The new teaching year has begun!!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Pi-R-Squared, Aug 10, 2019.

  1. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Aug 10, 2019

    Actually it started last Tuesday and one noticeable difference is that those boys who didn’t do squat for the last 2 years are all gone! No more stupid stuff going on in the hallways.... pushing each other, grabbing and hitting each other in the nether regions, no more openly defiant abuse of vapes and Juuls. Now, it’s not like this isn’t gonna happen ever again, but it’s refreshing that they’re gone and out of the school. There are other boys in the school who are still immature relative to their age. But I don’t think there will ever be a class like that again! Then again, the P said this year’s 5th graders were like those boys but I don’t have them yet.

    If anyone else has started back to school, how’d it all go?
     
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  3. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Aug 10, 2019

    I started last week, too.

    My kids seem less mature that the kids from last year. There are still a lot of 7th grade behaviors, much more than last year. The kids last year came in acting more like end-of-year 8th graders. These are more like first-of-year 7th graders.

    It is a boy-heavy class, too. I've taught many all-boy groups over the year, and I prefer them, actually. It's when you put the girls in with them that they lose their minds.

    However, it's gone pretty well so far. I have four ELA classes with around 20 kids each and one reading class with 20 kids.
     
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  4. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Comrade

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    Aug 10, 2019

    Ima, I am glad things are starting out pretty well so far for you. I have to constantly remind myself each year that the new class is not the class I had at the end of the year before.
    I even tell my best friend to remind me every time I start to snivel about what I have at the beginning of the yr. :) They mature and learn "my routines" over the year. She reminds me and it helps a lot.
    I am curious when you will figure out who I am from PT....lol I spotted you instantly, but your picture/ name makes it 100x easier. I came over here one day just to see if something I read was true and like it here. :) I'll give you a big hint: I constantly start using ( and forget to put 1 at the end. :)
     
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  5. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Comrade

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    Aug 10, 2019


    PI- RI- Squared
    I am so sorry! I saw IMA on this post and did not see you as the original poster. It sounds like you guys dodged a bullet by not having returning students who were pains. I am happy for you!! Some years, we get those tricky groups that make life really hard. It is always nice to see them move on....We haven't started back yet, but it will be soon enough! :)
     
  6. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Aug 10, 2019

    I still have two weeks but I have PD and orientation stuff starting Monday! I’m hoping to get my room completely set up next week.
     
  7. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    Aug 10, 2019

    Our new people have orientation starting Monday then there's optional PD all next week. But considering teachers officially got their classroom assignments and lists I know there will be teachers in the building all next week setting up classrooms. Then mandatory days after that, students come back the 21st. Our own house is Thursday night so that should be interesting.

    So yeah. Summer is pretty much over.
     
  8. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Aug 11, 2019

    I start tomorrow. Changing grade levels and moving buildings has been overwhelming. People mean well when they come to ask if I need anything, but all if the interruptions are driving me crazy. I have a special education cluster of students in my classroom, plus a lot of high-energy students. I’ll have other adults coming in and out all day every day to provide support. I’m a bit anxious, but I’m sure it will be fine.
     
  9. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    Aug 11, 2019

    This is year 17 for me, but I just started in a new state (all new standards), at a new (for me) school, in a new grade level..and the first day is tomorrow. I was only hired two weeks ago, and have been in so many mandatory trainings. I've barely had time to set-up and do things like labeling books, and making name tags and such. We just got our class lists on Wednesday, and many of our books didn't arrive until Thursday afternoon. My class list had changed three times since Wednesday, which I guess isn't that atypical, but it sure is making it hard to label things. We had Open House Thursday night. Friday, we had to spend all day in a mandatory PD for the new math and writing program we are expected to start using on Monday! And the school was only open for 2 hours on Saturday. I did as much as I could, but I do not feel any where close to ready.

    They also have a very intense master schedule that must be followed to the T, and so many mandatory programs -- each day I will have to juggle SEVEN teacher's manuals! We are expected to use each program with complete fidelity! We are expected to have the teacher's manual on our laps at all times. I haven't actually used a teacher's manual in over 10 years! I'm like a fish out of water!

    I'm used to having a great deal of flexibility, authority, and discretion, and at this school, it is all spelled out in black-and-white, and each teacher is expected to follow it word-for-word. There is no time allotted or allowed for other things, like TPT projects, and nothing cutsey or non-academic is allowed. We are given only 30 minutes for the first three days to teach procedures, and then are expected to jump right in to the curriculum on day 1.

    I've never had each subject timed to the minute. When I say to-the-minute, I leave for lunch at exactly 11:47am. Not 11:45am or 11:50am, but 11:47am. I must not be early, and I must not be late. There are so many schedules for everything, and so many "non-negotiables." (I hate that term.) There is no leeway. We are not allowed to use worksheets of any kind, ever, are encouraged not to copy anything (students are even supposed to copy down their own graphic organizers from one displayed using the Elmo -- they are second graders! And most are very low academically. I just can't imagine how that is going to work.) But I will try my best. I'm getting a bit over-wrought.

    Oh, this is going to take a lot of getting used to. I had no idea what I was getting into when I accepted this job, even though I did a lot of research on the school. I hope I'm not too old to learn new ways. I really want to succeed at this, but I'm starting to feel a bit overwhelmed.
     
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  10. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Aug 11, 2019

    Our kids come back Monday (tomorrow) and we have been back to work since last Wednesday.
    Since last year I have been teaching independent study - and I'm still so happy. My kids come once a week for a one hour appointment - no disrespect, no behaviors to manage, just one on one time to get to know them and get them to graduate / recover credits to go back to their high school, etc.
    so I don't have the back to school jitters like I used to and I'm so happy. I have most of my students from last year and it will be so great to see them again. We've built some great relationships, something I couldn't have done with 25 kids teaching in a classroom.
    I will have some students, who are filling the spots of those who graduated or returned to their district.
    I am looking forward to tomorrow.

    I will also be teaching 4 ELD classes. They are actually one class but I will be teaching it 4 times a week to ensure all 60 of our EL learners can attend.
    I like that, I don't want to lose touch with teaching in a classroom. Last year I was teaching English 2 and 3 and thought I would do it again, but they said no, since I'm already doing 4 classes. No argument here, I was doing that to help our kiddos, but now I don't have to prep for 2 more classes, especially since I don't get any prep time for any of this, including ELD.

    So overall, I am very happy.
     
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  11. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Comrade

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    Aug 11, 2019

    Rain, I could relate to your feelings about fidelity to programs and what seems to be Time on Task. Both of those have bothered me in the past at different places. "Time on Task" can be killer or fine depending upon the way your evaluator feels ( not says) about it.
    It was used in a school I was at a long time ago. My evaluator knew it was just a fad that would go away. She would have spouted the party line because she had to, but never would have marked us down for being in a different spot in our lesson plans. We all did have to be careful though with the creative/extras.
    My team teacher was really good, but she had a different evaluator. He'd come in weekly, look at her lesson plans, and make note of where she was at the exact time. He was mean too. So it really depends on how they feel not what they say.
    7 scripted programs a day is insane. ( I really tried at 1x to follow a script, but must have sounded like a robot.) The kids instantly tuned out when my voice tone changed to the script reading.
    I am not sure who came up with these programs. They assume kids all learn the same way at the same pace.
    We have a couple at the school I am at now. At 1st, the party line, was fidelity to the program by all admin. Now the smart ones know that they are not effective. They just don't say it. Teachers have tweaked the programs to make them work for their class and kids.
    It is kind of funny that the word "non- negotiables" is the word they use there. Here they use the word "mandatory". For some reason, I strongly dislike the word. There might be a post about a mandatory staff meeting. I think to myself, "Seriously! How many experienced teachers (all of us are) need to hear the word mandatory? It makes it feel like we are in the military when I see that word.
    Still at our school the schedule says things that are unrealistic. How can kids come in from recess at the same time math class starts? Some have to use the bathroom. Others have had conflicts during recess that need to be resolved. Plus, when winter hits, it takes kids awhile to get all of their stuff off and put away.
    You seem to have way too many changes to deal with right now. Keep the manuals/ scripts out, opened, and pretend you are reading out of them if admin comes in your room if that makes it easier. It takes awhile to get used to scripted programs, but if you learn the basics, you can often talk using the buzz words, basic routine, and no one is the wiser. ;)
    The beginning of a new year ( especially at a new district) can definitely be overwhelming. I am wishing you the best from the opposite side of the US. <3
     
  12. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Aug 11, 2019

    We aren’t back yet. A few more weeks to go.
     
  13. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Aug 12, 2019

    I'm still in summer school. Last week before our vacation then we start after Labor Day.
     
  14. MntnHiker

    MntnHiker Rookie

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    Aug 12, 2019

    Teachers return tomorrow and students return Thursday. I'm not really ready for summer break to end :(
     
  15. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    Aug 12, 2019

    My crew were griping today! But it is nice to start to see the school come back together, all the bulletin boards going up, classrooms getting organized.
     
  16. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Aug 12, 2019

    We still have another few weeks; the first day of school is the day after Labour Day. We don't have any mandatory days before the start of school. We'll all be in during the last couple of weeks of August, some for long days and some for just a few hours.
     
  17. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Aug 17, 2019

    My first day with kids was Monday. It was a 12-hour day, and I came home in tears - literally. I walked in the door, dropped my bags to the floor, hugged my husband, and started sobbing. It was one of the top five worst days of my teaching career (and this is my tenth year). Every day this week seemed to get better than the day before it. I spoke up about both having too many adults in my room at any given time and also about having too many different adults coming in and out. There are still more adults coming in and out than I'd like, but it has improved. After two days, the decision was made to move a child out of my room and into another. Things are looking up, but it sure hasn't been easy. To top it off, I'm already sick with my first cold of the school year, likely due to the constant stress and not drinking enough water. I'm hanging in there and waiting for Labor Day weekend. We'll be three full weeks into the school year then. My hope is that all of my routines are established by then, the adult support will have been worked out and limited, I will ahead of myself in planning rather than still working one day at a time, and I can finally take a deep breath and relax over that three day weekend.
     
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  18. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Comrade

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    Aug 17, 2019

    Monday was our 1st day back. We were able to have workdays that I love. It was fun to be able to go out to lunch daily and visit with people you haven't seen for awhile. Then we had a lot of inservice too. We got our state test scores back.
    Our school was ranked in the "decent" range for a long time.
    Then we switched tests. ( Not by choice...) Our scores plummeted. :(
    Our P appeared to be mad at just about everyone for different reasons. Some more so than others. Some people's stress levels were so high by Friday that it was hard to be near them.
    I kept having to shake it off. 1 rather grumpy, inexperienced, angry, Sped teacher lectured me about something that I already was very much aware of...
    A coworker /friend called me on my way home to ask me to come show her how to do something. ( I had forgotten to say, "Good bye " when I left.)
    I couldn't go back because I had something else planned. I told her I'd help 1st thing Monday morning, but she misunderstood and thought I was still at school. Later at night she realized and understood I wasn't even nearby when she called. So all is good with her now.
    Hopefully, when the kids arrive, things will get better. Once we get settled everyone gets busier with their classes, I think it helps.
    Plus, a lot of times, there will be kids that make everything more fun.
    I really hope this year goes well because this could be my last year, but I'd be better off financially if I did 1 more.
     
  19. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Comrade

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    Aug 17, 2019


    Bella, I am sorry you are having a rough start. I think the 1st week back can be tough on all of us. Then getting sick seems to make everything harder. I totally get the "too many adults" in 1 room issue. In the past, I've had up to 5 different adults in my room at 1 time. Usually they were untrained ( not their fault) and often escalated situations.
    Sometimes, they stood around doing nothing because they were scared of the kids. If you asked them to do something, they'd often think of a reason to leave or not do it.
    One of the hardest years I remember was when 2 of them would not stop talking to each other from across the room when I was trying to teach. It was hard for me to keep my concentration.
    In the end, I gave up trying to stop their incessant chatter.
    I set both of their kids together with them. That way they weren't hollering across the room to each other anymore.
    I know a lot of people will think, "Why not tell admin?" The reason most never said a word was because admin wanted no problems. If you were naïve enough to tell , they'd spin it to make it your fault. We did not have time to train them. Their turn over rate was too high too due to low pay..
    Fortunately, we no longer have that problem. :) One of those times a lot of us cheered when funding was lost! :)
     
  20. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Aug 17, 2019

    Thanks. Yes, at two different points of the first day, there were no less than five adults, six at one point, in my tiny room. It was overwhelming. As you said, they talked to each other while I tried to teach, they talked to kids while I tried to teach, they just sat there watching me teach (a new-to-me grade level on the very first day!), which gave me a lot of anxiety. Fortunately, my principal is wonderful and my colleagues are supportive. I spoke up and said that it was just too many people in the room at one time. So now I only have the required sped para and a coach who comes in for about an hour a day. So much better.
     
  21. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Comrade

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    Aug 17, 2019

    Bella, I am glad you were able to get it down to 2. This too shall pass...lol You are fortunate to have admin that listens, understands, and acts.
     
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