Your second year

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Pisces_Fish, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Dec 7, 2008

    I have this awesome teacher at my school who has taken me under her wing emotionally (since she teaches 3 grades below me) and always asks me how things are going. The other day I was telling her about all the changes I'm excited to make for next year and she warned me to be ready for the "reality check" that comes with your second class. She said that what works one year often doesn't work the next. It freaked me out a bit because now I'm not looking forward to "starting over" as much as I was before. What was your second year like?
     
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  3. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

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    Dec 7, 2008

    Each and every year will be different. Don't freak out. You will always have to make changes to suit the needs of your new students. You certainly do not have to start over, just make adjustments along the way. No need to worry or stress out about it. Like I said, every year you will have to make the necessary changes.
     
  4. KLSSwimmer

    KLSSwimmer Habitué

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    I am currently in my second year of teaching. I have to say that this year is very different than last year, mainly because I taught kindergarten last year and now I am teaching 4th grade. The second year is different because, as I think with all classes, each class is different and what might work for one class will not work for anothe class.

    However, I think that the second year, if you were in the same grade, has to be easier. I mean I know that last year I tried lots of different things that ended up working okay, but not great. I know that when I go back and look at those lesson plans, I will know what to do differently. It has to be easier because I already have "stuff" made to go along with each standard, and I know the developmental ages of the kids better.

    Even though I am in a completely different grade than I was last year, this year is easier in some degrees because I know the expectations of my school, I know what is coming up (Holiday programs, etc.), and I have an idea how to deal with parents and students more efficiently.

    Even though it might be completely different situation next year, overall, I think that the second year is easier than the first year! Stay positive and good luck!
     
  5. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    Dec 7, 2008

    I changed grade levels from second year so it was essentially like starting over completely. But-- I think the best part of the second year is that you know a lot more about the runnings of the school regardless of anything else. You know when certain things are due, take place etc. That is a BIG thing.
    Also- whether you will know it or not, you will have become a better teacher. You will understand what might and might not work much better than you did this year. You will be able to gage time frames better. Hopefully you will have more confidencein dealing with parents...
    The second year can tricky! But-- so can any year of teaching. Keep that excitement about starting a new because that is what will keep you lovingwhat you do and excited about being a teacher!!!!! :)
     
  6. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Dec 7, 2008

    Your second year will almost certainly be markedly easier than your first. Just the fact that you have your school's routines understood will be a great help - any changes in kids personalities/abilities aside.

    The one thing I would recommend is to not give up on everything that failed year 1. Tweak the lesson, improve them, but don't toss them away completely. For me, I had many good ideas year 1 that just completely blew up on me. It took me another 3 years to start coming back to those ideas because I didn't realize they blew up simply because I didn't know how to teach them!
     
  7. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Dec 7, 2008

    Every class that comes through has its own personality. I've got great kids this year in almost every period. Typically my period one kids are good, motivated students who make the choice to come in an hour earlier than they have to, but two years ago they were exactly the opposite - what a way to start the day! I tweak my lessons a little every year to accommodate that particular group.
     
  8. brigidy

    brigidy Comrade

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    Pisces Fish, I admire you for thinking ahead for the next year. That makes me think you are a very optimistic teacher with very good ideas. I believe that next year you will be enjoy teaching even more. My second year was much easier than my first. I wasn't thinking ahead my first year, it was all about surviving the first year. With your attitude, I expect you to be an outstanding teacher while enjoying it also! Don't let your mentor scare you, I don't necessarily think she is accurate.
     
  9. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    In some ways I start my "second year" in January because we work on a term/block system. Each class meets for an 80 minute block each day for half the year. Come mid January the term ends and a new one begins. I get all new students for all my classes. One class will be the same (Foods) and the second is new. I cannot wait to re-teach my Foods class and not have to be doing everything for the first time. I spent at least three hours prepping my lessons for this week today. Next term I'd need to spend maybe thirty minutes to just tweak what didn't work as planned. I am really looking forward to that.

    What I'm not looking forward to though is getting used to a whole new set of 70 or so students. It takes me forever to learn names so that part alone is tough. And I was blessed with three very nice classes so I worry I won't be so lucky next time around. Although right now the roster for one of my Foods classes is 7 people so that will surely be nice! My morning one is rostered to have 28 which is much more typical (we cap at 30 due to limit of 6 kids per the 5 kitchens we have).

    Overall I am certainly hoping things will be a bit easier next term.
     
  10. smannes

    smannes Companion

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    I'm in my second year and for me, it's 100 times more difficult and more time consuming than my 1st year *sigh*
     
  11. novalyne

    novalyne Rookie

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    IMO, it gets easier in many ways...and harder in others. My first year of teaching is a blur - to some degree, it was just a matter of making it through. My second year, I had the routines down, an idea of what that age kids were like, a grasp of the content, etc. So it was definitely easier to plan and to teach.

    However, having a better grasp of the content meant that I had a better idea of how much I needed to improve. I stressed more because I had a much better idea of exactly where the kids needed to be by the end of the year, and I worried about how to get them there. Knowing more about teaching itself was better, but I had more ability to judge the different levels of my kids, so I had more work trying to differentiate in ways that I wasn't aware of my first year.

    So, easier and harder. It really does seem that the more accomplished I get, the more I push myself to do better each year. I use a lot of the same ideas and lesson plans but constantly tweak them to get "more for the money" so to speak. Unfortunately, I now have several years of kids to compare to, so it's a constant challenege to keep improving and make sure the kids do better each year. I don't know if it will ever end!
     
  12. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    *Gulp* Why?
     
  13. Ms.H

    Ms.H Companion

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    My second year was better, but not as much better as I thought it would be. Some of it will depend upon how satisfied you are with your work from your first year. I felt like I was in survival mode for most of the first year, so I wasn't thrilled with a lot of what I did and often had to go back and do research on the material all over again to get a stronger or deeper focus. Also, I think my expectations for the second year may have been a little too high-- I had lofty goals for how perfectly organized and prepared and together I would be in the second year, but I was expecting some kind of second year magic that didn't quite come. I was more experienced and I could much more easily visualize how a certain plan might work out in a classroom and how scheduling would fit together, so that helped a lot.

    An experienced teacher told me that the third year would be when things would really come together (which I wasn't thrilled to hear); she said that the first year would be a blur, the second year I would look at the material and barely remember teaching it, and the third year I would feel more relaxed. Unfortunately, that turnded out to be a pretty accurate description of the second year. It is now year three, and I am still busier than I would like, but it is hugely helpful to at least have something to look back on and not be starting from scratch with every unit.
     
  14. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    If I had stayed at the district I was at, this would be my 3rd yr of teaching, but I only completed 1 yr so far.

    The 2nd yr should definitely be easier than the 1st & although there will be a few new challenges, yrs 2-4 should be the time to start seeing what works & what doesn't, what you should do again or never do again, etc.
     
  15. Crzy_ArtTeacher

    Crzy_ArtTeacher Comrade

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    I'm in my second year now and I feel more comfortable in my school, yet I'm working harder at improving my techniques.

    I've found this year I'm delving deeper into myself as an educator and what I expect of my students. I hold higher expectations of myself to achieve more with them as well. Now that I've completed that first year of just plain ol' figuring things out it has come time for me to modify what didn't work as well last year and bring some changes to my methodology of running a classroom.
     
  16. cruiserteacher

    cruiserteacher Comrade

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    This is my second year, and I moved from 5th to 4th. I anticipated my first year all over again, getting used to a new grade, new standards, etc. but it is surprisingly sooo much better!! :) I do have a really great class this year, but I have realized that it's just all about the routine. I am much more comfortable this year than I was last year. I know that each year is different, with different groups of kids, but I can only think that it just becomes easier with more experience.
     
  17. TampaTeacher

    TampaTeacher Comrade

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    This is my second year, and I'm teaching the same grade as last year. All through my first year, I kept saying, "I can't wait till next year, when I have more experience under my belt."

    I think I expected it to be much smoother on year two. It certainly is easier, but I'd set my expectations for myself too high. It's still tough, but definitely manageable. I'm still a relatively inexperienced teacher, but at least I have an idea of what works for me, and what does not.

    The students make the biggest difference, I think. If you have lots of kids with behavior issues this year, next year might seem like a cake walk. No matter what, you'll be better prepared for whatever comes your way.

    I am absolutely much more confident this year, and far more comfortable dealing with parents.
     
  18. Erin Elizabeth

    Erin Elizabeth Groupie

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    My second year was absolute hell. I had a couple of students who would hit me, throw screaming tantrums to where I would have to have them physically removed from the class, students who refused to do anything, a student who had serious emotional issues etc...you name it, I had it!

    Now, this doesn't necessarily mean you will have a tough class too. Something that would have made my life SO MUCH EASIER dealing with my students was NOT CHANGING EVERYTHING!!!! If it's not broken, don't fix it! If I could go back in time to visit myself the summer before my 2nd year, I would tell myself not to make all those drastic changes, from my routines to my homework folders, to my newsletter, oh, there were so many. Change a few things that are NOT working now. But please, don't go overboard.
     
  19. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Dec 8, 2008

    My P believes that classes come in 5 year cycles. That once you get past year 5, it get easier because you have finally taught all sorts of classes and learners and are now getting repeats.
    For me, my 2nd year is WAY easier, but I was given a very difficult class my first year. I have behavior issues now, but I can handle that better than the academic issues I dealt with last year.
     
  20. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    My second year was better academically than my first. They blew the Florida Writes out of the water (while the first had not)! They were also TREMENDOUS at math. I value that class forever, though they did not possess strengths in reading. However, they taught me so much, and it was a unique class in itself because there were 4 boys and 10 girls. My first year, there were 18 and the class was pretty even, boys and girls. There was a lot more gossip and catty attitudes in that second class, though they went so far and they are also cherished forever. They were the first class to have Book Buddies, Magnificent Monthly Writer's Journals, brain teasers, Cranium Commanders (like Mastery Club), the St. Augustine play at the end of the year, and so much I use now. I would always be thinking up new ideas... don't lose your spark!
     
  21. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    My second year was different and challenging, in part because I was at a different school. I taught the same grade level though, and just having the first year of experience under my belt made all the difference in the world in terms of relations between me and the students and classroom management/behavior. My second year was the reason I kept teaching.
     
  22. raneydae

    raneydae Companion

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    Thanks for posting this thread! I'm a first-year teacher right now and definitely already thinking about next year as well. It's honestly one of the things that keep me going: knowing that next year will be so much easier and better. Because this year is really, really rough!

    I know I'll probably have different kids and have to tweak things some, but I'll have such a better idea how to organize things. This year, I felt like I was just thrown into my classes completely unprepared, so at least I'll know what to expect next year and how to, well, carry myself as a teacher.

    Surely, next year has got to be better. :)
     

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