What did I get myself in to?!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by FutureFLTeacher, Aug 7, 2007.

  1. FutureFLTeacher

    FutureFLTeacher Companion

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    Aug 7, 2007

    O.k...up until today I was fairly optimistic of my first year teaching. After visiting my classroom and the school, it all sunk in and now I'm beginning to wonder what the heck I got myself into. (I'm pretty sure this is all just nerves, but geesh...LOL) :unsure:

    I was sitting at my desk today thinking how in the world am I going to get through this year? I've never taught...what the heck was I doing thinking that I could teach 6th grade science? I haven't the slightest clue what to do, how to do it or when to do it! :confused:

    I'm in a portable, it's a nice one, albeit a bit hot. The downside is I'm at least a good three minute walk from the closest bathroom...yeah, with my teenie weenie bladder syndrome, that's gonna be a challenge! And from what I can tell, we have to share bathrooms with the students...there is a lack of restrooms at our school, big time. To try and go to the teachers lounge and the restrooms near there, heck it'd take me a good five minutes to get there and back...no where near enough time in between classes for that trip.

    Up until today I wasn't remotely nervous or stressed out about this at all...needless to say right now, I could use a stiff drink. I have no clue what I'm doing here, my classroom is hot as hades, the bathrooms are a days hike away...LOL...and I haven't even dealt with the students yet! :eek:

    Are any other first year teachers out there feelng this same way? To you veteran teachers, is this normal? :confused:

    For a split second today I was wondering how I could get out of this...I am officially freaked out. :help: This is a career change for me after many, many years of HR/business management.

    Anyone with any words of wisdom, encouragement, whatever...now would be a great time for me to hear them!!! LOL

    *runs off for that stiff drink....LOL*
     
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  3. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Aug 7, 2007

    Hi, FutureFLTeacher! Welcome to my world! LOL
    I am a career changer as well, coming to the world of teaching via an alternate certification program. To be honest, when I first entered the program, I thought that elementary classes would be easy-breezy! Then, I had methods and classroom management classes and I observed and did mini lessons with small groups! I did try to land a job for a while last spring and the first part of the summer, but I have since decided to student teach instead. In my program, I have to either student teach for 1 semester or "intern" (i.e., teach full-time with many observations by supervisors) for two semesters as the last steps to obtaining my certification. I have taken all the tests and classes (even some that weren't required), so all I have left is in the classroom! I feel a little awkward going into student teaching (probably with a cooperating teacher young enough to be my daugher/son!), but I really think it is the best way for me to go. My only problem with this plan of action is that I will be in the job market in January!

    Good Luck! You will be a fabulous teacher!
     
  4. Annie227

    Annie227 Companion

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    Aug 7, 2007

    I think it's pretty normal to be feeling nervous/overwhelmed right now. Hang in there & don't give up. A tip from my experience in a portable- dress in layers! My room was always too hot or too cold, never in the middle. I would go back and forth between my t-shirt and my sweater all day, every day (kids always thought I was odd answering the door after recess in a sweater when it was 115 degrees out).
     
  5. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Aug 7, 2007

    I completely know where you are coming from and it is totally normal. Last year was my first year and I taught 5th and 6th grade science. This coming from someone who hates science and only wanted to teach 3rd grade and lower. I went to my no air-conditioned room and also found out that we share a bathroom with the kids. I started crying and crying. The other 6th grade teacher found me and she had the previous science teacher call me to talk me through things.

    Is science what you wanted to teach? I promise it gets easier as you go along. The hardest is just learning the procedures. Feel free to PM me if you need anything at all or just want to vent.

    Good luck!
     
  6. teaching tigers

    teaching tigers Rookie

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    Aug 7, 2007

    It is completely normal to be nervous. This will be my ninth year of teaching, and I am still nervous before the school year starts. Once you get your feet wet, things will start falling into place. As far as the bathroom is concerned, try using a kindergarten sized potty every day!:rolleyes: Good luck!
     
  7. fort worth gal

    fort worth gal Rookie

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    Aug 7, 2007

    I feel your pain!

    I am also a career changer and I am totally freaking out right now. My last day at my old job was Friday and by the end of the day I was like "what did I get myslef in to"!! The closer it gets the more I am freaking out!
     
  8. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    Aug 7, 2007

    I student taught, I had a one month LTS where I was teaching, and things seemed fine then. Well my first day of my contract position, I stood in front of that class, and I tought I need to not be doing this, I can't! It was a rough first day, a rought second day.....then I got my feet under me. It got better. I love my subject matter, so I was able to delve into making the best lessons I could and it actually helped me think less about the fear of being in front of the kids. Now I will have 3 preps and I am back in the same place you are, no worries I think we have all been through it. I just know it does get better.
     
  9. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    It is absolutely normal. Though I don't teach middle school, I can completely relate! Three years ago was my time when I felt this way. I would suggest getting textbook teacher guides and speaking with someone on your team (the front office is most likely willing to help you out there), particularly your team leader.
     
  10. willsgirl

    willsgirl Comrade

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    Aug 7, 2007

    I was totally lost and confused my first year. The second was a bit better, I knew a little bit of what to expect, and the third year was much better. This year I"m a bit nervous again cuz I 'm at a new school, but I know I'll be OK because I've been there, done that. Hang in there. I found that if I started stressing about long term stuff, then I'd freak out and get nothing done. Take one day at a time with an eye on the near future, read up on teaching material and content, then just have fun. Ask tons of questions of your collegues, secretaries, etc. It's OK because they probably expect it from you. Before you know it, the year will be over and you'll have made a giant leap to a new career! :hugs:

    If you don't mind, I'll take a margarita. :cool:
     
  11. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    Aug 7, 2007

    I have taught before, but am changing grades and districts. I am a bit nervous. I just read through the teachers editions and tried to correlate them with the curriculum guide. I thought they would fit together for the most part-but they don't. The language arts text is nothing like what I thought it would be. I can't say I like it at all. But then I remember that the first week or so will be about procedures, and prep for standardized tests (third week of school) so I will have time to find a mentor and ask how they navigate the textbook and do grades, etc. You'll be fine!
     
  12. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Aug 7, 2007

    Pick a name for your trailer. Science -_____________.

    Students love hands on experiments.

    Have you bought some the cheap extra supplies. Pencils, filefolders, glue and etc.

    Do you have a text book?

    What are the state standard?
     
  13. shortee

    shortee Companion

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    Aug 7, 2007

    Future--Welcome to the world of teaching in Florida. I am a second year teacher, also a career changer, also in a portable, also in Florida. When I started last year the school year was already in progress so I had missed all the pre-planning, etc. I pretty much had to just jump in and do "my thing.Only problem was "I didn't really have "a thing".

    Your feelings are all normal...just take a deep breath and go for it. You'll be fine. I had second, third, fourth and fifth thoughts after I'd accepted the job but it all worked out. I had my share of bumps last year but all in all it was a great year.

    My advice...be very organized and ask lots of questions...and if someone makes you feel like an idiot for asking so many questions, (which is what happened to me), don't just give up on getting answers, (like I did). Ask someone else!!! Also, I ended up teaching out of field for my first year. I found a lot of information and ideas on the web and mostly right here on this website.

    Congratulations!!! BTW, what county are you in?
     
  14. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Aug 7, 2007

    I know how you feel. The 1st year I taught, the science department consisted on 2 football coaches and myself. I joined a great online group specifically geared to middle school science. I was teaching physical science at the time. Without groups like this, I don't think that I would be teaching today. If you need help putting science lessons together, PM me.
     
  15. La Profesora

    La Profesora Cohort

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    Aug 8, 2007

    Your first year, you will make all the mistakes, deal with crazy students, feel confused and lost - but remember that we were all there once. You get better every year! If you don't, you choose to do something different. :)

    As long as you are a sane and caring individual (and it sounds like you care because you are HERE!!!) and put in your prep, you can't screw them up too bad (lol). Think about what you did in school, what your kids had, what you've seen on tv, and just make the best decisions you can.

    Find a good mentor.

    Don't drink too much water, and if you could make it through a normal HR job, you can make it through teaching.

    Don't stress, enjoy your margaritas, utilize your co-workers, ask lots of questions, and have fun!!!
     
  16. LadyBard

    LadyBard Rookie

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    Aug 8, 2007

    You'll do fine!!! 6th graders are really just 11 yr. old babies. I taught 6th grade L.A. this year. I had a tough group too. They
    cursed me out on an almost daily basis.

    All they need is a firm hand. The first day let them know what you expect. Prepare a lesson on rule. Why do we need them ? How do they help us? What rules should we have in our classroom? What should the consequences be for breaking the rules ?

    Come up with a list of agreed upon rules and consequences -- Post them. You might also try contracts, also have get the parents involved.

    Send home copies of your rules or contracts and have the parents sign that they agreed to help you enforce them.

    Parents are a great resource. Find out where parent numbers are kept in the main office. Sometimes just the threat of getting a parent involved is enough to get them to behave properly.

    Good luck this year. Once you settle in and get into a groove, you'll be fine. Also try to observe other classroom teachers to see how they handle it.

    Please let us know how it goes !!
     
  17. MathTeacher29

    MathTeacher29 Rookie

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    Aug 8, 2007

    I was also a career changer with no teaching experience. I'm going into my second year. But at least you realized before you got students that you weren't sure about how to teach. I'll never forget the first day, the first class when I got in front of the kids and I thought oh my god, I have no idea what to do....... I had been so busy with meetings and no one had told me what I should do. So I just thought back to high school and what my teachers did and I made it through the day. I was so close to running out the door.

    But I made it, and I love it now. Just make sure to ask other teachers lots of questions, and even if you don't know what you are doing, pretend you do so the kids don't catch on!
     
  18. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I have one word for you...Depends! LOL, jk
     
  19. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Aug 8, 2007

    Have an activity that students come in and start to work on.

    Post a picture of "Person of the week" someone from history, current events, politics, etc.. and give some clues about that person. Students name the person and write a couple sentences about the person, or what their significance is.
    ****And Scholastic's books of history plays are pretty good, too. I did a Columbus play and one about the White House when the British burned it.

    http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/archives/state.shtml they have a mystery state activity. For each state there are 5 clues and the kids research and try to guess the state. Last year I gave one clue a day and the kids tried to guess the state before they got all 5 clues.
    You will need something to do with science.
     

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