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rumour5182 08-18-2011 02:21 PM

Hi everyone,

I hope your first week/weeks are going well. I just need to vent for a moment. I am feeling SO OVERWHELMED right now! I know the first few weeks are always a whirlwind of paperwork and projects and planning, but this year seems like the most stressful yet. I'm working to use the RC approach, which has been one of the most invigorating elements of my teaching this year, but I'm the only person in my building who uses it, and those I've approached about it have shut me down. I'm glad I'm doing it, but it's frustrating to have no support in my building -- when I go to my teammates to discuss student behavior, I'm told that I should really use the card system they all use, because "it's easy." Blah.

On top of that, I'm piloting the Units of Study for writing -- I used it in a previous district, but only for one year, so it's a lot of newness. I'm also doing it because I attended a district-level training for it, but my principal is not on board and does not like me using it. Again, no support.

In my district, we're using an all new math curriculum this year (enVisions). I like it, and I think there are a lot of great components to it ... however, we received 2 HOURS of training, on day four of the school year. So, no time before school started to plan or prepare, and minimal help getting a handle on it. And, on top of it, at our team meeting on Tuesday, my principal reminded us that, because we've been building routines and familiarizing ourselves with the math curriculum, we're 7 days behind schedule, and we need to hurry up and catch up.

Did I mention that this is my first year teaching 1st grade??? And that I'm the only person on my team who uses a reading workshop model, among people who rely strictly on the basals? And I have parent preview night next Tuesday, which I have not even begun to prepare for?? My classroom library is still in boxes, because I haven't had the time/energy to unpack it. I think it's going to be Winter Break before my classroom is in order.

Oh, yeah, and my husband is a finalist for a job that would have us moving cross-country in the next few months, so in the back of my head is the feeling that I'm doing all this work and feeling all this stress for nothing.

Thanks for letting me vent. :) I needed to spill it to someone other than my husband, who's been so supportive and great, but is under his own stress with work and his potential new job. I knew you would understand!!

damarnfl 08-18-2011 06:18 PM

I understand
I totally understand your anguish! I was, and still am, the only person in my school using the RC approach, Daily 5 & Math Workstations. I may get someone else doing Daily 5 this year, but that's it.

It's hard, I know, but we do it for the benefit of the students. My students last year were the most respectful and best behaved class I'd ever had (and I had some challenging students too).

I did fall down on some of the RC approach near the middle of the year and went back to my clip chart. I did it because, like your colleagues, it was easier. I now have the determination to keep up with logical consequences this year and nothing external. I have an autistic student in my class this year so it will be challenging, but I know it will be worth it in the end. I had a great compliment from our Library Assistant that my class was the most respectful & best behaved in the Library during Book exchange. That's because of the RC approach.

Stick with it & feel free to vent on here about frustrations with others who "don't get it." You'll feel great about your class & your teaching.

Good Luck.

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