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ST13 ST13 is offline
 
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ST13
 
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Starting to feel that stress and anxiety
Old 10-24-2015, 03:50 AM
 
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So I think I've found myself pretty lucky. I am a first year special Ed teacher, but I love my school and the people I work with so much that until this week I've only had pockets of anxiety and stress instead of full out stress and anxiety since day 1.

To be honest, it may be partially that I've been trying to sweep my stress and anxiety under the rug for the past month and a half. ... Well, this week it's been FULL blown. I don't know if I can sweep any more under the rug.

I just am starting to remember that I really don't know what I'm doing. Parent teacher conferences are this week and I just don't even know where to begin. There are some students that I think will be a breeze because I have a good relationship with parents already....but there are some parents that kind of intimidate me because I'm so young and inexperienced (I'm 24) so I feel like I want to crawl under a rock!!!

And then there is the special Ed part. IEPS are coming up, and I'm starting to write goals and realizing wow, college taught me nothing!!! My mentor is amazing but she can only do so much, it's not like she doesn't have a class to teach!

I'm just so anxious. There are moments where I feel I might be better off as a teachers aide because they are strictly there to teach and help students and don't have to worry about the stuff that I worry about.

I hate the feeling of not knowing what I'm doing. I try to fake confidence sometimes but then I come home and my brain doesn't shut up!!

I know this time of year is stressful for teachers in general.....but I just feel like I'm slowly drowning.


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Old 10-24-2015, 10:17 AM
 
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Slowly drowning is better than quickly!

You are not alone. As you can tell from this forum, and that's only a small fraction of teachers who feel the same. I am in a similar boat, and all I can say is it sucks :-(.
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Normal First Year Teacher Feelings
Old 10-24-2015, 10:53 AM
 
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Every teacher goes through this early in their career. Do not doubt your ability and skills because you are young. Remember to reach out to us on PT to vent your frustrations or seek assistance. This is a valuable resource that comes in handy at every stage of your career.

Regarding conferences, make notes/bullet points about what you will discuss with parents about each student. I often show parents examples of students work and what my next steps will be in order for students to reach their goal(s). Go into each conference with a positive attitude, listen to parent's concerns and offer suggestions and/or ask the parents what they are doing that works at home.

IEP goals are always challenging. Ask yourself what part of the goals are giving you the most trouble. Is it the action plan, percentages, etc. Then meet with your mentor teacher to show you how she/he figures it out. In my district, SPED teachers have to take a course on how to work with the on-line IEP program that is used. This alleviates most new teacher's fears/concerns after mastering the new program.

Finally, you need to find something (activity, exercise, etc,) that you enjoy and take the time to do it. It is so important to have a life outside of work/school. Make sure that this choice is a healthy one (binge eating/drinking/shopping are NOT recommended!!)

Keep us informed on how you are doing. Hang in there- you can do this!!
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Old 10-24-2015, 02:29 PM
 
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my first year I thought I was going to throw up before conferences so I sympathize.

Echoing what other people said I make notes, have work samples and really stick to that. I think it makes me seem organized and definitely makes me less nervous. I have a list with things like writing, printing, reading, counting, addition/subtraction, behavior,social,etc. and make notes for each kid. I run through the list and show samples of different things as I talk(usually a math and a writing. I try to pick things that are indicative of the childs typical work). I also always have a copy of their most recent report card.
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ForthInFourth ForthInFourth is offline
 
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Same boat
Old 10-24-2015, 08:17 PM
 
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gaaaaah. i feel for you all the way. i so do not know what i'm doing that i sometimes feel i'm almost doing a disservice to my students just by being their teacher.


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Conferences
Old 10-27-2015, 06:03 PM
 
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It helps to remember that a typical conference is 15 minutes long. Sandwich every negative between two positives, and make it a point to show parents you care about their kids. You've got this!
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