGSS complete 180 from how science was taught during the NCLB era with the focus more on critical thinking and processes and less on memorized facts. Also engineering is now a part of science class and standards now so using science learning to create solutions to problems is also a focus.

    There is some curriculum out there online for ngss now but I know at least in my state in highschool we are in the process of creating and writig the curriculum now.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017
  12. Camel13

    Camel13 Companion

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2013
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    31

    Jul 22, 2017

    What I have been currently doing is going through the standards, applying them to each grade and in quarters of the year sequenced how I feel they should progress. Once I get my hands on the textbooks in the next week, I hope to flesh out some details. One of the big points in my interview was that I want to do hands on learning with students up out of their chairs working together to solve problems and then bring that back to discuss and assess. I know a big challenge will be funding for supplies...thankfully I am pretty resourceful and creative. I have another question that might belong in its separate thread: with so many grade levels I am getting lost in all the state and national standardized tests that are administered and when. I am in Michigan. Folks from different grade levels could you organize me a bit!

    And, a huge thank you to the ideas and thoughts so far. You are really helping me! I hope so day I can give back the same on this awesome forum!
     
  13. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    2,855
    Likes Received:
    623

    Aug 1, 2017

    With discovery ed, they offer a tech book and you can probably steal resources for other grades. The 5e model will be your friend. If you haven't already attended training on NGSS, find trainings and start reading.
     
  14. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    2,855
    Likes Received:
    623

    Aug 1, 2017

    Oh and search on google 6th grade ngss unit, 7th grade ngss unit, etc. there are tons of resources out there already.
     
  15. Camel13

    Camel13 Companion

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2013
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    31

    Aug 5, 2017

    I feel pretty good as I am puttering along this last month getting all classes planned to the tiniest detail for the first two weeks. After that I will keep extending. I still feel that I am in for a rude surprise once things start, but I hope I can keep up somehow. I feel like I got the job by emphasizing that I wanted students up and doing hands-on activities rather than worksheets all the time but I know that it might get tough to keep that up. Maybe if I have a goal for each class having such an activity a week it is more feasible?
     
  16. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    11,096
    Likes Received:
    2,752

    Aug 5, 2017

    You might want to spend some time looking into PBL, if you haven't already. It fills the bill with inquiry, collaboration, literacy, and authentic learning. It doesn't have to be the only thing you do, but can be a nice plus.
     
  17. PrettyQueenBee

    PrettyQueenBee Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2016
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    12

    Aug 5, 2017

    First, let me congratulate you on your new position! We're kinda in the same boat. I received my first job offer two days ago. I did my student teaching at the same school and since Math is a high need area, the principal decided to hire me full time. I still have to take two praxis exams before my state issues me a professional license. Right now I have a practitioners license. I'll be teaching Algebra I (9th grade) and ACT PREP (11th and 12th grade). I've already started lesson planning. The first thing I did was set up my classroom. They give us a stipend to use at Knowledge Tree. I spend all day Thursday, Friday AND today getting my classroom ready. School starts on the 7th. When does school start up there?

    Congrats again!
     
  18. MathGuy82

    MathGuy82 Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2016
    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    73

    Aug 6, 2017

    This is so cool!! Celebration time!! I'm so glad you got the job:)
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Backroads,
  2. Caesar753
Total: 310 (members: 4, guests: 282, robots: 24)
test