Terrible teacher in the beginning

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by PurpleOrchid60, Apr 8, 2017.

  1. PurpleOrchid60

    PurpleOrchid60 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2016
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 8, 2017

    I am posting here because I really don't have anyone that I feel comfortable talking to about this. I am in my second year of full time teaching and so is my co-teacher. I feel as if my co -teacher is a stronger (way better teacher) than me. "Co-teacher" is probably not the correct term. She teaches the same grade as me and we plan together.

    I feel as if I have improved since last year but I am not sure if others see that. I feel as if I am the weakest link. No one has said that to my face, but I feel as if that's what they think. Next year will be the second year that a co-worker has transferred their child into the other teacher's class before the year starts. No one has told me why, but I feel that they did it because she is the better teacher.

    I haven't gotten in trouble or anything from my boss. Sometimes I think that people are to afraid to tell me because they don't want to hurt my feelings. I just want to be given a chance. If I keep trying and keep improving...I will be a good teacher one day...right?

    Please tell me that there are fantastic teachers who started off not so great. Do I have a chance?
     
  2.  
  3. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,770
    Likes Received:
    1,004

    Apr 8, 2017

    Every fantastic teacher started off not-so-great. I can't think of any first year teacher who knows how to do all aspects of this job well right off the bat. Our teacher preparation programs are not that good, but this profession also just requires a few years experience in order to become even a mediocre teacher. It's normal to feel inadequate (and I would say that that feeling will probably follow you your entire life; there is always someone out there who is better or more experienced) your first few years. Don't sweat it. Learn what you can, and make the changes you can to improve. Hang in there!
     
    SageScience, DressageLady and Obadiah like this.
  4. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    4,304
    Likes Received:
    887

    Apr 8, 2017

    Teaching has a big learning curve, and some people adjust better than others. The fact that you recognize room for improvement in yourself gives you a big advantage over a lot of other people. Start figuring out your areas to improve, and start finding ways to improve them. If your teammate is a better teacher in your estimation, try to figure out what it is about her that you like (or alternately, what are the qualities in her that might make a parent want their kid in her class). Use the experience at your school to help you. Talk to your math/reading coaches if you have them. Talk to a supervisor that isn't evaluating you this year. Talk to other adults who might have seen you teach.
     
    SageScience and Obadiah like this.
  5. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2015
    Messages:
    1,356
    Likes Received:
    844

    Apr 9, 2017

    You see areas of improvement. That is a quality of a successful teacher. A teacher who no longer needs to improve is a teacher who needs to quit.

    That co-workers place their children in the other teacher's room could also be a positive indicator. Popularity is fickle: popularity does not always indicate superiority. You are unique and you are developing professional mannerisms for teaching. The cooperating teacher also faces struggles and hurdles. Not that conformity is to be avoided, we can and should learn from each other, but individuality is important too. Poet Robert Frost chose the road less traveled on and in the end, he was glad he chose that route.

    The duty of a teacher is focus. When our focus is consistent we develop professionally. Our focus is the students, their progress, their safety, their feeling of comfort in the classroom. The purpose of our self improvements are to become better teachers rather than just keeping or advancing in our jobs. Keeping our eyes outward on the goal will in turn also improve ourselves.
     
    SageScience likes this.
  6. rpan

    rpan Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2017
    Messages:
    703
    Likes Received:
    540

    Apr 9, 2017

    I agree with gr8teacher, teaching has a huge learning curve and for some people, it's more intuitive and comes more easily. For others, it takes a few more years. What can be helpful is to observe your fellow teacher for a couple of lessons to see what it is she does that is special. It is also good to self reflect on what you think your areas of improvement are and do some reading in that area. And ask your co-teacher if she could tell you when she is addressing that particular area and if you could observe.
     
    SageScience likes this.
  7. Christine Quimby

    Christine Quimby New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2017
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 12, 2017

    Hello,
    Teaching is a very challenging profession. My advice would be to concentrate on your students; it can be overwhelming when you first start out if you worry about colleagues, administration, programs, parents etc. Preparation and planning for each day is very helpful. Set up exact routines and procedures. Make sure your students understand your expectations.
    Focus on the kids.
    A couple questions for you; then I can be more specific to giving comments and advice.
    Is your 'co-teacher' /colleague helpful to you? Do you feel she/he is an advocate? Do you have a sense of collaboration or do you just follow?
    I am sure you are not a terrible teacher, but what part of teaching most concerns you? Is it classroom management, children learning, curriculum, outside observers?
    As you finish this school year, jot down 3 things that you did well. Things you would keep doing because it worked for your students and for you. These parts of your teaching were valuable to your students.
    And, yes, write down 3 things that you really want to change, not working, turned out miserably.
    When you have done that, be proud of what you did well. And let's talk about the 3 things you want to fix or improve on.
    When we start out new, as a teacher, it can be overwhelming. Each class is different and you will find out some years are better than others. But also, you are a unique person. No one will teach exactly like you... your students learn and look up to you every day. Be yourself, don't try to be the teacher next door. However; scholars always consider and you can choose and incorporate practices from the many excellent teachers you come across and put those practices in your repertoire. Think of all the teachers you had and take on some of the characteristics you admired about them. What did they do? How did that make you learn? How did that practice make you feel about your learning?
    Always be professional. Be prepared (so much work at the end of the school day, believe me, I understand) it does get better. You will learn/grow each year as a teacher; and just by writing on this forum, you have shown concern and have expressed that you want to be better. That is a great place to start.
    I will leave you with this thought. No one has all the answers; if they did we could just write them all down, apply them and voila! all kids would excel at school. You have chosen a very rewarding profession and a very challenging one. Routines and classroom management is the foundation to build a class community of learners.
    Each day you will learn something new about teaching. Each year will be better.
    I wish you the best. If you would like to talk/write more; I would be happy to continue. Enjoy the end of your school year... what grade are you teaching?

    P.S. I will check back to see if we can continue our 'talk'. Also, one more tip comes to mind...students and teachers spend a lot of time together. I find my students love, love, love my stories about me and my family. Children want to know you are a person. They want you to know about them in return. Lots of research about being genuine in the classroom helps the whole process of teaching/learning. 3 key words to a great classroom; Respect, Responsibility and Kindness... and so much learning can happen. Sometimes it is just a way of looking at it.
     
  8. oneteacher

    oneteacher Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2015
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    14

    Apr 13, 2017

    I can understand how you feel. I started teaching 3 years ago and my co-teacher (she taught the other class in the same grade) was also a first year teacher. We worked together a lot and I often felt (still do sometimes) that she was the better teacher. Although parents didn't transfer out of my classroom (not that I ever knew anyway), I still always wondered if parents lamented their students being in my class. I feel very inadequate most of the time. We also have a sort of recognition award monthly. It's different than employee of the month. Teachers nominate someone in the building to receive the recognition for a variety of reasons. I'm pretty sure everyone in the building has received it except myself. That's been pretty hard to swallow. I have had to learn to ignore that and just be my best self.

    It's so easy to compare ourselves to others and so easy to see their strengths and our faults. In talking with my co-teacher (not about this specifically) I get the sense she feels the same way sometimes. We have our strengths, but they are different strengths. I am really good at some things, she is really good at other things. Together, we make a good team.

    Another thought. Perhaps parents are requesting the other teacher because of students in your classroom. I know parents at my school have requested their student NOT be in the same class as other students. That may be the reason.

    If this is really bothering you, I would sit down with your principal and talk things over. If your principal is doing his/her job, they should let you know areas you can improve and areas you do well at. If they haven't said anything, either they aren't doing their job or you are doing fine. Another suggestion is to create a short survey you can send parents and/or students. Maybe frame it as a means to improve for next year. Ask them to tell you what they liked about the classroom and what they would have changed. You can have them do it anonymously, too.

    I am only in my 3rd year, but I am with you. I hope someday I will be a fantastic teacher.
     
    Obadiah likes this.
  9. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2015
    Messages:
    1,356
    Likes Received:
    844

    Apr 14, 2017

    Well put! It's good to learn from each other, but not wise to judge ourselves with each other. And certainly better than the teacher who looks in the mirror and says, "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?" Equally important to remember is that we are all individuals. Each one of us uniquely contributes to the whole school.
     
    oneteacher likes this.
  10. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,886
    Likes Received:
    232

    Apr 23, 2017

    I always say this, but my first year as a teacher I felt like a fake......It takes a while to get the hang of this whole teacher thing. Now I've been teaching for 8 years, but I still feel I am always learning.
     
    Obadiah likes this.
  11. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    1,180

    Apr 23, 2017

    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  12. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,886
    Likes Received:
    232

    Apr 23, 2017

    Oh yeah...I can't and don't do scripts.
     
  13. WarriorPrncss

    WarriorPrncss Companion

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2014
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    28

    May 4, 2017

    My first year of teaching was a mess... very little curriculum and a grade level team that didn't like to play well with others-- particularly new teachers they perceived as being inferior. I didn't do well and left that year feeling like a failure. This year, I have an AMAZING grade level team who helped my confidence and I have excelled.

    I can't say it's only who you work with... but for me, at least it was vital that I met this team this year. I've developed SO many skills from their help and now I am confident in my ability.

    Don't let your inner "weakest link" voice show. If you feel like you're doing well, own it-- and it will show outwardly. I learned this the hard way last year.

    After spending most of the year second guessing myself and my ability I was "non-renewed" in February of last year (told I 'wasn't a good fit'). This gave me a "nothing to lose" attitude (and I was happier!) and when I stopped worrying about not being good enough and started taking bold steps I ended up doing what I should have been doing all along and I excelled... in fact the Principal came to me at the end of the year and told me they'd never seen someone "turn around" like I did after being told they were not renewed and that she was really impressed.

    You have to believe in yourself and you've got to let it show, because if you are full of doubt and second guessing that spills over into your attitude whether you mean for it to or not.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. TeacherNY,
  2. nstructor
Total: 255 (members: 3, guests: 234, robots: 18)
test