This sounds like great advice

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Anonymousteach, Nov 20, 2013.

  1. Anonymousteach

    Anonymousteach Companion

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    Nov 20, 2013

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  3. AHS_Fan

    AHS_Fan Rookie

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    Nov 20, 2013

    Honestly, I agree with all of the author's main points. I think they are all 100% true.

    I have been really, really sick over the past few days and have been out of school. It's given me some time to reflect. I have let teaching totally consume me as of late - and that's a bad thing. I have been teaching for only a year and a 1/2. If I continue down this path...I can just about guarantee that I will leave teaching with only 2 years under my belt.

    But...I am going to start putting my wellbeing first (That's a large part of why I'm sick...I just haven't been taking care of myself). I also need to start trying to leave "work" at "work" more often and focusing on hobbies and other activities.

    As a matter of fact, I think I may print that article out and read it whenever I'm starting to feel stressed or overwhelmed!
     
  4. HorseLover

    HorseLover Comrade

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    Nov 20, 2013

    I agree, but my struggle comes with the application :/ Anyone have any tips on actually doing this? Yes some things can wait until tomorrow, but then tomorrow's things will be added. Have any of you found any strategies that worked to help you leave at a decent time (most nights) and not take tons of work home and to be able to have a life outside of teaching?
     
  5. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Nov 20, 2013

    ^^^ I have a weekly schedule for myself as to how I spend my planning period:

    Monday and Tuesday - I plan for next week's US History class and I create all of my Powerpoints for next week.
    Wednesday and Thursday - I plan for next week's elective class and I create all of the Powerpoints for next week.
    Friday - I type up my lesson plans for next week and print/copy anything I need for next week.
    Sunday - Anything else I need to finish up (if need be).

    I have to stay after work once a week for Coach Class and that's when I grade papers, file, and update grades. If I finish any of my tasks early during my planning time, I will go ahead and plan for the following week or grade.

    Also, I have found systems that make grading easier. I only skim most things and I only grade one assignment and the weekly homework assignment each week (although I collect work everyday).
     
  6. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Nov 20, 2013

    I've yet to find a good schedule for avoiding a ton of work outside of hours. I effectively only have two planning blocks a week for about 45 minutes apiece. Hoping I'll get there eventually.
     
  7. HorseLover

    HorseLover Comrade

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    Yeah, same here :p haha. We technically have a planning block every day, but after meetings and such it ends up only being once or twice a week that I actually have that time to get stuff accomplished
     
  8. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Nov 20, 2013

    My coworker posted this on FB the other day. I am a second year teacher and I definitely struggle with it. I'm not really a "hobby" person, never have been, but I have really been trying to take more time to be with friends, my husband, even my cats, this year. I used to let myself feel so guilty if I wasn't doing work sometimes.

    I am always going to feel behind though. I don't really get much planning time. We have two 30 minute periods during art and music, but the class is in the room. We also have two 40 minute periods for PE, but many times that's taken up with meetings. This week I don't have the two 40 minute prep times because of meetings, and it's making things difficult. I've also had two meetings after school this week. There's always SOMETHING, it seems like.
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 21, 2013

    I am nobody's "mental and emotional punching bag."

    I understand the points, and they're valid. But the blog drips with negativity.

    I think that if you asked someone who was still IN the profession and loving it for advice, those same points would have been phrased very, very differently.

    Taking advice on how to stay in the profession from someone who "burnt out and walked away" doesn't make sense to me.

    So my first piece of advice would be to avoid advice from people whose outlook is as negative as this blogger.

    As to what I would add, there's so very much. But I'll start with:

    - KNOW YOUR CONTENT, inside and out. You can't teach what you don't know.

    - LIKE KIDS. It's always apparent when a teacher doesn't enjoy the kids he or she is with. Kids pick up on it. Not only does every kid deserve to be with a teacher who likes kids, but disliking them tends to breed misbehavior.

    -PLAN, PLAN, PLAN. You can't wing it, not in the early years. You've go to do long range planning and short range planning and everything in between.

    -YOU MUST GET THROUGH THE MATERIAL. Sometimes it's a Herculean task, but your job is to teach those kids that material. I've had kids whose previous teachers didn't finish the curriculum. It's simply not fair to those kids-- they're behind from day 1.

    - APPRECIATE SERINDIPITY. As much as you need to plan, you also need to know when to throw out the plan because a teachable moment has appeared. it's a delicate balance.

    - ACCEPT THAT THERE ARE DIFFERENT TEACHING STYLES. Just as there are different learning styles, there are also different teaching styles. That doesn't make theirs, or yours, better or worse, just different.

    -APPRECIATE THE WISDOM OTHERS HAVE ATTAINED. Don't automatically assume that your college classes have taught you everything you need to know. The reality is that you'll probably learn more in the faculty room than you did in some of those classes. Talk to your colleagues, figure out whose advice is worth taking and whose you should ignore. Find those members of the faculty you should be choosing as informal mentors.

    REMEMBER THAT THE SCHOOL OPERATED JUST FINE LAST YEAR WITHOUT YOU. I've seen new teachers sure that we were doing things all wrong, and that their way was the right way. And perhaps their ideas had some merit-- there are always alternatives. But some acted as though they were saving us from ourselves. What they failed to realize was that their brand new idea had been tried and discarded years before because it wasn't workable.

    LOVE WHAT YOU DO. Teaching isn't the type of profession you can do for years and decades if you don't love it.

    There's more, so much more. But that's a start.
     
  10. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Nov 21, 2013

    All of Alice's points were great, but I think those two are really important.

    Not only do you have to like kids, but you have to like/enjoy the specific type of kids you teach. If you teach in the inner-city or in the suburbs, but you do not like (or want to learn to like) those kids; you will become miserable and blame the kids for everything that's wrong in your career.

    And, if you don't love/enjoy teaching or you fall out of love with it, this will eventually kill your spirit, creativity, energy and lead to burnout. You don't have to love it everyday or love everything about it, but there has to be something that appeals more than the paycheck, benefits and pension. If not, you will spend all of your time at work dreaming about being anywhere else - Antarctica, jail, the bottom of the Indian Ocean ...
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 21, 2013

    OK, now that I've had some tea, a bit more:

    SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE PEOPLE. Sure, we all need to vent from time to time. But if the people you have lunch with are always venting, it's time to find a new table or to change the focus of the one you're at. You wouldn't surround yourself with negativity in "real life" so why would you do so at school???

    REMEMBER THAT EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE KIDS IS, OR SHOULD BE, THE LIGHT OF SOMEONE'S LIFE. Even the most annoying kid you teach hopefully has a mom and dad who love him beyond description. Sure, they know his faults, but they find something incredibly loveable about him. It's your job to find that something.

    NEVER STOP LEARNING HOW TO BE A BETTER TEACHER. There's always something you can do to be better-- a technique, a change in outlook, an application of technology, a new approach. Never assume that you're done learning.
     
  12. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Nov 21, 2013

    Great advice Alice! :thumb:

    I thought the article was negative in tone as well and do find it hard to take advice from someone who didn't even have a chance to try out their own platitudes because they are not in the classroom anymore.

    I actually don't see a problem with throwing yourself into teaching. One of my hobbies is reading-I end up reading a lot of books about teaching. I love trolling yard sales on the weekends for books or games I can use in the classroom. Or I'm spending time online looking for ideas. I think teaching is my hobby as well as my job, but I really don't think there's anything wrong with that.
     

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