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iloveglitter2 09-06-2019 05:53 PM

My nightmare
 
I need encouragement and input. My district moved me (due to budget cuts) to a new school for this year. The school is about an hour drive for me where my old school was in my neighborhood. My old school was title 1 but we were one of the best schools in the state. New school is third worst in the state.

When I was told my new assignment I was told I would have a small class that struggled and that I would have a lot of support from a very supportive principal. So first day of school comes along and I know within a few minutes all of that was a big lie! I have three students with Autism, one student with severe ADHD, and one student that is Schizophrenic/autistic/OCD. On top of that the students are beyond low! I teach 1st grade and most do not have basic skills they should have gained in Kindergarten.

My new admin is not remotely supportive! She has already thrown me and other staff under the bus with the district. On the second day of school she ranted to my first graders about how teachers at our school needed to learn to respect her more.

We are a month into the school year now. I have had a parents get in my face and go off on me. I took 5 minutes of recess from her son for some major things and she went off. She told me her son didn't do those things and he can't lie. That it broke her heart that there were teachers that made up lies about kids and she called me a bitch.

I honestly can't teach in this school! The behaviors are so bad! My one friend literally gave herself a scalping because she didn't like how her hair was blowing from the air vent.

I am a 5th year teacher. I am soft but have never had an issue with classroom management before. My new principal does not allow us to dojo, WBT, or other popular behavior methods. She got onto me the first week of school that I shouldn't "force" students to do their work. As you can imagine, CHAOS bounds!

I love teaching but for the first time ever I hate my job! I have cried all evening and this is what I do most evenings. I have a long distance boyfriend but he has been really busy with some things in his world and I don't think he fully understands how stressful this is to me. I am hoping if things continue to go well with him and I can get a job, to move to his state for next school year.

But, in the meantime.....I need help! I don't know how I am going to make it this year! Some of my Kidds are so sweet and they are so low. But, I can't teach them because of the behavior issues! More than one teacher at the school has told me my class list was horribly unfair.

I need encouragement. I need ideas in dealing with the bad behaviors and being able to get these kids moving up! I need help in not taking attacks from a parent so personal. I am falling apart this year and this is so not like me!

Ima Teacher 09-07-2019 03:59 AM

Do not engage with irate parents. Luckily I have had very few over the years, but I use a standard response. As soon as the irate behavior begins, I say, ďI cannot continue this conversation under these circumstances.Ē Then I walk away, hang up, send the email. Iím done. Many years ago I picked that tidbit up in a district publication about civility. It works great. Of course, I donít see the reaction for calls and emails, but in person it really makes the parent go :confused:. Sometimes they calm down and apologize. Most of the time they just go away.

Iíd get as much in writing as possible, that way you donít have ďhe said/she saidĒ moments with your principal if it gets to the point where you have to discuss situations with building admin or district admin. Ask for suggestions for solving issues. Get questions and answers IN WRITING.

I really like the CHAMPs management program, and it works for any age. It is great for maintaining consistency in the classroom. Keeps me on task, too, because Iíve found that high-maintenance classes keep me on edge and make it harder for me to follow my own procedures some days.

Isnít the meantime, take it a day at a time. Honestly, sometimes you just take it an hour at a time. Deal with school at school. Donít take it home. Itís not worth it. Get the sweet kids (and their parents) on your side. Usually those low kids will try their darnedest for you when they know you care about them. The stinkers are the same way, but they can take longer to win over sometimes. Do you have access to their K teachers? They might have pointers.

Shell 09-07-2019 06:13 AM

Look into Connection Circles. Skip academics for now and focus on building relationships with each child. Once you have that then work on academics. It will take some time.

MrsPhysics 09-07-2019 07:21 AM

Iím so sorry
 
Omg this situation sounds horrible and Iím so sorry youíre going through this. I had something similar happen where I was liking my job and loving teaching in general, and then the school moved me and I hated it. I am in my second year of this situation, and this year it seems a little better.

I wish that schools realized how much stress they put on teachers when they do this. First, you lose your teacher support system. I personally still do not feel like I have really bonded with my new coworkers. You also are typically teaching something totally new (so tons of planning to do) and trying to get to know a new school system. It is so hard!!!

My new students are way more difficult than my old ones too, and it pains me to say that I just do not enjoy teaching these groups. Of course there are great ones mixed in, and as others have said it helps to focus on them.

I know it is so much easier said than done, but the more you focus on the positives the better off you will be. If you can, try to find some humor in the situation. Treat it like a puzzle (how to handle this group) and celebrate every little bit of progress that you make. If you have a bad day, do not take it personally. Iím sure you are a wonderful teacher, and these kids need you!

mooba1 09-07-2019 08:18 AM

Develop a relationship with each of these kids, but keep in mind you won’t reach all of them. It will be through no fault of your own, so practice letting that go.

In that vein, one thing I did when I was teaching full time was to chose 4 kids every day to eat lunch with me in the classroom. Every. Single. Day. Except. Fridays. That was my day off. It nearly killed me, but I did it, and that class had the best gains of almost any class I’d ever taught. The kids knew I was invested in them, and we got to know each other very well. They got some extra attention, and would tell things that wouldn’t have ever come out with the entire class listening.


I had popsicle sticks with everyone’s name, and I’d chose 4 random sticks each day until the cup was empty and then I’d start over. In this way, I always had changing groups, so sooner or later, everyone would eat with everyone else. I taught table manners and social skills during that 25 minutes, and it was a real game changer.


I wish you the very best of luck, and can only say for you to take it a day or an hour at a time. (((Hugs)))

NJ Teacher 09-07-2019 09:55 AM

Develop a support system...
 
I would reach out to other colleagues for support and friendship. They may have techniques that worked for them in this school and with this population. Read the IEPS for your classified students and make sure that they are receiving the support services they are legally entitled to. When I had an autistic student mainstreamed into my classroom, he had an aide, and when she left on maternity leave, the aide was replaced.

I would definitely take the first few weeks and build relationships an routines. Do the best you can, and hopefully, your employment in this school will be temporary. That principal sounds like a nightmare. And if that parent goes off on you again, do not meet with her alone. Her response to you was unprofessional and threatening. You should not have to listen to that.

I wish you luck. There are no easy answers to your situation, but I hope you find a way to have a good year, nonetheless. Those kids obviously need you.

Summerwillcom 09-07-2019 03:34 PM

When I moved states, I went
 
from a high performing and functioning school, to one of the worst schools in the best district in the state. So, I can relate. Stupid parents- Try not to let them get to you. Many of them had a hard time in school when things were stricter. They think schools are the same and assume the same things are happening that happened to them. They think they are protecting their child. If they get nasty, get up and leave. Getting called a bitch? Above your paygrade!
I also had a parent tell me a long time ago that her son did not do something. I'd seen him do it multiple times w/ my own eyes. She told me her son had never lied. I wanted to call BS so bad, but refrained. She pretty much called me a liar.
Your P sounds like a piece of work! That is usually how schools get such a crappy climate! Good luck and get out when you can.


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