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Teatimeteach 08-08-2017 04:04 PM

First time secondary teacher
I finally got a new job. After coming from a really toxic environment, I'm excited and scared. It's an alternative school. One-on-one teaching for students who have struggled with the traditional classroom format. 5 days orientation and training, a manual over 50 pages long. The focus is on individualized learning. I'm straight up encouraged to let struggling readers read graphic novels for a semester if that's what they need, or incorporate podcasts into lessons, or find what historical element excites a kid and base the entirety of their semester on that. In so many ways, it feels like a dream.

However, I've always taught 4th, 5th, and 6th grade. This school is 6-12. I know a lot of public schools passed on me due to lack of secondary experience so this school feels like the perfect way to rediscover my love of teaching, connect with some kids who seriously need a gentle guide in their learning, and get to know more about this age group. But I'm still nervous. Childhood is a time of so much change, and I know the struggles of most of these kids will be struggles I haven't professionally encountered.

So does anyone have advice? Ways to really get to know these older kids and make them feel more comfortable? Do they respond well to dad jokes and ironic stickers? Are there any issues I'm likely to run into that I wouldn't have encountered with my former students?

platypus 08-09-2017 07:41 AM

They may roll their eyes and make fun of the stickers and dad jokes, but they love them. Ask them about themselves and the things they are interested in. I pretended to be interested in powerlifting for 20 minutes one day and asked a lot of questions. I now know everything I've ever wanted to know about how the meets work.

Don't be afraid to admit that you messed up or that you don't know things.

Athena2127 08-12-2017 07:28 PM

I've taught ELA 6th grade for a year. I am new to teaching. I had some challenges my first year. I was excessed and am now looking to work in a high school. I think there will be new challenges with the older students if I get to work with high school it will be interesting to see what those turn out to be. I am interviewing at the moment.

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