What will be your biggest challenge this year?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Aliceacc, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 18, 2011

    In all the years I've been teaching, this will be only the second year without a homeroom.

    Last year, even though I was in 9 different classrooms, I had a homeroom. So there was a place kids could find me for extra help, and a place to put all my stuff (which, by the way, has to be moved before school starts.)

    This year, in an effort to give me more time to do National Honor Society, I won't have a homeroom. So I should have a LOT more free time.

    But it does present some organization issues.
     
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  3. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    So, does that mean you don't have a "home base"?

    The biggest challenge for me this year is to keep it fresh. This will be my 25th year teaching the same thing in the same space, and I have to keep it fresh. I've re-done what we call our "cultural subjects" curriculum, which is basically life and physical sciences and geography and history, so that'll help. It keeps it interesting for me when I change something like that.

    My other challenge is to keep the space organized for this year. Our main storage space is on the 3rd floor of the mansion our school is in and I have to walk up 2 flights of stairs to get to it, so I tend not to go up there much. :lol: That has to change.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Right. No place to store my stuff, like tests I've run off for tomorrow, or my SAT materials on non-SAT days-- that sort of stuff.

    The one other time I didn't have a homeroom, I taught all day in the homeroom of one of the Brothers. He was wonderful-- he gave me carte blanche, including an entire file cabinet. (Unfortunately, he's now in Rome, studying for the priesthood, so I know I won't get to work with him again.)

    Everyone is always very generous about sharing space in my building. But if I'm teaching in several rooms, as I suspect I may be, it's going to take some organization so that I always arrive in the right room with the right materials.
     
  5. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    I can see how that would be extremely challenging. Good luck!
     
  6. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Hmmm... Alice, is there someone's office where you could at least have a filing cabinet? Or maybe a teeny corner of the copy room?

    My challenge this year will be technology. We have a brand-new school all tricked out with a CAVs system in each room (which I've used before, but it's been awhile...). I know they're going to want us to use them, but I'm honestly a paper-and-pen-plus-the-overhead kind of gal.
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    We'll see. I'm not sweating it. Other people make it work, I will too.

    Yeah, cherbrutta, the technology changes are always fun.
     
  8. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    The most challenging thing for me will be using the 3 and a half months I have before my maternity leave to prove I am worth keeping to my principal. Next year's staffing issues will be determined while I am on leave.. This is also my first year in this building and doing this particular subject (7th grade reading). It's going to be a busy fall. I am also finishing my capstone paper and graduating in December. I feel like if I make it to December I will feel like I survved.
     
  9. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    I'm having some health issues that I hope are resolved before the school year begins. If not, it is going to be interesting. If so, then it should be a good year because I have a new coworker next door that I am really excited to work with ... my student teacher from a couple years ago. :)
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Challenges are opportunities. This year,
    My younger son will graduate from college
    Older son is planning his wedding
    Im creating a PLC with three other colleagues
    I'll continue my position on association executive board
    I'll serve as a district rep in finalizing LA curriculum in alignment with CCCS
    It's my second year in a new grade level, so I'm supplementing what I did last year and fine tuning
    Balancing work, tutoring schedules with home and family
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 18, 2011

    Yeah, that challenge never goes away, does it???
     
  12. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Biggest challenge will be teaching 5th grade after spending three years as a high school teacher. Absolutely everything is new to me. Never used Story Town, never used their math curriculum, have never taught social studies, and well, basically everything is new to me. And I'll be going from an 80 minute prep to a 40 minute prep.

    BUT I have taught 6 months of 6th grade in the past so I am a bit familiar with the age group (in addition to having a son who just finished 5th) and my five teammates seem very helpful and all around great so I am ready for the challenge!
     
  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    It's sometimes a matter of dancing as fast a I can and juggling and hula hooping at the same time!:lol: I'm spending some time this summer on organization so that should help....plus dh is a great support!:love:
     
  14. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I'm the lead for the grade 7/8 team next year and that will bring some unique challenges. One of the teachers is very negative about teaching and students. She is quite vocal about certain expectations of us, "I'm not going to do that." (Not sure how that's an option). I know that she doesn't have any respect for me, so it will cause some difficulties.

    Another challenge, but one I'm looking forward to, will be doing some creative problem-solving around my desire to have my students use technology on a much more regular basis. I need to put together a proposal to 'sell' why my class should be able to use the computer lab more frequently.

    Oh, and on a personal level, helping Lauren make choices about university (and realizing that she'll be moving away in a year) will be a huge challenge!
     
  15. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I will (again) be teaching the general and enriched phase of my courses in the same room at the same time. Last year, I didn't do a great job of making that work out. This year I will have the challenge of coming up with a way to make it work. However, I hope to go through the roster of students when it is available to me and check to see if any students have very low English scores or have not met the prerequisites for my course (an English elective.) That will help. I expect that my students have the skills to write a paper of at least five paragraphs with minimal instruction. I tell them the first day that I teach film, not English, and so if their writing skills are weak the course will be a challenge. Some of them last year came to me from remedial English and couldn't write a paragraph. They were in the same classroom with honors and gifted seniors, which made it difficult to engage everyone on their level.
     
  16. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    My Challenges:

    Entirely new schedule, including journalism which is a new class to my school (at least recently, I think it was taught several years ago).

    1:1 laptops which will be both a blessing and a new challenge.

    My extremely difficult department chair.

    Taking a water pill one week a month.

    Getting into grad school.
     
  17. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

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    Jul 18, 2011

    -Going back to grad school

    -Starting a new school with a 45 min commute

    -Teaching middle school (always have taught high school)
     
  18. MATgrad

    MATgrad Groupie

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    Keeping up with the documentation! I'm very good at differentiating and documenting that in my lesson plans. I'm not good at doing my IEP documentation. I'm thinking of doing a binder for each kid with folders in it for storing paperwork.
     
  19. teachgrade5

    teachgrade5 Comrade

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    Jul 18, 2011

    I think my biggest challenge will be not stressing during my maternity leave. I am really worried about how my students will do on state testing when they will have a sub teacher for at least 60 days (the most I can take on maternity without loosing insurance).

    I am also a little stressed about making sure my sub knows what is expected while I am gone. I only have to give an outline of what I want them to do, and they will have to plan the lessons. This is the first time I have been out on an extended leave of absence in 13 years of teaching, and I am a little worried about the whole thing.
     
  20. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Jul 18, 2011

    I will be changing students with another teacher so that we don't have to teach so many different things. I think it will be a good change, but it will be interesting.
     
  21. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Biggest challenge is to not let things get emotional. More things will get thrown at us and I need to learn to just not care about it.
     
  22. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Jul 18, 2011

    New curriculum for science and religion, plus integrating new Core standards for math and reading/language with our state standards for the one year they'll overlap, along with changing my reading instruction block to match new state mandates. I also have to adapt some social studies units to include some standards that we previously covered in science, but aren't included there anymore. Basically, there are changes in every subject I teach!

    My personal goal is to do a better job on assessment and documentation.
     
  23. smtownEngteach

    smtownEngteach Rookie

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    It's my first year teaching so I guess it will all be a challenge, but it is a challenge I'm looking forward to.
     
  24. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    Our incoming 8th graders appaer to be the most difficult I've ever encountered. As 7th graders, they surely looked very out of control and very difficult to manage. They also seem to be very low in math. I think this is going to be the biggest challenge ever for me. I'm nervous but excited at a the same time.

    I will have 3 8th grade classes. One class I already know and I love them. They're sweet and hard working. The other two I don't know very well but they do look very scary as the 7th grade teachers would not stop complaining about them.

    It's also going to be challenging to have my team agree on one consistent behavior management system. I won't even get a chance to meet with them until a few hours before school starts. They are not willing to discuss anything related to school before then. Grrrr :mad:
     
  25. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    They cut our teaching time to less than half...from 90 minutes to 42 minutes. (REALLY!!)

    In addition, I will only see each remedial math student 3 times a week due to special ed servicing requirements.

    :eek::eek::eek:

    I also second callmebob's answer--a little emotional distance especially with all these unjust budget issues. I'm taking two grad classes on top of teaching so there is no time or spare energy to spend evenings cooling off because I'm upset about workstuff.
     
  26. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    We are becoming a k-8 school (from previously being an elementary) by combining with a middle school this coming year. I think it's going to be hard at first. We had the same admin this year (they switched off who was at what school) and we loved them while the middle school hated them. We have a very tight close knit staff and I know the middle school had some huge problems. Many of them were nonrenewed and only a few tenured teachers returning, so it may be different with so many new staff. I also was the only special ed teacher last year, and I kind of liked running the program on my own without having to worry about a teammate. I pretty much had to collaborate with every teacher in the building, so it's not like I didn't get enough of that! This year I will have a teammate who runs the 6-8 program and I've heard nothing but negative things about how she either doesn't know how to do anything or won't do anything. I've been placed in charge of everything in our department, even though she has almost 10 years of experience and this is my 2nd year. I'm supposed to be "coaching" her on how to run lessons, schedules, meetings, etc. My P thinks she has potential but has just never been taught these things. Everyone else seems to think there's no helping her as they've told her/showed her what she needs to do practically once a week (people like the psych and ap) and she hasn't changed. I'm very nervous to work with her!
     
  27. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I have many low kids this coming year, and several with behavioral issues, and mostly boys. So, it will be a challenging year in general.
     
  28. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    My biggest challenge will be adapting to a new school, team, and grade level.
     
  29. Elocin

    Elocin Comrade

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    Same--and also 7/8 LA. We'll have to brainstorm together :)
     
  30. smtownEngteach

    smtownEngteach Rookie

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    That would be great!!
     
  31. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    New Principal... always trying to be better :)
     
  32. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I'm struggling with getting motivated to teach another year of enormous (50+) classes. Next year I'm selling a prep, too, so I'll have less prep time during the day and 50 extra students.

    I'm feeling some burn out, to be honest. I hope it goes away soon.
     
  33. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    Jul 18, 2011

    The last two years, my students with special needs needed a 1:1 para and spent most of their time in the sped room (were with me for things like morning meeting and recess). This year my students do not have 1:1, and both of our sped teachers will be new. So I will have a lot more of the responsibility for modifications.

    Not a complaint at all - they are my students and it is my job to do the best I can for them. I just had it easy the last two years!
     
  34. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    My biggest challenge will be being at a new school. The curriculum is very different than what I'm used to. Also, my husband might be deployed from September to March. It would be our first deployment. At least it would probably be the best timing possible-I'll be busy with my new job.
     
  35. The Fonz

    The Fonz Math teacher (for now...)

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    I am teaching AP Statistics for the first time. That will be my challenge for the year.
     
  36. stampin'teacher

    stampin'teacher Cohort

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    I am starting at a brand new private school, which has already shown itself to be more relaxed than my own Type A personality. I've been trying to get as many answers as possible about how the school runs and what it wants the grade to reflect as far as themes, expectations, etc.

    I am the ONLY 4th grade teacher, so there isn't another person to bounce ideas off of, and they want me to completely revamp the curriculum. At this school, the teacher picks the theme for the year....for the past 20 years 4th graders have studied Medieval Times.....:confused: fun but doesn't relate to what kids need to learn in 4th grade according to CA state standards...

    I am starting with an entirely clean slate:dizzy: fun yet very very daunting!
     
  37. KLSSwimmer

    KLSSwimmer Habitué

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    This year will be challenging, but challenging can be good! We are switching reading series, getting a completely new math series, and implementing the Common Core standards. Lots of changes, but I think it will be fine, just a lot of prep.
     
  38. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Grade 7/8 English (Reading, Writing, Oral Communication and Media Literacy) here too! I'll be happy to collaborate!
     
  39. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    I think one of our biggest challenges is going to be recruitment. I work at a public pre-k. Our program was "State Pre-K" for the first three years I taught. Students and families were interviewed and screened prior to enrollment for risk factors. Then our infamous governor made the program Preschool For All- so we operated on the idea that our priority was for families of 4 or more making under 80,000. Last year after we had already held several open houses, we were told all of our families had to qualify for free/reduced lunch. Our application (from the district) is pretty generic and doesn't even follow the federal guidelines for the poverty level. So at the end we were scrambling to find people who qualified. In order for our program to remain open, we need to keep our free/reduced lunch quota up as high as possible. However, the immediate area to our school is gentrifying. So we have 300 applications from the "neighborhood" of people we can't really take.

    My personal challenge is organization and not letting certain things stress me out (observations- I have nothing to worry about- but I get so stressed).
     
  40. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    My biggest challenge (and that of my department's) will be getting a better understanding of the new state assessment. We know next to nothing right now, and implementation will begin this year with the freshmen. We are anticipating having to make some sizable changes to our curriculum. That in and of itself doesn't trouble me, but I wish some concrete decisions were being made about how the kids will be evaluated.
     
  41. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    Jul 18, 2011

    I think my biggest challenge this year is that it is my FIRST year altogether! Right now I feel like I was just shoved into it blindfolded because I have been told absolutely nothing about what to expect. I don't even know what time (I know the date) that our professional development days start! I assume 8 a.m. like school, but I feel like an idiot asking.
     

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