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desperate need for advice
Old 09-15-2019, 09:21 AM
 
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I am a first year (in my own classroom) teacher who is really struggling. I taught informally for 4 years as an environmental educator, and student taught/long term subbed last year - all with good experiences. I am at a inner city charter school this year, going into week 3 with middle schoolers, and have found myself coming home crying every night or just an anxious mess. My students are nearly impossible to manage - every year they have moved up in the school a teacher has left half way through the year (and the principal made a joke that if she had told me about them in my interview I wouldn't have taken the job). They constantly talk over me, leave my room a mess, do not do the work in class or at home, and consequences do not seem to work. The kids are not the worst part though - the principal has been making me feel so incompetent and its shattering my confidence, which I know the kids can see. She will come in while I'm teaching and interrupt me to give me tips or take over and give instructions. She also called me into her office today to role play management strategies during my lunch - I didn't get to eat (which didn't help my mood for the day and left me feeling so humiliated). My contract has me in a probationary period until October 3 (I can leave at any time during this period), and I am seriously considering leaving because I am not eating (lost 8 pounds in the last week and a half), feeling my confidence slipping away (and I was ALWAYS a confident educator), and afraid it will affect my health (I have lupus which has been under control but I am afraid of it flaring again). If I left I would go back to long term subbing, as I had already planned to move in two years anyway, and can get by long term subbing until then if I need to. I really, really need advice.


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Old 09-15-2019, 10:21 AM
 
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Wow. I’m so sorry. It sounds like an impossible situation. The principal admitting if you knew about the environment before that you wouldn’t have taken the job, kind of says a lot about it.

If you’re able to, I’d go back to subbing. It’s not worth your health, especially when you’re dealing with something like Lupus.

And in my experience, “sticking it out” only prolongs a crappy situation.

I wish you all the best in whatever you decide.
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:32 AM
 
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Quote:
She will come in while I'm teaching and interrupt me to give me tips or take over and give instructions.
IMO, your principal is not helping, but actually making things worse for you. By interrupting you in the middle of your class to give you tips or take over, she's sending a message of having not confidence in your teaching directly to the class, which will not make the situation any better.

She should be getting you a sub for a day so you can go into the classroom of another teacher with similar students to observe, and then have some time to visit with that teacher to get some ideas that you can take back to your classroom.

Quote:
the principal has been making me feel so incompetent and its shattering my confidence, which I know the kids can see.
How can she not realize this? Her admin. training should have included how to provide support and how to obtain mentoring, if needed, for her staff.

I would consider your option of leaving this position, going for subbing, and getting your mental and physical health back to where it needs to be.
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Unhealthy
Old 09-15-2019, 10:54 AM
 
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This is a horrible situation! Youíve been given an impossible class and the principal is actively undermining you (doesnít matter if itís unintentional or not, principal should know better) and your health is suffering big time. I agree with checkerjane. If you can resign without consequences, I would do so. Go back to subbing. You might also consider supplementing that with private tutoring.

Do whatís in your best interest. Much good luck!!
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I am so sorry!
Old 09-15-2019, 10:57 AM
 
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Your 1st year teaching is always hard, but it seems you ended up in a really hard school. That makes it harder. I have a good friend with Lupus and know it is important to keep weight on when you can. It sounds like that job is not allowing you to take care of yourself properly.
I think you probably have the answer inside yourself of what to do. Your P was unkind in embarrassing you like that too. Unfortunately, there are some mean or thoughtless people like her in the world.
I wish you the best. As for advice, all I can say is : I'd probably go back to subbing.


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Job Situation
Old 09-15-2019, 11:24 AM
 
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That sounds just awful, and I'm sorry you're dealing with it all. I would resign now and go back to subbing. It isn't worth staying in a toxic situation that will not get better.
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Old 09-15-2019, 11:52 AM
 
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Run don't walk to the nearest exit!!! It's not going to get better.
Your health comes first and if you can get by on subbing do it
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Old 09-15-2019, 12:10 PM
 
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Leave...it will only get worse.
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Old 09-15-2019, 12:32 PM
 
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Nothing about this situation sounds like it will get better. If you can leave then you should. I'm sorry you are going through this
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8 pounds is a lot to lose in 1 1/2 weeks.
Old 09-15-2019, 01:25 PM
 
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I think I would give it two more weeks. However, if your lupus starts to flares up you may want to leave. Can you send kids out if they act up? Are you allowed to put names on the board? I would start by telling them you will give a warning, then start writing home to parents. I do understand it doesnít always help, but you have nothing to lose at this point.
Tomorrow wear your most powerful outfit and go into class with as much bravado as you can muster. Middle schoolers are the toughest age group. You might be interested in this article.

https://www.weareteachers.com/5-reas...absolute-best/


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but I love middle school
Old 09-15-2019, 01:41 PM
 
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I taught middle schoolers last year (student teaching in the fall, long term subbing in the spring) and absolutely loved all of my kids. I have known for years that I wanted to teach middle school - I love being able to be sarcastic with them and help them navigate these weird years in their lives (I remember how I was). But at this school I feel like I haven't been able to show them my human side because I'm constantly just trying to get them to stay in their seats, stay in the classroom, or not yell profanity at one another across the classroom. I am not supposed to send them out of the room, and calling home hasn't helped. The school has odd disciplinary actions that I am not used to, and its been hard to navigate.
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Run!
Old 09-15-2019, 01:46 PM
 
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Elepen beat me to it, but Iíll reiterate what she said, RUN, donít walk to the nearest exit. The last thing the principal should hear from you is your tires squealing as you peel out of the parking lot.

There are so many red flags here, mhales13, not the least of which is keeping your health in good order. That should come above everything else, IMO. Your P has set you up to fail by undermining your authority in front of your class. Awful, plus role playing management strategies during lunch? Nope. Put this school in your rear view mirror ASAP while you can still get away without being sanctioned.


Itís not you, itís the culture of the school, led by that toxic principal. What a shame for the kids. Keep subbing, and a much better opportunity will arise.
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Old 09-15-2019, 02:04 PM
 
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I agree with the others that you should leave and go back to subbing (and keep your eyes out for any mid-year openings at public schools). Another thing to consider is that if you stay, you may be at risk for being non-renewed, which is going to make it difficult to get another position after this. If you leave in the probationary period, I think you're safe with leaving this job off of your resume/applications all together and you can ensure there are no negative repercussions down the road. Even if the P renews you for next year, if you're moving in two years you'll be looking for other positions and if you stay, this P will be one who is called by potential future employers. This doesn't sound like someone I'd want giving a reference (around here, everyone will call your current/most recent P even if you don't list them as a reference).

I worked for a narcissistic nutjob at the school I was in before my current one. She also frequently would go into classrooms and interrupt the teacher/take over. She did that to my teammate during her formal observation! Since you have the chance and can afford the subbing, no way would I continue working for this person.
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Aren't Admin's great!
Old 09-15-2019, 05:14 PM
 
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Administrators are all the same. They act like army recruiters telling you how wonderful things will be and how supportive they are. You only find out the reality of the situation when it's too late.


One of our new teachers at my school said the Admin told her at the interview that they handled behavior in the office and they were strict. I had to laugh out loud when she told me that. Our admins don't allow students in the office unless it's a knock-down drag out melee.



Also, please don't fall for that principal blaming you for all the problems going on and "showing you how it's done." nonsense. For one thing, of course the principal or AP is going to be able to do it better. The kids are scared of them! They're not going to act up for the principal. That's why her taking over your room is such an utterly stupid idea. I apologize for saying this, but you have a truly inept person running your school. I can bet you dollars to donuts that those teachers who left halfway into the year didn't leave because of the kids. Lack of a competent administrator is more likely.


I would leave if it were me, especially with the health condition. If you decide to stay, I would begin with as many quiet written assignments as possible. Whatever takes the least amount of explanation. I'd call every single parent in the class and I wouldn't hesitate to call them during class and have the kid talk to them in the hallway.


I'd talk to other teachers and see if anyone is willing to let them sit out in their classroom if they get too out of control, and then send them (with the caveat that the other teacher could send them back if they were disrupting the other class.)


Those are just some ideas, but really if it were me, I'd get out of there and look for something else. Like the other commenter said, I't not going to get better, at least from an administrative standpoint.
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Number one
Old 09-15-2019, 05:18 PM
 
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Do not quit

2. Never work when it is your break. Say, "i will be eating lunch at lunch time." You will earn respect if you display self care.

3. Be grateful your boss is co teaching with you. Always share power.

4. Amp up your caloric intake. Take Tylenol pm a few nights a week. You must sleep.

5. These kids figure you wont stay. They need you more than you can know. More than they know. Trust me. Stay.

6. Do not worry about anything but taking care of your own health.

7. Do not try to do direct instruction. Write short assignments on the board. Do not try to force kids to do them. Offer interesting things of interest.

8. Find out what they like and build simple assignments around that. Pop music stars...research and write report. Dont worry if they are writing from scratch.

9. A list of vocabulary words on the board on Monday. They copy the words. You quickly explain meaning and write sentence to define. Later in week they write their own sentence. Illustrate where possible. Test on Friday. Keep this work in a folder or 3 ring.

10. Assign computer time. READWORKS is free and can be at or below their reading level.

11. Read Naturally is another easy time tested inexpensive easily obtained program

12. Let them draw every day.

13. Give no homework



14. Model a love of reading by reading silently while they do. Start with just 5 minutes work up to 30. Have them keep a silent reading log.

15. For math work one to three problems quickly on the board then assign 5 more problems
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Leaving
Old 09-15-2019, 05:25 PM
 
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Is the easy way out. Nobody can tie you to a job. Contract or not you are free to stay or go.

I taught in a very difficult charter and left and felt terrible.

The trick is to learn to relax. You are not carrying the weight of the world.

You care. This makes you a great teacher. It takes time to become adept and even then kids are always changing.

If you can muster joy and laughter somehow it will help everyone. Breathe deeply. Wear that power outfit. Buy yourself a bouquet of flowers on the way to school. Treat yourself with utmost kindness and respect.

And take a day off and go see your doctor. In addition start seeing a counselor. You are going to be fine. Breathe deeply
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agree 100%
Old 09-15-2019, 05:34 PM
 
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Amazing reply happygal! I wish I had this advice last year!
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Old 09-15-2019, 06:10 PM
 
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I would think you were talking about my school but I don't think our principal does that. If you can afford to sub and you aren't burning a bridge you need in any way, I would leave while you can.

Yes, the kids need you but the stress is not going to get any better and with lupus, it's going to be that much worse. We are having a similar year and I honestly don't know if I can continue with the stress and anxiety, even with experience and knowing we have some great kids individually.

Best of luck with your decision. Starting to lose confidence is a terrible feeling, take care of yourself first.
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Old 09-17-2019, 03:03 PM
 
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I don't want to go into details, but I found myself in what felt like an impossible teaching situation my very first year.

I don't know if it was the right choice, but quiting felt like my only option and I did walk away.

The next year I found a much better fit with lots of support. That was 20 years ago and I've been in the same building ever since.

Just wanted you to know that you can find success on the other side of this.
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