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live2educate2's Message:

Thank you for your kind response!

I have been assigned a mentor which is a great help! I am hanging in there and things are getting better as I learn more and more about Sped.

I will keep my head up and keep learning!


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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
BlessedbyKids 10-13-2019 01:51 PM

Iím a little late to this conversation. I hope you are doing much better. EVERYONE starts in the same place, no matter what profession. EVERYONE is a newbie at one time. It is hard to remember this when you are the newbie, but it wonít be long before you find somewhat of a comfort zone. I am not a teacher yet, but am a medical office manager working on my teaching degree. Every time I hire someone, I see them go through this and always encourage them to know that they will do great once they find their comfort zone. I hope you rock this year!

cooper5 09-20-2019 03:57 AM

I've been there! I was 48 when I got my first classroom teacher position! I didn't have a mentor but the other grade level teacher was very helpful. I've got to say that for matter what their age, the first year is the hardest!! Once you've got that year under your belt, you'll feel much more confident. So DON'T think it's your age!!!

Also, think about the kids you teach and how they struggle. This must be how they feel many times!

live2educate2 09-10-2019 05:12 PM

Thank you for your kind response!

I have been assigned a mentor which is a great help! I am hanging in there and things are getting better as I learn more and more about Sped.

I will keep my head up and keep learning!


LaFish 09-10-2019 02:36 PM

I usually don't read the "New Teacher" thread. I clicked on it with my big clumsy fingers.
I recently retired and will say the beginning of every school year is an adjustment! It will become easier and you will get the hang of it. Did the admin give you a mentor or someone to answer quick questions for you? Each school is different. One school provided a mentor to every brand new teacher and another school had monthly after school meetings for "new" teachers at that particular school to provide information/insight as to what will happen next month at the school.
I will add that special ed has MANY i's to dot and t's to cross. When I had a student receiving services there were tons of paperwork for me as the reg. ed teacher and tons and tons for the spec. teacher. Hopefully, there will be someone on your sp. team that will help you with all the paperwork.
Keep smiling! You can do it.

live2educate2 09-02-2019 03:04 PM

Thank you so much for your positive responses and insights. I will hang in there and give it my best shot and continue to establish a support system and develop my confidence. It's a new experience that requires me to get out of my comfort zone but I will survive this first year!


KetchupChips 09-01-2019 10:34 AM

Even experienced teachers find the job overwhelming! Give yourself a break, take some deep breaths, it WILL all be okay!

I would take some snacks in to the next meeting (teachers love snacks) and thank the group for all their help so far. Remind them ďalthough I donít look like a newbie, I am. But Iím going to try my very best. I know Iíll ask many questions but please be patient. I will get there with your help. Thanks so much guys!Ē And I would occasionally take in little treats for the group (hit the Dollar store). Your kindness will be appreciated.

Also, I would take many notes. Use your phone to take pictures of computer screens, anything visual. Get your notes organized - maybe a binder. Read and date your notes soon after taking them so you can edit them to make them better. Take this binder to every meeting. Make lists to get yourself organized. There are lots of details.

Youíre feeling overwhelmed and insecure. Itís hard to think and operate in this state. So, give yourself some grace. Donít worry about what others think; they were in your shoes once. Just focus on what needs to be done.

We know you can do this! Weíre here for you!

Gogogo 09-01-2019 09:12 AM

No matter what age being a new teacher is very difficult. I started in my late 30s. With “older ” newbie teachers, people — including admin — forget you are new because you don’t look “new.” It’s much easier for younger teachers to get help because people know they need it

I discovered this when I was doing a long term sub and was struggling, my coworker mentioned this nicely to my principal, who told her that she kept forgetting that I was a new teacher. My first real principal said she purposely hired older first year teachers because we were more mature and didn’t have to hold our hands as much.

So you are going to have to remind them that you are new, The beauty about being a new teacher is that you can ask “dumb” questions. The

GoodEnough85 09-01-2019 08:59 AM

I was over 40 when I started my first year (also in SpEd.) I was assigned a mentor to officially answer my questions and I befriended another SpEd teacher who was a little more accessible than my mentor teacher.

There is a lot to absorb the first year. The kids, the curriculum, classroom management, the ins and outs of the building, the paperwork/IEP system, the student information system/grade card/attendance program... How to requisition things, get more supplies, do inventory, scheduling, use the printers/copiers/office equipment, and so on.

EVERYONE has to learn all these things. You will get it eventually. You have to do some things many times before it all clicks. One district had a terrible Student information system with a complicated grade card portion. I had to ask EVERY quarter how to finalize grades and turn them over from the grade book to the report card. It shouldn't have been so hard to do.

Turns out that some teachers who had been there forever had the same questions I did. Don't feel bad. Just keep trying. Make notes as necessary. Google cheat sheets. Keep on keepin' on...

And come back here with questions any time.

live2educate2 08-30-2019 03:06 PM

I am totally lost. I am 45 years old and just started my first teaching assignment in Special Education this week. I pick up information here and there and I feel as though I am not catching on as fast as I should and that other people notice it too. I work with a group of Sped teachers and since they know what they are doing, it is hard for them to pause and explain things to someone new to Sped. I don't want to appear incompetent but I already feel inadequate, too old and perhaps my brain may not pick this up quickly enough. I think I am the oldest person in the group and of course the less experienced person. They've done Sped for years. I also struggle with knowing the ins and outs of school and feel like I don't know what is going on at all. I feel like an odd ball all the time and people know it. I feel mentally slow. My family and friends have told me I will get past this but I just don't feel like I will.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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