Training question: I'm afraid to tell them I wasn't trained properly

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Kenz501, Feb 7, 2018.

  1. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    How can I tell my boss that I wasn't trained properly without risking being fired, let go, non-renewed, etc.? I've been at this placement for almost seven months, and I've been struggling and faking it almost every day. I'm a certified teacher on paper, but I have almost no idea what I'm doing in the classroom. The curriculum is confusing to me, and the kids' behavior has me very frustrated. I've even had a couple of panic attacks since I've been teaching here. It's a good school, not like the places I'm used to working. My first real "teaching" job was at a youth center, and I wasn't even always teaching my subject. I'm making a whole lot more money here; I've even been able to start paying on my student loan, and I love the climate and being around my family. I don't want to lose this job, but I'm not sure if even new teachers are supposed to struggle this much. I don't know how to teach what I've been assigned to teach, and my lessons are often confusing to the kids. I hate what I'm doing, but I feel like I could do better if I could just get someone to give me an idea of what I'm supposed to be doing.

    We're so departmentalized, though, that one middle school teacher doesn't even know what the other is doing. I feel like I'm bothering the more experienced teachers when I ask for help, and I think my superiors have made it clear that they expect more of me. I'm also leery of telling anyone that I don't really get it, because they've all tried so hard to help me. I'm really sorry for being slow on the uptake, but if I don't know how to use their curriculum guide how am I supposed to successfully develop my own lessons?
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    You need to get over this belief that others are responsible for what you have learned. They aren’t. You are. If you don’t know something, find the resources that will help you figure it out.

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    I honesty do not know how to do that. My attempts at just searching online and finding random lessons haven't really yielded anything fruitful long-term. I think my best resources are the people who have taught the grade before or teach similar grades, but it's a communication issue, either that or a training issue, that keeps me from being totally upfront with them.
     
  5. linswin23

    linswin23 Cohort

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    What's your subject?
     
  6. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    OP, the university that graduated you without the requisite knowledge and experience are partly at fault. As hard as this is to hear, you are also at fault for not seeking out more education and experience during your university experience because you are aware that you are on the spectrum, and you have chosen to pursue a career that requires communication, organization, independent learning and thinking, dealing with stress and anxiety, and worst of all, it isn't the job of your colleagues to teach you what you should have mastered during your years as a student.

    At the very least, you need to spend some of your salary to find a therapist who can help you be an organized and competent teacher. It might seem like a perfect scenario for colleagues to "train" you, but trust me, that is NOT in their job description. If browsing on the internet is not "sticking with you" or helping, you need to find someone who can help you get organized, and you need to make sure that what you are teaching corresponds to the curriculum. The world at large, your colleagues, your place of employment hired you because they assumed you were qualified for the position. You post that you are clueless, which only goes to show that they were sadly mistaken.

    This is just another version of the same sad tale, and there is nothing new to be said. You can either do the job or you can't. If it is the latter, I fear that your chance of success in this job may well be in jeopardy - which I am pretty sure you know. Get over assigning blame to everyone else, and realize that you need more help than your colleagues can reasonably be expected to provide. IMHO, you need to engage someone who is experienced in working with those on the spectrum, which I am sure will cost you some money, and let them help you find the clarity, organization, and skills you need to remain in this job.
     
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  7. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    It's seventh grade English / Language Arts. Here's an example of how I've struggled. My classes are broken into two fifty-five minute blocks each day. One is called Reading and the other is called English. I've been treating them like two separate classes, because I did not know what else to do. I was informed yesterday by a coworker that I needed to reinforce what I was teaching in one in the other. This is just one example of how lost I've been.
     
  8. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    I'm assuming you could discuss, analyze, write about texts that you read in reading during English.
     
  9. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Yes, I think that is what I'm supposed to do. It never occurred to me until a coworker mentioned it, though. I've been treating them like two separate classes.
     
  10. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Okay, that is something concrete and not simply "I DO NOT UNDERSTAND ANYTHING!" Can you ask your principal if you can observe how another teacher or two handles the transitions between the two subjects? That might be a major start to building your own classroom.
     
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  11. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    For me, observing is the way that I learn best. Ask you P about observing in other classes; if it's difficult to arrange logistically, ask if you can take a personal day (so that you have a sub) and spend that time observing in other classrooms. In my district, we have several teacher who open up their classrooms as "demonstration classrooms" and they frequently have observers in the room.

    You've said, previously, that you wish someone would just tell you what to do, or give you plans for the year. Even if you found that, you wouldn't learn that way. We don't just hand our students answers and tell them that they have learned; we make them do the work for it.

    Look back through some of your previous threads; skip past your posts and reread what others have said. You've been given lots of concrete advice.
     
  12. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    OP has finally raised a concrete question with a concrete answer that should have been asked and answered 7 months ago. I suspect, however, that OP's attitude that the colleagues are obligated to "train her" (and probably more similar requests) have conditioned them to turn a deaf ear, finding out that if they show her how to do step A, OP will then expect them to do steps B through Z for her as well. OP's constant lament about not being trained, while receiving regular paychecks may have caused the colleagues to become immune to her frequent requests. I worked with someone very similar to OP, and felt bled dry by the end of a semester. When I was no longer the person who bailed her out, she just found a new soft heart and continued getting others to essentially do her work for her. When she had exhausted and alienated her colleagues, she was forced to sink or swim. After 2 years of being "mentored" by every available teacher, her ineptitude gained the notice of admin when she was forced to do her own work. Simply stated, she couldn't - and she was gone.

    Kenz501 seems so like my former coworker, who blamed every other teacher for "not helping her" when her evaluations showed her lack of ability, leading to her termination. I fully recognize and realize that OP strikes a raw nerve in me, because it is just all too similar to something that drained me, knowing I was teaching twice as many classes, and my coworker was "grateful" but not grateful enough to learn from anything that was done for her. I would have agreed that my coworker wasn't trained enough to be successful, but after two years, I came to understand that the "teach me" really came from a parasite that had no intention of learning. It has caused me to be fairly suspicious of trained teachers who can't seem to figure it our for themselves, by asking pertinent questions which allow them to become self sufficient. I was new once, too, but I knew that my colleagues were there as a reference, but were not my keeper. OP might want to consider how being constantly drained affected my attitude, and question for herself if something similar has gone on in her job-site over the last 7 months.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  13. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Gratitude has little to do with ability to learn from others. Some people aren't cut out for the application of the education they received. They may understand in theory but can't put it into practice. Some people aren't cut out for certain jobs no matter how much they try or how much help they get. It isn't in their wheelhouse of skills and students can't be the perpetual guinea pigs for those who take much to long to learn the skills to be effective.

    Sure, eventually a few might learn, but for some people, that curve is way too long.
     
  14. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Feb 8, 2018

    Amen to that.
     
  15. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I suspect that most of us have had at least one colleague similar to this. It is enormously frustrating to be expected to do someone else's job for them and to see them refuse to learn the lessons they have asked for.
     
  16. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I have to ask since two people have no alleged that people refused to learn what they were asked to be taught. Do you all really think that these people purposely decided they were just not going to learn it and were just expecting others to do their work? Sure, there are some people out there that don't want to really do the work, but isn't it more possible that these people are incapable of learning it or incapable of learning based on what is given?
     
  17. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I'm going to go with outright refusal.

    One person I worked with did not check her work emails. She said it was "too hard to remember how to do that". I helped her log in. Every person in the hallway helped her log in. She had her username and password written down where she could access it. She wasn't some neo-luddite or anything, either, and was hugely active on Twitter and Instagram. I'm certain that she would have been able to learn how to use her work email account. She simply refused to do so. Instead, she relied on others to do it for her, and she used it as an excuse as to why she didn't meet certain deadlines or complete certain tasks (because she never read the emails).

    Are there people who can't learn? Sure, I suppose so. In my experience, those aren't the people who are causing these sorts of problems, probably because they aren't making it through the system to the point where they are hired as full-time teachers. If a person can make it through school, handle the bureaucracy of the licensing and application processes, and succeed in an interview, I think that they should be expected to be able to write a lesson plan and deliver a lesson.

    We've seen situations here where people have used their disabilities and the legal system to pretty much coerce a university into awarding a degree, so I don't doubt that that sort of thing happens from time to time. Even with that, though, the person is still making it through all the red tape and interviews, and is still savvy enough to work the system, which to me means that there likely must be some sort of functional ability to work in this field.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  18. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    a2z, my feelings, as well as my coworkers, were that this individual simply wanted us to do her work. We have since discovered that prior to working at our school, as well as since leaving our school, she has not lasted anywhere more than a year. I assume that since our school is tough to teach in, as long as we helped, she flew under the radar for two years. When the math teacher found out what the science teacher had discovered, and the history and English teacher found out they had "given to the cause", the help dried up, and the deficits were easy to see. I consider it learned helplessness, a strategy that has obviously been successful in her life. It went beyond the work and spilled over into her private life, which was anything but private. "No money for lunch - could you help?' "My car is in the shop until I can afford to get it out - can you come get me for work this week." "My child needs therapy, but my insurance hasn't been approved - loan me some money until the first check shows up?" It was relentless. I was the first to cut the strings, ignoring queries for money, rides, etc. I was pleasant, but not a part of the game any more.

    I don't know that she is incapable of learning - I think she learned to lean on others very well. As far as learning to be a teacher - not so much.
     
  19. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    It is way easier to place the blame somewhere else than to buckle down and do it yourself.

    At some point, you have to take responsibility for your own success (or failure) and do something about it.

    I have a degree in secondary English. I did not receive any training on how to write lesson plans or manage a classroom. All of my education classes were educational theory, which did nothing to actually show me how to run my classroom. My subject classes were literature/writing/grammar, but not on how to teach those.

    It was about five years before I felt like I was actually managing my classroom effectively. And about the time I got the hang of it, there were new standards or a new program or new books or a new school initiative or new technology.

    Guess who was in charge of learning that? ME! I was the only one who could actually learn it. The PD that we received, it any, was usually inadequate to be able to actually implement anything right out of the gate.

    I get really frustrated with coworkers who say they can't do things. One doesn't know how to use Google Drive, so I'm always asked to provide printed copies of things for him. You know what? I didn't know how to use Google Drive at first either. I had ZERO training on how to use it at first, but I figured it out. I did a lot of searches online. I played around with it a lot. I did also ask people for help. However, I made sure to ask specific questions instead of just saying that I didn't understand. I certainly didn't blame my lack of knowledge on someone else.

    You can find plenty of lessons online. Many of them even give you step-by-step directions for implementation. Look for them. Print one you like. Do it.
    .
     
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  20. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Here's the thing: I don't think any of us was trained properly. With a few exceptions, most teacher "preparation" programs focus on theory and content, or on the latest buzzwords and initiatives, with very little time given over to what really works and is practical in the classroom. Most of us felt lost and like we were "failing" in our first year (or years) of teaching. But, we made it through, because we wanted it so badly that we were willing to claw our way through and do whatever we could to make it as teachers. It takes a lot of long hours, short nights, sweat, and tears, to make a teacher in our "system." You have to decide if you want it badly enough to do what it takes to improve and succeed as a teacher.
     
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  21. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Wake up and smell the coffee! I was once told that teaching is one of the few professions where a first year teacher is expected to perform the same tasks as a 30th year teacher. The other teachers in the department have no responsibility to help you. If they do provide you any assistance, I do hope you are grateful and perhaps consider buying them lunch or baking them pastries for their troubles. I do hope you are training your students as well as you would have liked to have been trained.
     
  22. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    As they say, "It's like learning to fly an airliner while building it."
     
  23. linswin23

    linswin23 Cohort

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    Are these classes back to back? With the same students?

    When I was in my first few years I would go observe other classes all the time. It helped me tremendously. I also teach English, but I would go observe history classes, math classes, science classes, etc. I would just shoot emails to teachers asking if I could come in and they'd usually be super happy to have me come in. It was for my own personal gain and to improve myself. I highly suggest you do so. Teaching is a practice. You must practice to make it perfect and even when you think you've perfected it you may get a set of kids or a new set of curriculum that throws you curve balls. Keep your head up. Work on your confidence. This job can be incredibly isolating, but reach out to those who you feel comfortable with to ask for assistance, but realize that we all have our plates stacked incredibly high as well. For lesson planning help check out Teachers Pay Teachers for ideas, Pinterest, ReadWriteThink. Maybe check out the National Council of Teachers of English. They have loads of resources and such that could be of help. You are going to have times where you don't feel like you know what you are doing, but you've got to be proactive and set yourself up for success.

    Does your school have a mentorship program? Does your district? Could you set up a meeting with admin asking for assistance? There's no harm in asking for help.
     
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  24. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    And yet, most of us don't just get by, but learn to excel in what we do. I'm not perfect - never claimed to be. I do, however, work like the dickens to continue to learn what is at the cutting edge of my content area, even as I continue to improve and perfect the basics that allow me to have the opportunity to bring cutting edge into my classroom. I enroll in webinars, take grad classes, peruse current events and new ways of seeing old material, all so that I truly know my subject matter. I take a lot of care to see how science is also a part of literacy, math, and history, and I search for ways to integrate as many contents as possible. We teach in a global community, and we need to embrace the ways that things are intertwined. You don't do this intense study without loving what you do, and realizing that there is always more than a single way to teach anything. I think that is the part about OP's lament that rubs me the wrong way. What works for me will most likely not work for her, because my perspective and vision are greatly different from her own. How can I train, when what I do is teach, embracing independence and imagination? I train my dog - I teach my students.
     
  25. svassillion

    svassillion Companion

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    :praying:

    I have had a similar struggle with a co-worker who no matter how many times I try to explain how copy and paste works, they can't seem to get it. Took me about a dozens times to realize she never really wanted to know, but was hoping I would just do it for her.
     
  26. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

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    Kenz - There is some great advice in here - Ask for observation time (you observing others that teach same classes) and also seeking out a mentor. Your principal might be able to hook you up with a mentor from your district. They do not have to be at your school - this could be important - you don't want to just latch onto your coworkers and have them do your work - you want to learn how to do it for yourself and a strong mentor can help you do this without too much judgement. And don't freak out too much - your fellow team members are not expecting you to be perfect - they want you to continue to grow, but they know you are just starting out (I am assuming this - your post doesn't actually say it -but hey, I felt like I was just starting out my first 5 years or so!) Your 7th graders might flip out if they think you are just learning how to do this, but they assume grownups know stuff - they might be smart alecks at times, but 7th graders can be super generous with their kindness and their assumptions of our abilities! Knowing you need to learn stuff is a sign that you are ready to learn it!

    Question - in one class is it about the content of what you are reading and the other class about the skills they need to read that content?

    If what you need to know is the content - learn it. Super quickly. Spend your weekends learning it. That part should be easy - it's the how to get 7th graders engaged and how to chunk your material and how to teach them the skills they need - all the hows that you need to focus on, not the content.

    Also please know - if you can teach middle school, you are a super hero and can do almost anything AND if you believe in heaven there has to be a vip area just for middle school teachers. I did it for a little while and moved on to higher grades - pat yourself on the back, be kind to yourself, be patient with yourself. Next year you will be that much better.
    ok, I'll shut up now!
     
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  27. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    It's mostly the "how" of teaching that I struggle with. Teacher preparation did do a good job of teaching me the content, especially grammar, but I'm very out of touch with my 13 year-old self. I remember that I was like a sponge in elementary school, and I do remember being in middle school, but I don't remember much of the academics; I remember it was a hard time, though. My mom was fighting cancer then. I mostly hung around in the corner and played video games. Yes, I was one of those little slackers in middle school. I managed to make a few friends, and my friends and my hobbies were extremely important to me. I also valued being treated like an adult. Maybe that's why I remember my eighth grade teacher having us put on a fashion show to show off all of the nice things we made. Someone, maybe the principal, also invited us to the radio station to make our own short recordings. It was a lot of fun, honestly. I had some really good examples; too bad I wasn't paying that much attention.

    I also remember a few of the negative things, like some adult, I don't remember who she was, expressing the opinion that middle school students aren't going to be as attentive as elementary school students or something. She might have been right, but what did saying that to us accomplish?

    There are a lot of lessons to be gleaned, but of course, although I look back at my own past through "rose-colored glasses," I'm not as kind to the current generation I teach. I probably would have hated me as a teacher, but a lot of the things I say and do that "rub them the wrong way" aren't intentional.

    I think one of the best lessons kids of any age could learn is that people are often very different than they may seem when you first meet them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  28. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Yeah, I guess I could just try to learn it on my own, and I have been trying that here. At my other job, I used to bug my coworkers quite a bit, but I've tried to fly under the radar here. I get help from more or less the same two people only when I feel like I really need it, but sometimes my mistakes are so glaringly obvious that I'm not really sure I'm doing the right thing at all.
     
  29. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    What has the feedback been on your formal observations?
     
  30. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    I needed to engage the kids more and work on classroom management. I scored "unsatisfactory" in those areas. The behavior was good when the principal came in, but she still saw children who were off-task. For example, one student was secretly drawing and would put away his materials and take out his book when he saw me come around. I did not see this until class was almost over, even though I was walking around and talking to the kids as I did so.

    This isn't the first time I've gotten feedback that said that I didn't really "click" with the kids. I would love to change it, but I don't want to keep taking my whole classroom strategy in wildly different directions. One major problem I've had is consistency. I started out trying to incorporate fun and games and forgot about serious discipline entirely. It worked for a few weeks, but soon a few kids were out-of-control and I was encouraged to drop it. I switched to no-nonsense, no fun-and-games, and just tried to get them to concentrate on getting their work done. I've had resistance ever since. I just want something that works.

    There's another evaluation coming up, and the kids also have important tests. I can't say I'm not at least a little stressed out about all of this. Plus, teachers have to be fairly organized, and I've failed in that area, too. My students often don't know what to expect because I'm still trying to figure things out myself, and I'm ready to scrap my entire lesson plan at a moment's notice to use whatever I think would work better.

    I do not want other teachers to do my work, and I do not want anyone thinking that. One English teacher on my hall has been exceptionally helpful, leaving her own classes at times to help me deal with mine. Of course I don't want people to inconvenience themselves like that, so I haven't been asking for much help.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
  31. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    I did email another teacher to let her know what went on in one of my classes today. Those kids can be so rude, and I've read most of what you all have said before, but, I don't get it. Why do they let us graduate if we aren't actually trained? What benefit is there? My students probably see right through me. My coworkers may wonder why I've pulled resources that are several grade levels higher than the students' understanding and refused to enact consistent discipline. It's because I've developed some bad habits for "survival." Surviving is all I can really do if I don't have the training to do the job correctly, isn't it?

    I hate this humiliating experiential learning. Why can't someone just give me a neatly boxed curriculum with activities for the kids? I know you may say that I'm not a robot, but I'm actually not that good at interacting with people, and I like following detailed instructions. I also feel like if I wasn't so shaky on the foundation I would probably be in a better position to focus my energy on other needed duties, like keeping order in the classroom, making sure the students are achieving academically, and actually connecting with the kids. As it stands currently, my classroom is often in disarray, and I feel like my students question both my expertise and authority.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
  32. svassillion

    svassillion Companion

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    I have the same struggle when I wonder why I haven't won the lottery yet or been struck by lightening (on those bad days).

    Have you tried making your own scripts to follow when you're lesson planning?
     
  33. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    I feel for you. Really. I understand how frustrating teaching is when you feel like you have no clue what you're doing. I spent most of last year feeling like a complete failure. I cried on my second day of school (and almost every day after that for a couple months) because I felt like I was already failing. I almost quit in October. If it hadn't been for my team being beyond patient with me and my mentor teacher being in my room basically every other week doing coaching cycles with me, I would have quit.

    But teaching is not the kind of job where you can just follow detailed instructions, however much certain policy-makers think it is. It requires interaction with dozens or hundreds of other humans on a daily basis. I did the math one day after subbing high school and middle school for a few days - by Wednesday of that week, I had interacted with over 600 people.

    I don't want to say that teaching may not be for you, because I had people say that to me and it was heartbreaking to hear. When that's what you're set on, it's hard to think of anything else. But it may be necessary to really sit down and, as objectively as possible, think about whether or not your personality is a good fit for the job. You say you're bad at interacting with people - that's going to make teaching much more difficult for you than most other people. You want detailed, structured curriculum to follow. Some districts have that, but most do not and that's going to make teaching much more difficult for you than for other people. Forget what you did or did not learn in college. That's a normal feeling. The problem is that for most, it fades as they gain experience, and for you it seems to be a sticking point. If you really feel that your college was inadequate, go back to school. Maybe it will help. But know that it also may not, and blaming your college experience for your struggles is accomplishing nothing.

    This IS an experiential job. Training on the job is required because educational policy and district mandates change in a snap. What was right last year may be out the window this year; that's just how it is. If flexibility and changing plans on the fly is difficult for you, it may be time to look into alternative options.

    No matter how much you love the idea of something, if your actual experience is overwhelming frustration and humiliation, don't keep torturing yourself.
     
  34. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Let me be more specific. When I started my first teaching job, I didn't have a textbook. I was tasked with helping students with multiple subjects, some of which I was not trained for at all, faced with students who drifted in and out, and had to tolerate really bad attitudes and staff that treated the students' outlandish accusations as true! I didn't get fired from the position, either. I stayed with them for almost three years, instead.

    When I got offered this job, it seemed too good to be true--only one subject, a whole hour and a half of prep time, and a small school in a state with nice weather. I've faced different challenges here, though, mostly people thinking that they're being helpful when they aren't really. For instance, when I ask for help, I guess the more experienced teachers don't assume I don't know how to do something simple, like create an easy lesson from the information in the textbook, but since they don't really go over developmentally appropriate strategies, knowing something like that would be very helpful. I can't tell you how many times I've floundered just because no one is willing to share the basics with me. It seems like they expected me to know it in student teaching, and they definitely expected me to know it as a real teacher, but they didn't teach it to me in college, so how am I supposed to learn it? I don't know, but I felt a lot more confident when I was teaching ESL, and it's partially because I had a guide to follow. See, I don't have the experience needed to come up with a perfectly formed lesson off of the top of my head. I've been trying it and failing, though, just so that I can "survive."

    It's silly, in my opinion. People don't even hire tellers or cashiers without giving them hands-on training. Why do they insist on doing this with teachers? I'm amazed at how poorly I've been trained when I'm expected to train and teach young people how to thrive in a changing world. It would have been so much easier if I would have gotten some kind of orientation training at least, things like how to use the testing system so that new students get their required reading scores and don't come up short at the end of the year, strategies for helping students with their organization skills or simple ways to keep myself organized and on-task, and how to prepare a lesson without coming up with materials that are not grade-level and skill appropriate for the kids. Believe it or not, teacher education didn't cover any of this vital training. It was presented to us as vague theories and "touchy-feely" personal stories mostly. How can I change anyone's life if I don't even know how to do my job?
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
  35. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    The reason all of this has me frustrated is that I could do this job really well if the expectations were clearer. I've made cringe-worthy mistakes, though, just because I wasn't clear on what to do. I don't think it's fair, honestly. I don't like standing in front of my students and looking like a complete fool just because no one trained me. Yeah, they'll claim that they trained me, but in reality they more or less just overloaded me with information and pointed me toward several resources.

    Yeah, I'll say that the college I graduated from didn't train me that well, because the skill set they are looking for in the teaching job market wasn't tested for or covered much at all.

    I hope you realize, though, that I'm not a leach looking for someone else to do my work. I'm a sincere, yet struggling, young professional who wants to do her job well but just can't.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
  36. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    This has been my experience of training in every single job I've ever had - not just in teaching. That's literally what training is, combined with ON THE JOB EXPERIENCE.
     
  37. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    The way I see it, this is the price of trying to learn essential teaching skills on the job:

    Students who need accommodations do not get the best service and in some cases get almost no service at all; in my busy day, I forget about them.

    Lessons are not developed well and are not really planned "with the learner in mind," because I don't by instinct know what would be appropriate reading material for a seventh grader. I personally was pretty advanced as a kid and always loved writing, so what I knew at age twelve isn't a good gauge for the average kid.

    Lessons are disjointed and don't always meet the learning objectives--again, some days I'm just trying to keep the kids busy so that I can "survive" to the next day. I hate to admit it. I know it's horrible practice, and I would do better if I felt like I could, but if I stay up all night pouring over articles and resources and still don't have anything to really show for it, what else can I do?

    The kids tend to respect the more experienced teachers, but they believe they can "walk all over" me.

    The environment becomes a "me vs. them" situation, where the kids are trying to do whatever they want (or in some cases try to make me look like an incompetent educator so that I get fired or transferred) and I'm trying to keep order. Of course, this already makes the classroom a toxic environment. You can't trust someone you fear, but you have to instill fear to regain control.

    Eventually, coworkers realize that you weren't trained properly (or maybe they think you are ignoring their advice?) and they stop helping you and force you to "sink or swim."

    From my perspective, not training new teachers is lose-lose.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
  38. svassillion

    svassillion Companion

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    Even with tellers and cashiers, employers are going to assume the employee has some prerequisite skills. For example, they may teach a cashier how to count back change, but they are going to assume the employee is able to count. Teachers are suppose to get their hands on training when they are student teaching. That's when you have a mentor with you at all times to learn from and guide you. If you feel your student teaching didn't prepare you then two things probably happened: 1) your mentor teacher was more kind than they should have been and 2) you didn't take responsibility to learn.

    I say that because I read some of your previous threads and when someone would respond with some really solid advice, you didn't acknowledge it but instead again listed everything you felt was going wrong in the classroom. It feels like you'd prefer to stress over all of it rather than chip away at one problem at a time until you start feeling good. Obsessing over the weight of life's problems (any Inside Out fans?) isn't going to solve anything. Even if you feel correcting it all is too tremendous of a climb, it's more productive than being paralyzed at the bottom of the mountain.

    IMO, you've had some of the best members of this forum respond to your threads so you have a good resource to help you begin the climb. I think it would be exponentially more helpful though if you kept each thread very specific. Such as "What is your process for mapping out your curriculum?" That way instead of wasting time discussing the past, you'd get some excellent examples of ways different teachers approach planning. Instead of focusing on everything that is going wrong behaviorally you could ask "What are some discipline strategies you use with middle school students?" Keep yourself out of the question and direct it more towards what the responder would do. If you're reading this and finding excuses for why this wouldn't work then I think it's safe to say that you didn't really come here for advice.

    A teacher makes 1,500 educational decisions a day which is about one decision every 15 seconds. That is the reality of the job and if you don't feel you can navigate that demand because of the way your brain works, there are probably many more jobs you'd feel more comfortable doing that could reduce your stress greatly.
     
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  39. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    :yeahthat:
     
  40. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    I'm not trying to make excuses, but, wow, I'm not even familiar enough with the terminology to know what questions to ask to get the answers I want, I guess. Yes, I do want some strategies for curriculum mapping and classroom management. Isn't that what I've been asking for this whole time?
     
  41. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    I dont know...the more I read the more I think.....I'm not very good at artsy stuff so I decided against going to school to become a graphic designer or a sculptor. If I had become one of those things, I would need a lot of help, and I wouldn't do well at it. It wouldn't matter how much training I had.

    I don't understand why people can't just pursue their strengths. I say this to my own students. Many students sign up for high level math classes that they aren't going to really understand. Why not take it easy in math, and focus on taking higher level courses in subjects in which you excel? In your situation, the skills in communication and need for flexibility and creativity that are inherent in teaching do not lend themselves to your skill set very well. It doesn't matter how much "training" you have. You need to inventory your strengths and weaknesses and decide where those should really take you.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
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