What are the main challenges you are facing?

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by Steven83, Nov 7, 2015.

  1. Steven83

    Steven83 New Member

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    Nov 7, 2015

    Hi,

    For those of you who have just begun or are about to begin your teaching career, what are the main challenges you are facing?

    It would be great to get your responses to see if there are common areas that new teachers need assistance in.
    I am planning on creating a podcast dedicated to providing strategies and finding practicle solutions for teachers in their early years.

    Why are your main areas of concern and what topics would you like to have covered?

    Regards

    Steven
     
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  3. Luv2TeachInTX

    Luv2TeachInTX Comrade

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    Nov 7, 2015

    Behaviors. I teach 2nd grade and have three children in my class with unmedicated ADHD. All three are also seriously behind academically. It makes teaching the rest of the class very difficult. I feel like these students get around 90% of my attention. :(
     
  4. Steven83

    Steven83 New Member

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    Nov 10, 2015

    Thanks for the response Luv2. I can imagine that dealing with differing behaviours in the classroom would be a difficult thing to manage especially if a few students are requiring a greater portion of your time.
     
  5. andstuff

    andstuff Rookie

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    Nov 15, 2015

    No issues in the classroom. I enjoy every bit of it. I started coaching basketball this year and I dread every day of it. I enjoy practice and love playing ball with the kids (boys 6th-8th grade) but hate the games. I hate not being able to play every kid as much as I want. I dislike the parents booing and acting like 6 year olds at the game yelling at refs and what not. I seriously would quit coaching right now if given the option. But I know I can't so just have to soldier on for another months and 15 + more games.

    It's hard because if I play all the kids we will lose (lose and parents and town goes crazy.) Only play good players with other players getting little playing time and we win but I feel like a bad coach. At least now I know coaching basketball is not for me.
     
  6. Bibliophile

    Bibliophile Companion

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    Nov 21, 2015

    I'm new to teaching elementary school and just got my credential last January but not new to the classroom since I had many years teaching preschool and a few years as an elementary para so I'm not having trouble with the usual things like behavior management. My struggles are with the school I work for. It is a new start up charter school and they are so disorganized, they have no policies in place, even getting simple forms is impossible and takes weeks since it seems like every form needed doesn't exist yet and I'll have to out in a requisition form to have it created. Planning a field trip was a nightmare since I couldn't book a date until I had the field trip approved, I couldn't request approval without filling out a form that didn't exist, then when I finally got it there were no permission slips that needed to be sent home. It's stuff like that all the time.

    Also we have bo curriculum support, no pacing guides and we didn't even get to see our report card until a week before they were due. Then we got like 3 different sets of conflicting instructions for filling them out. There were still no grading policies. Progress reports we never did get and I, as a first year teacher having never taught the grade level before, had to create the progress report from scratch for the whole grade level. The first few weeks of school we had no curriculum, as in none, we were told it was on back order...have a nice day. All of our curriculum is also pilots that no one has ever used. Our school, that has over half first year teachers, has the most experience using our reading curriculum of any school in the nation. Since we starting trying to implement it in September. Ugh. Our math curriculum is a joke and the whole school hates it and most have stopped using it since it is so bad. I am basically creating my own math curriculum.

    It's exhausting. And to top it all off since more than half of our staff is first year teachers we don't have enough mentors so basically I didn't get one. I get it since I'm experienced in the classroom and the stuff that new teachers struggle with aren't a problem for me but all the other stuff I would love a mentor for, but since we're all in the same boat and just trying to survive no one can really give me advice for dealing with it. About 1/3 of the staff is already talking about leaving next year. Ugh.
     
  7. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Nov 22, 2015

    I'm not technically a "new" teacher (although I think under 5 years we're still kinda new) but wanted to chime in. This is my 3rd year here. I teach alternative ed, nd we have different problems and different advantages.
    - I'm lucky enough to have an extremely knowledgeable, hands on P who knows everything about her job, knows how it is to be a teacher and cares about us as actual people. This was probably the main thing that didn't let me get stressed out too much. I work at a very small school so we don't have mentors, but she was sort of my mentor. Any time I would go to her to discuss anything small or big, she would give me her full attention, have the secretary hold her calls and put things on hold (unless of course she had a meeting, etc). She is like this with everyone, all the time. I don't think I could have learned this much from anyone, especially in such short time.
    - working for a district where the Sup cares about her people, where my P's boss (different from the Sup) actualy makes conversations and remembers details from my personal life and asks (for example I went back to Hungary in the summer and he asked about it), was another thing that made me feel safe. We don't have problems with union-district issues, I feel that I'm well paid and taken care of.
    - main struggle: kids' behavior. There was a huge learning curve for me. I came from an environment where the kids were locked up so managing them was a bit easier (although we didn't rely on officers as much as one would think, we still had to know how to handle the kids). At this court school (and in any) I had to get the kids to do what I wanted them to do for me out of respect, out of sheer compliance, or because they liked me, or as last resort because they didn't want to get in trouble. For a lot of them there would be major consequences for acting out, but not for all of them and this is not immediate. They might have to be in "trouble" for a few weeks for something to really happen to get their attention
    So this was the biggest struggle. We could not rely on probation, although they are at our school. One probation officer tells me to give him all the names of the bad kids and he'll handle them, my P tells me I shouldn't do that because I'm giving away power. It was hard because I was used to allowing probation to step in and because things were really hard, I was tempted to do so.
    Every time I did, it was a set back, because the kids viewed me as someone who just wants to get them in trouble, get them locked up and can't handle them. It wasn't until my second year that I completely got out of that state of mind.
    - out kids are very different from comprehensive schools and this will never change. We have to deal with them from a different angle. Every negative statement, every bad day a student has, every moment of horrible behavior has something to do with what happens outside of school and has not much to do with me. As time goes by, the students see that I'm still there and they trust me more and more as a stable person in their lives. They're so used to people giving up on the and leaving them that most of them have attachment and trust issues. So for a new teacher this will always make it harder.
    - curriculum. This was not a problem for me but I can see some teachers struggling or hating it. We have no set curriculum. I teach English, grades 9-12, and most of the time the kids are mixed up in the classes. Some times I have grade 9-10 in one class, and grades 11-12 in another, but most of the time we still have other grades mixed in. So I can basically choose any standard from any grade level, choose any novel, focus on really anything. If I want to focus on reading mostly, I can do that. If I want to focus on writing for 2 months, that's also fine. It is a lot of work and can be overwhelming to have all this freedom, but I actually like it and I was already used to it from my 1st year at another district.
     
  8. ST13

    ST13 Companion

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    Nov 22, 2015

    I teach special Ed and I think I'm really struggling with finding a balance between teaching grade level curriculum (sticking to the pacing guide) AND meeting their IEP goals/ teaching the modified curriculum. There's just not enough time in a day!
     
  9. carolinafan

    carolinafan Rookie

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    Dec 20, 2015

    Looking back on my first few months teaching, I'd have to say my biggest challenges are definitely classroom management related. I didn't spend enough time at the beginning of the year on policies and procedures, and I feel like it's biting me in the rear with one class especially. Behaviors are almost out of control in this one class, and I've even had to take one day out of teaching content to go BACK over classroom policies. We're out on winter break now, and I'm going to use some of that time to come up with a plan for the first day back.
     

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