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Question of the Week
Old 07-08-2014, 05:57 PM
 
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From 1959mm:

Memories are not free, however they donít cost money but time and that is what makes them so valuable. We can build them around the most simple moments.

Think about your first year of teaching. What moment stands out for you?


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1st year
Old 07-08-2014, 06:12 PM
 
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My first year I had a P who terrified me, but she gave me the best compliment I ever received. After my observation she said, "Well, I can certainly see you enjoy your job."
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Teaching history..
Old 07-08-2014, 06:24 PM
 
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from the present backwards (WWI & WWII were a tad difficult--but manageable). My reasoning was to use our present day primary resources--people--from most all the wars--that were on the Reservation---it worked out so wonderfully.

(PS--getting my first job at the 100 year old school on the Reservation--with the easiest interview I have ever encountered! Sr. Barbara was expecting an Asian--my name--and was thrilled to death that I was a big old Polish lady--just like her and Sr, Karen--it was a Mission school on the Reservation!)
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1st Year
Old 07-08-2014, 06:47 PM
 
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I taught 5th grade reading in a Intermidiate Elementary (grades 4-6) with a lot of federal money. Every teacher had an aide. I have never been in a school since with so many teacher aides. There were 50 teachers and 50 aides. Of the teachers I was one of 5 women the rest were men. I only taught at the school for one year while DH finished his degree. It was a very unique situation.
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first year teaching
Old 07-08-2014, 07:45 PM
 
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I was hired to teach a behavior-disorder class my first year! I was not qualified to teach it, but the school district was desperate since no one else wanted to do it. I was young, naive, and I really didn't know what a BD class was. There were six kids, ages 9-11. The first day when I came in one of the 9-yr-old boys said, "We were hoping for a blonde." (I'm brunette.)

If I'd known what I was getting into, I wouldn't have taken the job. But, it was a great learning experience and I have lots of memories of those kids. The district hired me to be a second-grade teacher the next year. The P told me they appreciated me taking that class for one year until they could hire a qualified BD teacher.


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How it all started...
Old 07-09-2014, 09:31 AM
 
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In August 1974, I had no job. I thought I would have to sub. Two weeks before school started, my pastor called me to ask if I thought I could teach 3rd grade. "Third grade...I could teach anything." I went for an interview, but I had to take along my 8 year old brother who waited in the priest's living room with his housekeeper. During the interview, I could hear my brother just sobbing because he did not know what happened to me. I got the job! My brother said he helped me get the job because they felt sorry for my sobbing sibling.

My first class had 10 kids. On the first day of school, I helped the kids get on the buses. A little 2nd grade girl came up to me, hugged, and kissed me...she told me that I was the most beautiful 3rd grade teacher she had ever seen. Right then and there, I knew I in the best school for me! I fell completely in love with teaching thanks to sobbing, hugging, and kissing.
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:50 AM
 
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Wow, this is a great question!

My first job was teaching deaf ed in middle school. Picture this: 1981, when any type of special ed classes were still segregated from the general population. The deaf ed classes were in two portable buildings at the rear of the school, and we were definitely out of sight, out of mind.

There were 4 other teachers besides me. I taught 7-9 reading and language arts---the most difficult subjects for hearing-impaired kids, but I was the low man on the totem pole.

Deaf ed got all the leftovers from gen ed in those days--old textbooks, crummy furniture, whatever. Our mimeograph machine was a crank by hand model!

The other teachers that weren't afraid of us were so kind, and we did manage to win over a few more. I have very fond memories of those days.

ETA: The moment that stands out for me was seeing the deaf ed kids pile off the bus and come walking down the sidewalk to where we were waiting. They were so happy to get to school so they would have people to talk to in sign language. I'll never forget those eager faces.
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First year-newly retired
Old 07-09-2014, 10:16 AM
 
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I just retired this June- so I guess this is another first year for me.

First year of teaching 1974. Decided to do a Christmas Gift art project with first graders. I found an idea in a magazine of cutting coconuts in half, cleaning them out, drilling holes in the top, attaching jute and turning them into hanging planters. Cool idea in 1974! (but not a good idea for first graders)

I had the coconuts cut in half by our janitor and gave my first graders spoons to clean out the coconut.Of course when they would dig it was hard so the spoon would fling the contents. By the end of the afternoon there was oily, sticky splatters of coconut oil and juice on the floor, walls, ceiling, desks, and of course the coconuts were still not completely cleaned out which meant I had to finish it after several nights of digging.
The janitor, by that point, hated me. He had to stay late to clean up the mess and wash the floors several times, and still for several weeks, shoes made that sticking sound on the floor. Any saved Bulletin Boards bore the oil splatter marks forever. Reminding me every year that it was my first year teacher's big mistake.
The planters did get finished and gifted for Christmas. We put in soil and a philodendron slip in them. However, I'm sure the parents had no idea how difficult and praise worthy they really should have been.
That is one of my first year teaching stand out memories! Fortunately over the next 35 years I got better at anticipating problems and did less energetic Christmas gifts.
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First year
Old 07-09-2014, 11:01 AM
 
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Third grade---The memory that sticks out is when Patti decided to have a glitter snowstorm in the classroom and threw the open container into the air and watched as it floated down around her. I remember just looking at her with a "wtf" look on my face. It made me afraid of glitter and I developed a phobia about it and never used it again.

She followed it up later with a "corn shower" in which she threw her corn kernals from the lunch tray up in the air. (She also picked up every piece of corn off the lunch room floor.)

That's when I discovered my teacher voice. Not loud, not out-of-control; just very specific and I guess intimidating towards transgressors.
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First Day and Most Vivid Memory
Old 07-09-2014, 11:41 AM
 
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The phone rang at 6:00 AM. It was a local high school inviting me to sub. It was my very first day of teaching...ever. I was 23, adorable, and sick to my stomach terrified. I breathed a sigh of relief as the sub caller told me I would be subbing in the Library. Good, I only have to be there and keep the kids from walking off with the books. I can handle that, I thought.

"There's been a change of plans" were the first words out of the principal's mouth after I arrived. You are covering for the Shop teacher instead. He walked me to the bowels of the building, opened the door, tossed me inside, and booked.

It was a class of mostly seniors. There were no lesson plans, no instructions, no direction, and every thug, hooligan, and miscreant in the school was looking at me expectantly.

I learned more about kids and classroom management on that one day than I learned in the next 30 years. I learned that if you like students and treat them with respect, they tend to treat you the same way. Obvious I know, but no one teaches that in school.

We just sat and talked. I got to know all the kids who might have given me trouble in other classrooms and for the rest of the year they watched out for me.


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wow
Old 07-09-2014, 01:41 PM
 
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It was 1972 and I was 20 years old. I was hired to teach in a state 5 states away from my home. My college roommate and I both got hired to teach in the county and moved there together. We arrived 2 days before school began. We knew nothing but were quite certain we knew everything! I was teaching 4th graders who were just 10 - 11 years younger than I was. I was being very cool teaching about Christopher Columbus. I was standing on top of a large table acting like Columbus and had the students - all 37 of them in three groups - yes, the crews of his 3 ships. All of a sudden the door opens and in walks the superintendent. I had no idea who he was, but the principal and ass't. super were with him. Seems he liked to welcome his newest staff members to the county. Fortunately, I was too young and inexperienced to be horrified! He just shook his head, welcomed me to the new world and left.
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Second grade
Old 07-09-2014, 02:03 PM
 
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In 1977 I was hired on a Friday just before the first day of school on a Monday to teach a second grade bilingual class. A teacher had just left, the district was desperate, and so I was hired sight unseen with a phone interview. I didn't even have a credential, only my BA, but due to a shortage of bilingual teachers in a high needs area, I qualified for an emergency credential allowed by CA at that time. (I am bilingual.).

As a young twenty something, I was thrilled to be hired, and would often drive to work thinking I was so lucky to be paid for doing a job I loved. My favorite memory is of an end of year school wide trip (more than five hundred students) to a local lake and recreation area. The entire bus fleet took us there. We spent the day there playing, swimming, grilling hot dogs, etc. I remember sitting in the little pond fed by a stream that led to the lake with my students surrounding me, just taking in the peaceful loveliness of the late spring day. Everyone was happy to be there, and everyone was well behaved. It was one of those perfect days that are rare and special. There would be no time or funds for such a trip today in my district, as test prep and testing have consumed everyone, unfortunately.
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Hershey Bar
Old 07-09-2014, 04:33 PM
 
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After subbing for a year, I decided it was time for me to get a "real" job and applied all across the state. I got a job 6 hours away from home, where I knew absolutely no one. I was hired a week before school started, so I found a furnished apartment (a bed and a table), brought a few of my clothes, and moved in. My school (all 5th grades) was located in a ghetto with chain link fencing all around it. The first workday I found out I was one of 3 brand new teachers and we became friends for life. I had 33 students and the smallest classroom with no supplies. I managed to round up a few homemade bulletin boards, so the room looked great in my opinion. On the first student day, my mentor put a big Hershey bar on my desk to welcome me to the wonderful world of teaching. It was an awful year with discipline ( Thomas, Ronald, and Eric: I still have nightmares! ), but I learned so much about myself. At the end of that year, there was another Hershey bar on my desk with a note about how I had survived and made it! I have continued that tradition with other new teachers and principals as well.
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Old 07-09-2014, 08:26 PM
 
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I thought I had a horrible first year! About a month into summer break I received a letter in the mail from one of my parents. It was a copy of the same letter she had sent to the district personnel department and also to my principal! I still have it!

Nancy
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Memories
Old 07-09-2014, 08:53 PM
 
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Teaching is a second career for me. I got hired on my birthday.
I was going to teach K, but would have to share the classroom with a very experienced teacher, but she had never taught K. She had morning class, I had afternoon.

I was petrified about working in front of an experienced teacher. Our truly brilliant P (and she was) let us be each other's aide. All year, the other teacher kept telling me "you have no idea what a gift it is to have a credentialed teacher as an aide."

16 years later I realize no truer words were spoken, and I have the best friend ever! We hit if off immediately.
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My 1st year!
Old 07-10-2014, 09:19 AM
 
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What a year...first the class was set up for a 6 foot plus very large and experienced male.The principal moved him to 6th grade and gave me his intended 3rd grade. In November one of my students was hit by a truck and died...very very sad. And then in the winter of that same year, a coworker died from cancer. The class of 32 was rough but I knew I made a difference. My principal was awesome and that made a huge difference! Now almost 40 years later, I can't believe I continued and retired with 30 years experience. I'd take nothing for it!
I should write a book
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first year
Old 07-10-2014, 12:37 PM
 
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What an interesting stories.

The moment in my first year that stands out most is also one of my most terrifying ones up to that time.

I was hired after a position opened up two months into the school year. It was a very rough area with higher homicide rates than other parts of the city. My classroom had bullet holes in the wall and in cabinets that were never repaired.

A few months into my job, I was working on lesson plans in my classroom after school. A big man walked into my room and started shouting at me that he was sick and tired of me bullying his kid and that he was going to take care of it once and for all. He was threatening me with my life. I figured out pretty quickly that this man was drugged out of his mind, and had just been released from prison, and I also realized that it was a case of mistaken identity. There was no phone in my classroom, and most other teachers had already left.

Before I could say anything, two male teachers walked in with baseball bats. They had seen the man walk through the school to my room and knew that it was trouble. They called the police, grabbed the bats, and ran to my room. The man backed off, and was later taken to jail. I don't know what ever happened to him, but for me it was enough to start applying at other schools. The next year I started working in a different building.
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Wow!
Old 07-10-2014, 01:23 PM
 
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These posts are incredible! And I thought I had a bad first year!! It's a wonder there are any teachers left?!
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:03 PM
 
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I started teaching first grade at mid semester. I was nervous as could be. The P would occasionally come in and observe. It made me so scared. One little one said! "Mrs. Renea, how can you stand him staring at you?" I was told that he would secretly listen to our lessons through the P.A. Well... that really made me worry. If I heard a "click" I'd turn into super teacher until I thought I heard another click. Needless to say I heard lots and lots of those of clicks. Much later in the year I mentioned the clicks to our custodian who said, "That's just the heating system turning off and on!". Those poor kids must have thought I was possessed or bipolar.
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Love these stories!
Old 07-10-2014, 02:40 PM
 
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It was December of 1979 and I was doing my student teaching in a kindergarten classroom. My cooperating teacher's husband was transferred and I was offered the job before my student teaching was even completed. My interview consisted of, "Do you want the job?" My answer was "Boy, do I!" That certainly would not happen in this day and time!
I was in heaven! I stayed in that sweet kindergarten room for the next 32 years and I had the time of my life!
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