Stressed out

Discussion in 'New Teachers Archives' started by Starivy, Aug 5, 2006.

  1. Starivy

    Starivy Companion

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    Aug 5, 2006

    :eek: I am feeling extremely overwhelmed, overworked, and stressed out with my first year of teaching. I cried all the way home yesterday because it's all getting to me. I haven't even started yet but the preparation of an empty room in a week, going over teaching materials, and conducting meet your students has taken it's toll on me. I am shocked at the amount of work that teaching entails. I feel burnt out before I have even started. My degree in elementary education did not prepare me at all for anything beyond the best practices of teaching. Dealing with parents, questions, learning all the school's policies, the huge feeling of responsiblility of 20 students, etc............ ahhhhhhhhh! Teaching is consuming my life and I have no down time. It's a big adjustment from going to school to starting teaching. Thanks for letting me vent. I am just having such a hard time, I don't know how I will last the whole year!!!
    :( :confused:
     
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  3. Monica32

    Monica32 Rookie

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    Take a deep breath and try to relax.. I know it is hard! I may be in the same boat and I too am nervous and anxious. I have my second interview Monday and spent two hours tossing and turning last night thinking about things.. You will adjust quicker than you think. It will be hard the first couple weeks, but you will get the hang of it, they would not have hired you if they didn't think you could handle it! Good Luck!;)
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 5, 2006

    Hi.

    It gets SO much easier!!! The beginning is overwhelming; all of us can attest to that. So try to take a deep breath, grab a cup of coffee, and let's make some sense of all this.

    Once you get started, things will actually calm down. Routines are wonderful; they help you get through your day without putting thought into every little detail. So give some thought this weekend into which routines can help smooth things out. From the time you get up until you're done with dinner, how can you make things go a bit better? Maybe setting up the coffee machine the night before? Getting up 15 minutes earlier so you can read the paper and feel like an adult? Put some thought into it.

    You're kindergarten, right? I can't help much there; I'm HS math. But as a mom I know how insane those first days must be. You're dealing with kids from a huge variety of backgrounds and parents who are terrified to leave their babies for the first time. But, again, try to take a deep breath. Give it a week or two, and things will be saner. It's kind of like final exam time in HS-- it's insane, but then it's over and everyone survives.

    Boil it down to basics: Here's what I see as your priority list:
    1) You must keep your kids safe. That means teaching them early about fire drills, about listening when you speak (my kids' K teacher did a clapping thing 1-1-123 when she wanted their attention), assuring that each child has a lunch (and, if they forget, being sure they're not fed something they're allergic to) and getting them on the right bus at the end of the day.

    2) You want to teach them the routines that will make everything else possible. Again, the K teachers will have real advice here. But I imagine you want to teach them to line up so that you can move them around the building, to sit quietly, how to enter the room in the morning, and so on. Sit down and boil it down to basics. Work out your classroom management routine. But you don't have to re-invent the wheel; there are lots of posts on it. So read up, and choose one.

    3) Then you can worry about the academics (This is SO not the way I teach the older kids :) )

    4) As much as you would think differently from this forum, decor is really really not the most important thing. So if it falls to the bottom of your priority list, that's OK. (I think it's a wonderful outlet for creativity. And a number of people either don't have their materials yet, or have been through all this a number of times before and have the luxury of putting lots of thought into this.) As long as your room is organized and cheerful, you don't have to put tons of energy into your theme and so on.

    Above all, take care of yourself. It's like when the flight attendant is giving the pre-flight talk about emergencies: Put on your oxygen mask first. You can't help anyone else if you can't breathe. So take some time this weekend to be yourself, not a teacher. Do the same on a regular basis all year. It will, in turn, make you a better teacher.

    Take care!
     
  5. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Aug 5, 2006

    Sending hugs of encouragemnet.
     
  6. Starivy

    Starivy Companion

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    Aug 5, 2006

    Thank you for the advice and support!!! I am just so stressed, I went to go see a movie last night to have some fun and I could not even focus on it. My mind was in a totally different place! I will take the advice to relax and try to take care of myself. I must admit I have had to skip meals because I had to get so much done.
     
  7. Pixiewannabe

    Pixiewannabe Comrade

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    Aug 5, 2006

    I am about to go into my second year of teaching and I want to let you know that the empty classroom at the beginning of the year was close to the most stressful thing I went through (The most stressful was 6th grade boys sharing porn in the coat closet). It can feel so overwhelming because its hard to know where to start. What I did was I started by covering my bullitin boards and organizing my desk, the rest will fall into place.
    Here are my few pieces of advice... The kinders at my school put their hands on there hips (can't touch anyone) and put bubbles in their cheeks (to keep them quite) when they walk in a line, I think it works wonders
    also the kinder teacher has the gallon size ziplocks with builtin board items ready to go, she didn't pre make them she just put them in the ziplocks after the first year and labeled well.
    I am sure you will be a wonderful teacher.
     
  8. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Aug 5, 2006


    Have to love those adolescent boys! Dealing with those situations is definitely something they don't teach you in your teacher training!
     
  9. hhennigan

    hhennigan Rookie

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    Starivy,
    Do you have a mentor teacher? Maybe even a neighboring teacher that could lend a hand or a piece of advice? I like the suggestions listed above. I'm no help with kindies I teach Middle school. But I can lend an ear for listening, a shoulder for tears, and a mouth for advice. Take a deep breath you'll be fine.
     
  10. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Hi, Starivy. I'm sure it does seem overwhelming. Especially right out of college. One thing I want to point out is that you can't expect to be an expert your first year of teaching. Everyone knows that you will be trying things out this year, practicing strategies, fidning your comfort zone. Actually, all teachers do this every year. They just have more to compare the results to!

    Alice's priorities list was right on. You simply must accept that there will be stress, let it exist and don't obsess about it. It will all work out and you will find what works for you. Mistakes will be made and, as long as the kids are safe, won't make a bit of difference in the end. Your goal should be to learn as much as possible this year. And to have fun with it. The kids won't learn nearly as well if you all aren't having fun.
     
  11. Jenni

    Jenni Rookie

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    I am not yet in your shoes. Right now it all sounds so exciting and not overwhelming; however I haven't completely finished school yet so I think I am still in that magical before first year stage. However I did see a very cute management system for Kindergarteners.

    The teacher laminated little pockets and put them on the front of each kids desk, in these were laminated crayons. On a board in her room were more (smaller) pockets to hold these crayons. If I child was acting up she simply went to their desk, pulled out one of their crayons and slipped it in the pockets on the wall. These were numbered I believe.

    I didn't get a chance to ask as it was an observation, but I believe one or two crayons would be warnings, then some kind of consequence, probably a time-out for that age, etc as you go up. Kind of like the stop light method but it was very cute this way and completely silent discipline. I came several weeks after school had started so I imagine it took a few weeks to explain this and get this to work. At any rate I think it was cute and it seemed to work.
     
  12. jerry829

    jerry829 New Member

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    Aug 5, 2006

    I am with you.

    Hi, Star

    I am a new student-teacher. I can understand you completely as I just finished my 1st pract-teaching. The theory I learnt from my education degree become helpless. Luckily I have a good co-op teacher to help me out or I will be eaten by the 25 monsters. I think the best thing for you is seeking help from your mentor teachers or some experienced teacher who can reach you. I believe every new teachers will have the same feeling as yours, but once we overcome the fear we will be all right. So keep it up!!!!!:angel:
     
  13. Loves2TeachinSC

    Loves2TeachinSC Rookie

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    Starivy - I totally understand where you are coming from!!! I know how stressful it is realizing everything that needs to be done - other than teaching! I am not nervous about teaching at all...however, I am scared to death of the parents and other faculty when I make a mistake! I am scared they will eat me alive!!! I have honestly had nightmares about parents coming in a "taking over" my class because I wasn't good enough to do it myself! And they wouldn't let me do anything! It was scary! I have also gone days where all I do is think about teaching stuff...even when I'm out with friends...isn't it crazy how our minds think like that??? Oh well, we WILL make it through the first year! We go through college thinking its always greener on the other side, then we get to the other side called teaching in our own room...and we are nervous and scared to death! If I can give any advice, it would be to try your hardest to relax and take a breather! Even if you still have teaching on your mind, making yourself take a breather may calm you down a little! Hope this makes sense...it was just a random run of my mind...haha!
     
  14. gwat1aw

    gwat1aw Rookie

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    First of all Congratulations! You've entered the world that is one of the least respected by the public and most rewarding from the students! I've taught over 20 years and I still get nervous and anxious about that first day with the students, what I'm going to do with the blank walls, etc. But once the students get there, it gets much easier. You'll spend a few days (weeks) still obsessing on what needs to be done next, what else can I do, etc. But Aliceacc was on target with her priorities. Be sure to spend some time on you, worry about your students safety, not their parents eating you alive and you'll be fine. I'm sure you'll be a great teacher.
     
  15. worrywart

    worrywart Companion

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    Starivy - don't feel alone, I was crying the other day over my stress as well. The room is a mess, the school policies and procedures are many and honestly, I just don't have any more room for more information! I'm floundering!

    I'm going to try to remember how I feel with the information overload and try not to overload my kids on the first day..I guess that is one good thing that can come out of it!
     
  16. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Starivy- I know how you feel. All I can tell you is to take one day at a time in the beginning. I wouldn't worry too much about planning.. just get through the first week and then plan for the following week.

    It will be ok, and you will survive. Find a mentor you can trust. :angel:
     
  17. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    And the good thing is that most people never see your mistakes. LOL
     
  18. Raising3boys

    Raising3boys Companion

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    You came to the right place -vent away! This is something you must do. Cry when you need to and vent when you need to.We all understand. I think everyone goes through it. Nothing prepares you until you are in your very own classroom. Most things are trial and error. You have to find what works for YOU. I agree with all the advice here. I cried almost every day until Thanksgiving break. It was very stressful. After that, it all came together. I started to have a life outside the classroom-which you need to remember to do. You have to take care of you. You will make it, I promise.
     
  19. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Definitely true
     
  20. 2Teach_is_2Care

    2Teach_is_2Care Rookie

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    Aug 7, 2006

    Star, Congradulations! I know exactly how you feel! Last year I finsihed college in mid-Dec., but was hired as a sub the week of Thanksgiving until I graduated. So this is my "First" first days/weeks. I'm very excited, nervous, scared, and thrilled to be teaching. What I have done is to go through all the stuff previous teachers have left behind (OMG, this was a never ending battle!), look at the state's standards, and then start planning. This has helped, but I know that I will keep reading all these GREAT posts for advice! Best of Luck and just remember to smile! It is the greatest thing to be the "Teacher" and not the "student"! :D
     

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