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Workload
Old 09-29-2016, 01:11 PM
 
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Hello everyone! I am currently a student intern, but I was wondering, what is the workload like for new teachers? I have heard that first year teachers have a lot on their plate. I just want to know what to expect so that I can mentally prepare for it.


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Old 10-01-2016, 06:43 AM
 
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It is very time consuming, even as the years go on. You will learn to manage everything and not let it overwhelm you.
Time management is key and it took me awhile to decide what was the most important, because everything is!
Hopefully wherever you land, there will be a great bunch a teachers to help you as well as a mentor who can certainly be an asset.
Always remember that your career and your life need boundaries, and to leave time for your life away from your profession.(always easier said than done)
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It's a lot
Old 10-01-2016, 09:25 AM
 
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It takes some getting used to at first. It may seem overwhelming because now you are the one responsible for grades, submitting paperwork on time, planning lessons, implementing what you have learned in PD's into your lessons, dealing with classroom issues (parents, students, aides, curriculum), conferences and attending trainings. I found that having to clear my credential at the same time was really stressful. On top of being observed and evaluated on my teaching practices, I had to do a ton of homework to demonstrate that I was mastering the teaching standards. When I did this, we had the older version of a paper binder, however, now they are doing it electronically.
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Old 10-01-2016, 11:20 AM
 
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It's a lot. If you have a great team or a mentor it is easier, but it is still a lot. While you can't expect a fellow teacher to just hand you everything, you can ask for help. My mentor would give me a quick outline of the order she taught a unit in and that really helped. For example, for a science unit I might know from the curriculum framework that I have to teach XYZ. But I wouldn't necessarily know if it should go XYZ or YXZ or ZYX. She'd jot down about how long she'd take on a unit, if she used the book or not (we didn't always use the textbook as they were crappy), if the library had a movie resource to go along with it, etc. She also was great and would hand me her file on the unit and tell me to copy what I wanted (but you can't always expect that). You could easily ask a teammate to give you a quick order (seriously, just some bullet points) so you have a base line for planning.

Try and create a routine for work. It's hard the first year to get ahead b/c you aren't as sure about pacing or what to teach, but it's a lot easier if you can plan the week before for the following week. I tried something like:

Mon-plan for next week's writing/spelling
Tues-plan for next week's science or social studies (we alternated units)
Weds-plan for next week's reading
Thurs-plan for next week's math
Fri- gather materials and make copies
Weekend-grading I didn't get to during the week (which the first year was most of it)

I didn't plan on the weekends b/c then you're trying to make copies Mon morning and inevitably the copier was broken. If it broke on Fri, I always could copy on Monday.

I also found that mapping out the quarter helped me. At the start of each quarter, I made a basic 9 grid on a piece of paper. Each block was labeled with the week. I did this for each subject. Then I went through the pacing guide and talked to teammates about what we were covering and how long. I also wrote in holidays, scheduled assemblies, etc so I knew about short weeks. Then I'd write in things like:
Math:
Week 1: Oct 1-5--introduce long division. 2 digit dividends. Standard Number X
Week 2: October 8-12--division; 3 digit dividends. Standard Number Y
Week 3: October 15-19--division; word problems. Friday--test. Standard Number Z

That made planning so much easier each week. I'd pull out the sheets for each subject, look at the week and see what I needed to teach. It also helped me make sure I taught everything I had to each quarter. Sure, sometimes things happened and I fell behind or we had snow days or whatever. I tried to plan to complete the quarter's material by the end of week 8 so that I had 5 extra days built in that I normally ended up usuing.
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Old 10-02-2016, 03:29 PM
 
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The workload is pretty heavy. I generally work 9-10 hour days but do not go in at all on the weekends. I try to send all my copies to be copied a month ahead of time (math and reading) and sometimes it works, others not. Sometimes I end up not using copies, but feel that it is better to be over than under prepared. I never leave Friday afternoon until ALL my copies are done and into their file folders for the days of the following week.

I'm in my 25+ year, so kind of have a system down...my first year I taught half time and spent every weekend at school creating things because I couldn't afford to buy anything.


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