Students that are really behind

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by Charlie Trahan, Oct 3, 2019.

  1. Charlie Trahan

    Charlie Trahan Rookie

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    Oct 3, 2019

    So I may or may not be getting a position I interviewed for today. The person who was there quit and left quickly and they are in the second 6 weeks. The students are severely behind and they haven't had a science teacher for almost a month. If I get this job, where would I start? I was thinking start back at unit 1 with an assessment fill in gaps then assessment on unit 2 then move from there. The lessons will be very quick. until we are caught back up. What would your approach be?
     
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  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Oct 3, 2019

    What do you know for certain about the school? There is a cautionary tale in another thread right now, so make sure you use due diligence when checking out the school while they are checking out teachers.
     
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  4. Charlie Trahan

    Charlie Trahan Rookie

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    Oct 8, 2019

    For whatever reason this did not show in my profile alerts as replied. So, sorry for the late reply! The school is a legitimate school. No contracts, at will employee so I can leave if things go sideways. I think I should have been more descriptive. The last teacher was a career switcher (like myself) and she could not get the classroom under control. Apparently the kids are great in math, social studies etc. then once they hit the door for science class they go crazy. I've seen the classroom and I can say It is not a productive layout. There are no assigned seats. I'm teaching science for 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th. The school is charter so parents picked the school for their kids to attend there. It is basically an at risk school. I'm not sure I can say much more than that but the last teacher wanted to leave, she was not let go. She decided teaching wasn't for her.
     
  5. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Oct 8, 2019

    Teaching often sounds good, but doesn't work out. I have worked with AR teachers and those who came through a teaching program. At the end of the day, I can say that both methods of preparing teachers works sometimes, and sometimes it doesn't. For AR teachers, I think that often they can only get these really hard first jobs - it is one of the biggest differences between teachers based on how they were prepared. It makes it harder to find the time to take a breath, and sometimes it separates you from traditionally prepared teachers who feel that you don't know what you are doing, and that you don't belong there. As an AR teacher, let me say that sometimes you won't know what you are doing, but the second part of that sentence is only true if you don't buckle down and work harder than you thought possible to BE exactly what your students need. Wow, it was so hard sometimes, but find ways to get PD, training, guidance, and a true mentor. I went back to school and earned a master's using tuition reimbursement, and then continued to earn an endorsement to teach students with disabilities. I worked at a school that offered summer PD courses, and I took as many as I could. What I found in these courses were some of the best teachers in the business, and I got to listen to them as we worked side by side, when we would talk about where this new knowledge would fit into a real classroom. I saw that sometimes they were just as vulnerable as I felt, and it was eye opening.

    Not all teachers are good at what they do, but the vast majority work really hard to try to be better, every day, every year. AR teachers are thrown into the deep end of the pool, and only those who are creative, industrious, and hard working will not only survive, but thrive. OP, you are walking into a tough job without a safety net. I'm not a fan of at will employment, since neither the employee or employer is highly invested or motivated to make the relationship work. That said, it sounds like this school needs you, so they may well be willing to spend a little money to get you more education and support to keep you. Push for chances to get PD, training, education - it is in both of your self interests. I hope you grow in this position, despite inevitable struggles, but enjoying your successes along the way. Best of luck!
     
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  6. Charlie Trahan

    Charlie Trahan Rookie

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    Oct 8, 2019

    Thank you for the advice! Since my offer I have been reading 123 magic, teach like a pirate and listening to every teacher vlog I can find. The school was really laid back. They had no fowl moods toward the last teacher which was telling to me. The teacher on her own decided this was not it. I don't intend to tell the other faculty I am alternative because I don't want that to be on others minds in me being there. Yes, the school does desperately need me. And yes, my only "shots" around here will be hard teaching positions. After 1 year of experience then I can get most positions around here but I HAVE to get through that first year. My plan is to get this alternative degree completed then move onto get a masters in teaching. All the other science teachers have the same planning period as me so we can collaborate. Because this is middle school I know I have got to get this management down. I found a local science museum that offers professional development over summer and my first actual day of teaching is a professional development day with a science teaching coach. I plan to basically stay late for the rest of the year and I know this will basically consume my life and summer will be spent studying the PPR and professional development.
     
  7. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Oct 8, 2019

    Let me suggest the FREE Links and Resources thread that I maintain on the Forum, and it is a daunting 105 pages (currently), and since I take information as I am able to find it, it doesn't have an index or true form. However, since you are MS, and can use free stuff, please look at the USGS links I am listing today. There are images that you can download and print for free, an entire unit on water - activity, impact, assessment - and it is awesome. This thread is heavy science links because I have my fingers into lots of science resources. I recommend becoming a student member of NSTA, if you haven't already - the resources there available to members are unbelievable. Also, sign up for NSTA's Freebies for Teachers. Let me wish you the best of luck. As for that masters in education, please consider getting certified in SPED - you will be shocked how many of your students that will service. I don't know where you are, but I also recommend ESL endorsement through graduate school. It doesn't have to be the masters - in NJ, 15 credits. Stay in touch, and check out the free things!
     
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  8. Charlie Trahan

    Charlie Trahan Rookie

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    Oct 10, 2019

    Thank you! This is greatly appreciated. I was on NSTA yesterday and looking at the TEKS for unit 2. My school also suggested www.texasgateway.org which is also a great free resource.
     

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