When asked if it's your first year...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Pisces_Fish, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    This Thursday is orientation. Of course I'm nervous, but one thing that terrifies me is parents outright asking if I'm first year. What should I say? I don't want to lie. I've heard some people say to tell them "oh, I taught ____ grade before," when they're really referring to their ST experience.

    I also worry because every 5th grade teacher at my school is brand new to the school - all of us are in for some serious scrutiny in my school's small town. :unsure:
     
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  3. missk83

    missk83 Companion

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    I will be a first year teacher as well, and this is something I am worried about.
    I plan on saying that, yes, it is my first year, but I am not w/o experience.
    Just be open and honest, and let them know that you will be a great teacher to their child.
    That's about all you can do!
     
  4. LMath85

    LMath85 Companion

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    I didn't have any parents ask me if it was my first year teaching. Mostly just the kids to which I replied.. "I taught at freshman at ______ school." I don't consider it lying.. I know it is only student teaching but I DID teach.

    My AP told me its OK to say that.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Say: "I student taught at ----school. I'm so excited to be here and look forward to a great year".
     
  6. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I bet no one asks. Most parents assume teachers have experience.
     
  7. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    No parents asked me, and during open house when we were asked to tell a little bit about ourselves, I said "It is my second year at _____ School, but my first year in kindergarten". I was there the year before as a long-term sub, but they don't need to know that! Good luck!
     
  8. teach_each1

    teach_each1 Comrade

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    I had more parents asking me if I was old enough to teach (I'm 29) :eek: then if it was my first year.
     
  9. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    I know the feeling...I'm 26!:blush:
     
  10. emmakate218

    emmakate218 Connoisseur

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    It is my first year as well and this is definitely something that has been on my mind! I plan to just act super confident on Meet the Teacher Night this Thursday. If I'm asked if it is my first year teaching, I plan to be completely honest and say yes, but that I went to an incredible university that provided me with hundreds of hours of experience in multiple grade levels. I will also reassure them by telling them my specialization was in early childhood education.
     
  11. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    I plan on letting the parents know (if they ask) that I've student taught at this school and that school and I have done online tutoring as well. I think parents should trust the decisions on hiring made by the admins of the school.
     
  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I said, "This is my first year at --HS." It implied that I had other teaching experience--which I did, even thought it was my student teaching.
     
  13. FirstYear

    FirstYear Rookie

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    Last year was my first year and I did have parents ask. I was 24 but look barely 20 and I think that's why they asked. I just emphasised the experience I had like subbing, student teaching and other things I've done. None of them ever asked in a negative way though. Once school started I never heard about it again from them. Don't worry about it and just be honest with them.
     
  14. SciTeacherNY

    SciTeacherNY Companion

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    Same exact thing was true for me.
     
  15. Ilovefirst

    Ilovefirst Comrade

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    I too know the feeling! I am 26 as well and this will be my 5th year teaching. My first year I got a lot of "oh, you're helping your mom set up her room" when people (staff and parents) met me for the first time. I don't think I was ever asked if it was my first year teaching. I think most probably figured it out but also figured if the P hired me then I must know what I am doing!
     
  16. Darkhorse

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    Last year was my first year teaching and I only had one parent ask outright if I was a first year teacher. I told her the truth because I feel that if someone asks a direct question it is only fair to give a direct response. However, to all the other parents I kept talking about how I had taught this grade last year and had experience in that grade. FTR, I was 24 when I started my first year, so it was a little obvious.
     
  17. Superteacher81

    Superteacher81 Comrade

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    This will be my 6th year teaching and every year I've had rude parents ask if it was my first year. I think my first year I said "I have experience in Kindergarten (internship) and First (student teaching)." I didn't lie but I didn't outright say it was my first year either.
     
  18. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I would also say something like "It's my first year here." or "I taught at M High School last year, and I have taught for Upward Bound before that." True, but one was student teaching and the other was just a 4 week summer program. But they don't need to know that. The thing is... parents probably won't care at first that you are a first year teacher, but if you drop the ball on something, they instantly think you are a bad teacher because you don't have any experience. I would prefer them not to know.

    I also still get, "Are you old enough to teach" and it is my 7th year and I am the dept chair!
     
  19. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    I'm 29 too, but I'm sure I'll hear that question this week :) I look 21...tops!
     
  20. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Cassie, what I worry is that a parent will ask a follow-up question, and I'll be tied up in my white lie!
     
  21. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    You are all smart about how you handle it. You never know how parents will react. I came to my current position (private) after 2 years in the inner city. I saw a lot and considered myself pretty seasoned.

    There was a parent FURIOUS at the head of school for hiring someone with "so little" experience. She was set to be the parent assoc. head but went stirring up so much trouble they asked her not to be. It was this BIG BIG drama. She was telling parents that the school needed to re-examine their hiring practices, and that there was nepotism going on (I'm an alum) and that the teaching quality was going down... blah, blah, blah.

    She was mad because unlike her last teacher, I didn't just think her child was "lazy" but thought she had an actual learning disability. She ended up not bringing her kids back to the school, only to beg to come back in Nov. She never said anything to ME, but apparently they got her tested and she DID have a LD. (She had refused testing and wouldn't let the reading specialist do it.) She told the other teacher (after we LET them back in) "Miss Froggy is the teacher to have. She is the only one who actually thought Precious Child had a learning issue." She couldn't say it to my face though!! Now they left again (a year later) because there was no guarantee of gender balance in the child's class.. Oy! (Our private school has MANY more boys than girls. It's about 2:1)
     
  22. Hoot Owl

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    Tell them that what you lack in experience you make up for it with first year enthusiam.

    Gosh, everyone loves a brand new teacher, if they don't they have problems like the one in Miss Froggy's letter.
     
  23. allisonbeth

    allisonbeth Comrade

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    My child has a first year teacher this year and I am thrilled (as are many of the parents of the children in his class). First year often means fresh....excited...up-to-date...willing to try new things...etc.

    Sure, I worry because his teacher has no real track record however, we know she will have the support of the other teachers in her school. So, don't assume the parents are all upset or disappointed...many of us are happy to share in your first year! (Plus, at Christmas time, my son can give his new teacher an apple mug and the new teacher will really think it is cool! : )
     
  24. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    But it's not a white lie. If they ask a follow-up question, say, "Before coming here, I taught at --HS." That's true. You're not obligated to give dates of service or anything.
     
  25. Lindzee82

    Lindzee82 Companion

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    I was very honest with parents. If they asked me if it was my first year, I told them that it was. If they did not ask me, they did not find out.
     
  26. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I thought about what I was going to say, but then at meet the teacher night the principal pointed out that one of the other third grade teachers and I were new! However, I don't think a lot of parents caught it anyway. I had some surprised that it was my first year when talking to them mid-way through the year.
     
  27. HMM

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    Everyone has a first year...I would just tell them that this is your first full year of teaching.
     
  28. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    My initial thought on this had been against telling parents it's your first year. It doesn't really help you, it's not really the parent's business since the principal has decided you're qualified, and serves basically as a risk.

    However, I do see a good reason for telling them anyway. I know as for myself I would never hold the first year thing against a teacher, but part of this is because some of the best teachers for my son were relatively inexperienced, and some of the worst had lots of experience. If I hadn't known the teachers were inexperienced, though, I wouldn't have made the connection.

    So, my advice is: if you think you can make the parents happy and enthusiastic about you as a teacher, tell them. Then they'll give other first-years more of a break later on.

    You might also refer nervous parents to parents like me who know that first-year teachers are often fine.
     
  29. 2love2teach

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    Maybe you can say that youve been working with children for a few years. Student teaching, field experiences and things should count
     
  30. lcluigs03

    lcluigs03 Cohort

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    i was a special ed para before i started teaching. i taught one student off and on and helped him with daily tasks. so i reply by saying, "i taught special ed with a different district." they dont' say anything then. it's not a lie...just not the whole truth. ;)

    LC
     
  31. Lareigna

    Lareigna Companion

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    This will be my second year teaching. Last year I never had a parent ask how long I had been teaching. At open house night I did tell them a little about myself. I told them this is my first year teaching at X school in NH, before I taught (Student taught) 3 and 5 grade in NY. I was told not to mention that it was my first official year by the AP and other teachers. During open house the AP did come in the room and tell the parents how luck the school was to have me (it was very nice of her to do that. My AP is amazin and a spitfire). Some parents may feel uncomfortable with it and my scrutinze some things you do.
     
  32. Dynamite Boys

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    Last year was my first year, I did just as Cassie stated . . . this is my first year at **Middle School. If asked further I would just say I was at **Middle School (where I had done my student teaching). I had very few parents even ask, to be honest. Parents are more impressed with your enthusiasm than anything else!
     
  33. Go 4th

    Go 4th Habitué

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    I told parents it was my first year. I am older, so I explained that I had always wanted to teach and when my youngest child returned to school, so did I. I tell them of my experience in college with various grade levels and how I have worked all summer to come up with some exciting and educational activities for the students. I used it to my advantage. I told them that I had been in college for 4 years, and was tired of sitting in the desks. I like a lot of hands on activities, and explained that I believe in group work, hands on things, etc. I am also in a trailer, which a lot of parents can take issue with. I used it to my advantage also--I opened the door and told them that we had our own front yard, we can go outside for reading, science, etc.

    I think what really worked to my advantage, is that on open house night, I talked with the students and the parents "overheard". I asked the students if they were nervous to be in 4th, or if they had ever been in 4th grade before (in a silly manner), and told them that I hadn't either and that I was as nervous as they were. I then explaiend some of the things that we would be doing--hitting the experiments, book projects, math fun stuff, going back in time to the civil war, etc. Honestly most parents were extremely receptive and encouraging. I think my enthusiasm and nervousness helped.

    It will be great!!!!
     
  34. Bridget

    Bridget Rookie

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    For me, there was no way to hide it. I teach in a small school and everyone knows everything. Also, I'm very young looking and there's no way that I could have had several years of teaching behind me. Some other young teachers and I went tanning this year and we were actually asked if we were preparing for high school prom...We laughed for a long time about that one! I wasn't hesitant to tell them. I didn't go out of my way to tell them, but b/c of the school everyone knew.
     
  35. missthompson

    missthompson Rookie

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    Oh, I got yelled at on the phone today from a parent... I'm still upset about it. Third day of school... and evidently "Susie" thinks her teacher looks too young... so I must not know what I'm talking about! So the parent wants the kiddo moved to a different classroom... the problem is that the other teachers are two years younger than me... first years.. hmm :) I take the situation to the principal... parents are "crazy"... I'm in for a great year!
     
  36. singingstacy

    singingstacy Rookie

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    I'm just 22! lol
     
  37. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I always replied that it was "my first year with my own classroom." I subbed for 2 years plus student teaching.
    My statement could be interpreted as co-teaching but no one asked for further clarification.
     
  38. missthompson

    missthompson Rookie

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    My problem is that I look very young and sound very young, so I don't think parents always take me seriously. I am turning 26 in a few months. What do you do though? I just try to be confident and professional. I have been at home tonight stewing on today's situation. I just feel sad that people think I am incompetent when they have no reason to. I have a big plus on my side: my two principals backed me up 110%. I just need to grow some tougher skin!:unsure:
     
  39. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    I'm almost 32 and am asked if I am a student teacher :eek:
     
  40. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Last year was my first year and I came out and told parents because even more than my fear that they think I'm inexperienced was my fear that they think I'm dishonest. Turns out I had a wonderful year with very supportive parents! I wouldn't have changed my approach to this situation for anything!
     
  41. ABL

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    I'm 22 too :) Hopefully parents won't think I"m too young. I've already talked to a few so I'm sure it's out that I"m a new teacher, but I figure that after a few months I"ll hopefully put any fears to rest about being the new young one.

    We have an interesting situation at our school since the 4th grade has 2 new teachers to the school (the other has taught 5 years but took last year off) and the experienced teacher is teaching a combo, so apparently some parents (and their children) are a little uneasy about how this year will be going.

    To the kids, I get to tell that I've taught Preschool (in college) as well as 1st,3rd,4th,6th,7th, and 8th (it was a busy year of student teaching!) :D
     

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