New teacher & surprised with a completely different subject to teach - ProTeacher Community




Home Join Now Search My Favorites
Help


      The VENT

New teacher & surprised with a completely different subject to teach

>

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Teach0101010
 
 
Guest

Teach0101010
 
 
Guest
New teacher & surprised with a completely different subject to teach
Old 09-06-2018, 06:53 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #1

Hi all

I am a new teacher, both to my school and this is my first year. The school I got a job at is great! A dream come true for many teachers and I am thrilled! I verbally accepted the position of a biology teacher. Come the first day of school, I had one surprise section of a completely different prep. I couldnít even see what the class was on our system THE KIDS HAD TO TELL ME WHAT CLASS IT WAS. The class at 4 kids the first week. Then 3, then 7 and now it has 16 kids.
Come three weeks into school and every day they put more and more kids into that class, still.
What do I do? I do not want to teach this class. I was not told I would be teaching this class. I didnít even have time to prepare a syllabus for this class. Itís an elective and has no curriculum (yes you read that right) how am I, a first year teacher expected to navigate this. Especially while Iím teaching 5 other sections of a tested subject.
I feel lost because itís not fair to me or the kids that this is happening. Iím not putting my full energy into this class and whatís the point when every day a handful of kids come in new. Iím lost in that I donít even know if I have the right to say something to admin about how unfair the situation is.


  Reply With Quote

Ameri Ameri is offline
 
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 65
Junior Member

Ameri
 
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 65
Junior Member

Old 09-06-2018, 08:03 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #2

Are you the only one teaching an extra elective class? Or is this standard for everyone at your school and someone "forgot to mention" this to you when you interviewed?

What is the subject?
Ameri is offline   Reply With Quote
kyteacher1's Avatar
kyteacher1 kyteacher1 is offline
 
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 931
Senior Member

kyteacher1
 
kyteacher1's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 931
Senior Member
Well.....
Old 09-06-2018, 08:07 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #3

I think your second & third sentence says a lot. Great school & dream job. As a newly hired teacher that is extremely rare. So 1 hour a day you teach an elective...is it that big a deal? I mean you can make it into a big deal if itís a battle you really want to fight as a new hire, but Iíd advise against it. It is unfair, I agree. Is there anyone you can go to to find out how to get a curriculum? You donít have to put your full energy into this class though I wouldnít necessarily say that out loud to anybody but perhaps you can just go ahead and do it to earn brownie points. Just a thought. I am unfamiliar with how high school teaching works because Iíve always taught at the elementary level, But as a new hire teacher many many years agoThere were a lot of things that I had to do that I did not want to do. I did it because I wanted to make a good impression with my principal So she would keep me around.
kyteacher1 is offline   Reply With Quote
TAOEP TAOEP is offline
 
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 3,292
Senior Member

TAOEP
 
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 3,292
Senior Member
Surprise!
Old 09-06-2018, 08:41 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #4

I hate to be the one to tell you, but that's the way things work in the real world. You definitely are a biology teacher, as agreed. (And as you noted, that part of the job was not in writing--it generally is not because the specific assignment may need to be changed due to enrollment or scheduling issues.)

The class is an elective and it clearly is not full. So when counselors are trying to find a class with open seats during that particular period, the schedule the student for your elective. It is likely to keep happening for another couple weeks--or until the seats are all full.

Frankly, the only thing here that is unfair is not knowing about the course until the first day of class and not having any curriculum. You could certainly ask your department head or an administrator for some suggestions about curriculum and materials. Do you have any books? Was the course taught previously? Are there any other sections taught by another teacher.

For the next couple of weeks, I'd suggest trying to come up with some topics that don't build on each other so that new students can participate from the beginning. There are some plusses to no curriculum. Namely, you can do whatever you and the students want (obviously connected to the subject matter and course description). You can be creative and follow tangents.

Stop with the unfair complaints. They won't change your teaching assignment; they will simply affect how people see you.
TAOEP is offline   Reply With Quote
MrsFrazzled MrsFrazzled is offline
 
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 138
Full Member

MrsFrazzled
 
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 138
Full Member
Welcome to education!
Old 09-06-2018, 09:00 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #5

They didn’t teach you that in college, did they? Haha! They don’t want anyone finding out the truth because they’d run for hills. I have been there. You’ll just have to get used to it. That is how schools operate.

Last year, when we went back, I saw that they had me teaching a marine science class. We have no standards for it. I would have had no book nor curriculum. I was told that the class may not make because not enough students signed up for it and they wouldn’t even be able to get a science credit for it since it had no standards.

Well I went ahead and bought a marine science book just to have a resource. Then the next day, I was told it had been changed to a study hall. It only had like 14 in it. I thought no big deal. Then they kept adding kids to it. I got up to 30 in it. Yes, I was pissed about it but I treated that class like a second planning. I got so much done.

Then, they told us we needed to give at least one grade a week for it. Again, it had no standards, so no curriculum. I just gave a participation grade of 100 for everyone. They didn’t specify the grade so I didn’t care. Other teachers were actually trying to teach something or give their study halls work to do. I was like, hell no, I’m not making any undue stress for myself. I let them do whatever they wanted as long as they were quiet and didn’t bother me. It worked out well.

Don’t stress over it. If there are no standards, just bull crap your way through it. Don’t make your life harder than it already is. Like others said, ask someone that has or had the same class what they do with it.

It isn’t fair but in my short time teaching, I’ve learned that nothing is fair. Oddly enough, I’m teaching biology for the first time and I hate it. I don’t want to teach it, but I’m fighting my way through it. I was given no notice that I would be teaching it this year since I’ve only ever taught physics and physical science at my school. So s#&t happens. The sooner you learn this, maybe the better off you’ll be.



Last edited by MrsFrazzled; 09-06-2018 at 09:02 PM.. Reason: Typo
MrsFrazzled is offline   Reply With Quote
hiker1 hiker1 is offline
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,001
Senior Member

hiker1
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,001
Senior Member

Old 09-07-2018, 04:08 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #6

Don't complain. Turn it into a positve. See how you can make it "your own." If you have no curriculum then you are free to do what you want with it. Talk to admin and see if they can provide any resources for that class. Now is the time to try new things with it such as group activities, or whatever you want. You'll get through this. Just don't complain about it to anyone. Who knows, you might really end up liking this class. Keep us posted and good luck!
hiker1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Keltikmom's Avatar
Keltikmom Keltikmom is offline
 
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 13,631
Senior Member

Keltikmom
 
Keltikmom's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 13,631
Senior Member
Surprise
Old 09-07-2018, 06:09 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #7

I wouldn't have liked the way this was handled either. Yes, it is probably true that most teachers have an add on class, but it sounds like there was a lack of communication.

You best bet is to take a really deep breath, and Google info on your new subject matter. Maybe for a few weeks, can you ask the kids what they want to do/learn? Not knowing the subject makes it hard to give helpful advice.
Keltikmom is offline   Reply With Quote
SubMan SubMan is offline
 
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,698
Senior Member

SubMan
 
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,698
Senior Member

Old 09-07-2018, 08:34 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #8

Sounds like my first and second year of teaching. Hired to teach reading to 6th graders; 5 periods of that and one of computer science. Next year I taught 3 periods of reading and 3 of computer science because I did such a good job. Third year was reading and study hall duty.

You have to take the good with the bad. At least you have a job in a good district.
SubMan is offline   Reply With Quote
kidsrterrific's Avatar
kidsrterrific kidsrterrific is offline
 
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 2,204
Senior Member

kidsrterrific
 
kidsrterrific's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 2,204
Senior Member

Old 09-07-2018, 08:44 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #9

I can understand from the previous posters how this is in the high school level. However, I also remember being a first-year teacher and how scary that was. To be given a class that you don’t know the title for and don’t have a class roster for - and the kids have to tell you what it is, is pretty darn scary to me.

I agree with TAOEP’s idea. Hang in there. Since you have no information on the class nobody can really complain about what’s going on or not going on in there. Don’t complain. Just do your own thing. Keep us posted. It will be interesting to find out how this all turns out.
kidsrterrific is offline   Reply With Quote
Gifted's Avatar
Gifted Gifted is offline
 
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 154
Full Member

Gifted
 
Gifted's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 154
Full Member

Old 09-07-2018, 11:53 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #10

Sounds like standard high school to me! It might be stressful, but it's far from unusual. Once you get it together a little bit, you'll see how awesome it is to have a class without an actual curriculum. Think of all of the cool things you can do without the strict restraints of standards and testing! You will eventually see this as a positive thing, I think. It might just take some time to get there.


Gifted is offline   Reply With Quote
broomrider's Avatar
broomrider broomrider is offline
 
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 5,167
Senior Member

broomrider
 
broomrider's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 5,167
Senior Member
Sorry, but
Old 09-07-2018, 12:05 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #11

I agree with the others about biting the bullet and making the class into something you and your students will like.

We may be able to offer some suggestions about procedures if you let us know the topic of the class. Do ask the department head about past iterations of the class, resources, curricular goals, etc. Ask for some guidance, not to complain about the unfairness of the last minute assignment. It is unfair, but there are lots of things in the working world that are.

I think every job description includes "Other duties as assigned." It's the get out of jail free/stick you where they need a body card for districts.
broomrider is offline   Reply With Quote
Mshope's Avatar
Mshope Mshope is offline
 
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,092
Senior Member

Mshope
 
Mshope's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,092
Senior Member
They didn't even tell you?
Old 09-09-2018, 06:20 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #12

That might be going a little far! Someone should have at least emailed you or told you personally about this class. However, since they didn't, I would have emailed the principal or dept. head and asked, "What am I supposed to teach?" They may not have an answer. That's fine then you can do what you want. Now with the internet, you can find ideas/lessons on anything. Let the kids do some kind of trendy project based learning thing if you have computers. Go on some of those paid teacher sites and find some freebie projects.

I would not spend too much time on this class. I've been thrown into teaching elective classes like this with NO CURRICULUM. The truth was that no one cared what I did with them. I ended up developing a couple of projects from scratch that I ended up really liking. Then, of course, I never taught that again!

Yep, welcome to education. Every year brings new "surprises."
Mshope is offline   Reply With Quote
Emily26
 
 
Guest

Emily26
 
 
Guest
My first year of teaching...
Old 09-09-2018, 01:45 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #13

I was hired to teach 1st grade after doing my student teaching in Kinder. When I showed up at the school for the teacher return week, I was informed that due to the reading program being used, for the first two hours of every day, I'd actually have a class of 4th-6th graders who were low readers. I was SHOCKED. I'd been hired for 1st, not 6th!!! But it is what it is, which is pretty par for the course for public school teachers. Teach your elective, be cheerful about it, have a positive attitude, earn a reputation as a team player, and at the end of the year, talk to your admin about your hopes and expectations for the following year.
  Reply With Quote

Join the conversation! Post as a guest or become a member today. New members welcome!

Reply

 

>
The VENT
Thread Tools




Sign Up Now

Sign Up FREE | ProTeacher Help | BusyBoard

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:09 AM.

Copyright © 2019 ProTeacher®
For individual use only. Do not copy, reproduce or transmit.
source: www.proteacher.net