When did you stop feeling "new?"

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Croissant, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. Croissant

    Croissant Comrade

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    Dec 27, 2012

    I'm halfway through my second year, but I often still feel clueless, unprepared, and uneffective. Everyone else is constantly telling me what a great job I'm doing and sincerely forgetting how inexperienced I still am, but I guess I have higher expectations of myself. We have a few first-year teachers on campus this year, and they come to me as their kind of unofficial mentor because I'm the person who has most recently been where they are, but I often feel like I should still be grouped with them! I know a lot of it is a confidence problem that I've always struggled with and part of it is my over-achieving personality, but there are days that I feel completely unsure of myself in my classroom and am constantly doubting myself.

    I know the best teachers are constantly learning and bettering themselves. You never get to a point where you're the best you can be. What I want to know is when did you all reach that point of complete comfortable confidence? How long had you taught before you consistently had that "I got this" feeling?
     
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  3. mcqxu

    mcqxu Comrade

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    Dec 27, 2012

    I'm not exactly sure. This is my second year at my school, although I taught for a few years before this position. While I know I still have a lot to learn, I do feel much more confident this year. I've also noticed that other teachers in my school have seemed to show me a little more respect this year - last year it was always "that's how we've always done it, this is how it is done", and I just went along with it. This year I feel I have more of a voice when conflicts arise and in other discussions.

    I do understand the feeling of being ineffective from time to time, and I imagine that even many veteran teachers experience this sometimes. However, it is important to Believe in yourself and what others are telling you about your performance, and keep it up!

    Happy Holidays:)
     
  4. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Dec 27, 2012

    One of our teachers is in her third year and she says that's she's finally getting into the swing of things, and it's a lot easier, so maybe it's year three?

    It's my first year, I can't really say. xD
     
  5. mkbren88

    mkbren88 Cohort

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    Dec 27, 2012

    I felt the best during my third year. Now I'm in my fourth year, but feel like a brand new teacher learning all over again. New school district (from charter to public), new grade, new standards and new evaluation system (when never evaluated before.).

    Keep up the good work and your confidence in your abilities will grow.
     
  6. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Dec 27, 2012

    Thinking about things, it took me one year to get used to the school and an additional year to get fully comfortable with the material. Three years is about right.
     
  7. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    In was about 5-6 years in. Until then I was always in a new building or job.
     
  8. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Dec 27, 2012

    4th year for me!
     
  9. Ms_C

    Ms_C Comrade

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    Dec 27, 2012

    I have been a full time teacher for 4 weeks now; I'll let you know when I figure it out.
     
  10. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Dec 27, 2012

    I've taught for five years... I still feel somewhat new, but I've never really taught the same thing twice either.
     
  11. Resentful

    Resentful Rookie

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    Dec 27, 2012

    Less than a year. On the first day of school, I didn't feel like a new teacher. In spring of 2012, the teacher I'm covering for went on longterm leave. I took over her class. She was basically burned out, so I was making lesson plans and doing everything from like the second week on. Really the first week, but I wasn't writing lesson plans. I was using emergency plans and sort of filler things. I had a hard time believing someone would just leave a sub holding the bag like that. This year, she retired I'm basically the teacher, but on a sub's salary. I think a LOT of it is I'm in the same school, grade, and room. I also felt more like a veteran because my next door neighbor is a teacher with NO experience straight from student teaching the past year.

    I think what also helped to a degree was I've never had a job that didn't involve working with students and/or education. I remember during my student teaching knowing how to deal with parents while the other student teachers were so intimidated. I think that's one of the biggest flaw in American teacher education. There's not enough field experience. If someone happens to be hired without subbing or the job experiences I've had before student teaching, you have someone who has very little experience working with minors and/or parents.
     
  12. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Dec 27, 2012

    By the end of the first week. That's a little bit of an exaggeration but my school is small so I know almost everyone and spend a lot of time with them. That helps :)
     
  13. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    In my first position I would say I adjusted within a couple of months. My second year there I truly felt like a "veteran" teacher even though of course many of the "veterans" had been teaching there for 15 years or more. Then I started a completely different type of position in a different school, and I felt like a brand new teacher all over again! It only took me about a month to get really comfortable with my team. As far as the rest of the job though, there are things that make me feel "new" on a daily basis!
     
  14. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Dec 27, 2012

    I could have written this! We have 5 first year teachers at my school this year out of 60+ teachers. In a huge school, it's kind of easy for them to get lost in the shuffle. Since most of the staff has been there quite a few years, I end up talking with them the most. My principal asked me to go in and observe one who was struggling to offer advice, and I was like :dizzy: "Why?" :lol: "I don't know anything about anything!"

    I definitely feel more confident than last year, but I don't feel "good" yet. Not even close. I've spent some of Christmas break just reading about teaching reading and trying to make sure I am doing best practices. I hope I always want to be better! Otherwise I need to throw in the towel. :unsure:
     
  15. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Dec 28, 2012

    I felt less "new' in my 3rd year. I did switch schools at the end of my 3rd year, and taught a different grade level. It took me a year to get my bearings at the new building.
     
  16. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Dec 28, 2012

    I'm on my sixth year of teaching and everytime I think I've seen it all, something throws me for a loop and I feel brand new all over again.

    And I'm not just talking about student issues (last year I had to call CPS over ten times due to cases of sexual and physical abuse as well as neglect) but academic things as well. I really felt like I had everything under control when BAM, new math curriculum!

    Now each math period I'm feeling my way along through the dark, never fully grasping what I'm supposed to do. When I have the energy, I have to read, re-read, read again, ask my grade level chair (who is just as confused) questions about the curriculum and read it again.

    It gets better, but no matter how long you've been teaching, you can feel brand new at any moment. I think you're really seasoned when you face those moments with poise and rationality and not freak out, become overwhelemed or apathedic. (unfortunately I'm not QUITE there yet. LoL)
     
  17. Croissant

    Croissant Comrade

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    Dec 28, 2012

    Thank you all! I've had a lot of friends tell me it all kind of clicks in your third year as well. I feel very comfortable with the people I work with, and we all get along great. They've never really talked down to me as a newer teacher. In fact, many of them come to me for advice/venting/solutions. By about the second week of my first year I was having to remind them that I didn't know what "we did last year." It's just the teaching aspect :lol: The reasoning behind the third year thing makes sense. A friend and I who started together joke that we're repeating our first year this year because we're doing so many thing differently. Maybe by next year we'll have it figured out.
     
  18. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Dec 28, 2012

    Exactly the same year. By year three I had it down. Now in year four I am in a new school with new curriculum and a new grade, so lots of learning happening this year!
     
  19. Ilovesummer

    Ilovesummer Companion

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    Dec 28, 2012

    I remember really feeling settled and sure of myself starting in my 3rd year. Then, for year 5, I moved to a new school and new grade level and felt like a first-year teacher all over again. Luckily, that feeling only lasted one year that time. This is now year 8 (4th year at the second school) with no plans to change anytime soon, and I'm really enjoying being very comfortable and experienced where I am.
     
  20. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Dec 28, 2012

    The "new" feeling wore off after a few months. That didn't mean I knew it all and did everything beautifully perfect, but years later and I still don't. Of course the entire year I was learning how the school handled this or that, but that's a little different.
     
  21. mikeyjackkk

    mikeyjackkk New Member

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    Dec 29, 2012

    hiiiiiiiii
     
  22. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Dec 29, 2012

    This is my 7th year... and the first year I feel like I have a groove. But of course, it's also the first year I didn't have a new prep/grade level added to my schedule.

    But then there are times when I have a mountain of papers to grade, lesson plans to write, papers to copy, phone calls to return, something to read about the CCSS... I sit back and wonder when I'll ever get the hang of things.
     
  23. PinkCupcake

    PinkCupcake Cohort

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    This is my third year of teaching. We got a new science curriculum this year which has taken some getting used to. My class is the most challenging in terms of talking and all the diverse needs. I have three special ed students along with almost half my class having some sort of medical record. Thankfully I have a full time aide in my room this year for one student in a wheelchair. I feel like I'm in the swing of things as far as curriculum and planning goes, but the students keep me on my toes.
     
  24. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    I would say around my fourth year. This is year 8 for me. Although, I someitmes feel like a brand new teacher when I am prepping for that first day back after the long summer off. :D
     
  25. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    By my third year, I didn't feel like the "new teacher" in that I felt more comfortable speaking up and sharing ideas during meetings and things. But that year I moved to a new grade, so it was probably year four for me before I really felt like I had things worked out in the classroom. And it's not that before then I felt lost or overwhelmed or anything--it was more of a sudden realization that, "Hey, I think I've gotten the hang of this!"
     
  26. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I think this year is the first year that I have really felt comfortable. I'm in my 5th year.
     
  27. Croissant

    Croissant Comrade

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    Glad to hear it takes most of us a few years. Also, I feel maybe I should clarify. I was talking about feeling new to the profession, not new in the building :)
     
  28. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    I still feel new, and this is year 5 for me!! But this year I switched grade levels, schools, districts, AND adopted Common Core, so I try to remind myself that anyone would still feel a bit new in my shoes!
     
  29. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    During my 2nd year I no longer felt "new," even though I felt like I had more to learn. I think that was my best year because I felt energizied and excited without feeling anxious and overwhelmed like I did during my first year. Now, I don't feel "new" just "old" - like I have been doing this forever.
     
  30. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    This is quite accurate! :)
     
  31. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    I started to feel like I had more of a clue my fourth year. Then I changed grade levels and schools and felt like I was kind of starting over my fifth year...
     
  32. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Jan 9, 2013

    I'm in my 2nd yr too, but I'm also that same way through my grad school program & it's a 3-yr program, so I'm scrambling to learn what I'm doing on the job now, but yes, I have a mentor to guide me along.

    I think we all wish we knew more than what we do at any point, whether we've been teaching 1 yr or 5 yrs. Even after 50 yrs, there's always more to learn.

    I definitely consider myself new since I'm still an intern!
     

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