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gaven gaven is offline
 
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Teacher's biggest mistakes?
Old 06-17-2016, 07:25 PM
 
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This is the time when I reflect on my year. One issue that I seem to always struggle with is work-life balance. I am however aware of my actions that cause problems.


Here are some of my BIGGEST MISTAKES that need redirection!

1. I bring home too much work which takes up most of my evenings/weekends.

2. I'm not making time for personal/social priorities because I'm tired from all of the
extra hours of work.

3. Even when I leave work, I find myself focused on it constantly be it talking on the
phone about a work issue or searching the internet.

4. I spend way too much money on my students/classroom. Each year I give myself a
budget but I usually go way beyond it!


What do you think are teacher's BIGGEST MISTAKES (your own /or others)?


Thanks,


Gaven


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I have many..lol
Old 06-18-2016, 12:32 AM
 
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but I got home late..lol and will answer tomorrow...
OH, 1 fault..I sometimes stay out too late!
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Old 06-18-2016, 03:04 AM
 
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I carry checking/grading around for far too long. Yep, I take it home, then don't do it and wind up carrying it back to school. My big goal for next year is to stop that. It gets graded at school, or it hits the recycling bin.

I'm a little lax on the money, too. I don't spend much, but I also don't claim much reimbursement. Dumb.

I did much better on the extracurricular thing last year. I actually had time to take on a volunteer commitment that I really, really enjoyed. I will NOT give that up!

I actually like snooping on the Internet for ideas. I don't like spending home time making task cards, games and such, but I enjoy recharging by stealing, er, discovering new approaches that other teachers use. So weirdly, I don't consider that work. But it does chew up some time.
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Old 06-18-2016, 04:36 AM
 
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I work through every lunch which is not only burning me out but administration adjusted my workload to fit that model. I need to stop being so accommodating and take a lunch.
I need to let go of some of the perfectionism and delegate things to my assistant even if it will not turn out the way I pictured.
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Old 06-18-2016, 05:22 AM
 
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Lack of consistency-too lax on my kids (discipline and academic). Though I think I'm actually stricter than many, because my kids are SO behaviorally challenged, I have to be extremely strict, and some days I'm just too tired.


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mistake
Old 06-18-2016, 07:51 AM
 
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My biggest is not making myself more of a priority. I need to leave work at set time and get to the gym consistently. My goal next year is to have a schedule that I stick with- Monday, Wednesday, Friday leave by 4:15 because I have an appointment at the gym. I'll pretend my personal trainer is waiting for me.

When I work out consistently I feel so much better and am less tired. This means I'm more patient and a better teacher and person.
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So many...
Old 06-18-2016, 07:52 AM
 
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I am too sarcastic, which leads to misunderstandings. I have improved but I am continuing to work on it.
Also, I am not good at showing my students how much I care about them and how happy I am to be their teacher.

I also need to be more organized, prioritize and stop staying so long after school.
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Old 06-18-2016, 07:55 AM
 
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I could have written the OP with the exception being that I have learned not to bring anything home during the week because nothing got done.

1. Every Sunday is reserved for school related stuff.

2. I almost always leave work between 5-5:30pm. Which, by the time I get home, feed the cats, make dinner, and get ready for the next day, it is time for bed. I have no personal time. My goal for next school year is to make more time for me.

3. I tend to be a perfectionist. I need to learn that sometimes okay is good enough.
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Lol
Old 06-18-2016, 08:57 AM
 
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I don't mean to sound snarky, but your post made me laugh because it reminds me so much of my student teaching experience.

I'm a SPED teacher and did my ST in a self-contained class. I was notified by other teachers that I was not "being consistent enough" with the kids. These were gen Ed teachers. Um, I'm sorry but when I have 10 students blowing out in every which direction, all at once, about 6 times per day, it's a little tough to be 100% consistent with 100% accuracy.
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Old 06-18-2016, 09:59 AM
 
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1) I feel too, competitive is not really the right word, but...I feel bad about myself if my classes don't perform as well as tests as my partner's classes. I have to remember that we don't teach the same kids, so we can't expect the same results.

2) I think many teachers get so overwhelmed by the feeling of 'too much to teach, too little time' that they start cutting out the activities and discussions that make the material/learning meaningful. Those things take time, and we have so little! Multiple times throughout the year, I find myself in a position where my students have gotten so engaged in something that it takes twice as much time as I planned for it, or a lesson unintentionally loops back to previously discussed materials and I have to force myself to allow it to happen and be ok with it. I have to remind myself that it's good that students want to spend time making those connections and exploring an idea, but it really takes a conscious effort to not breeze by in the name of time.


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ok as promised..lol
Old 06-18-2016, 03:42 PM
 
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1. I spend too much money.
2. I am exhausted too on work nights which extremely limits my social life. I go to bed early when working if possible.
3, I found a way though to prioritize better than I used to anyways. I do not bring any work home and do not work on weekends anymore. I do go early and stay late when needed.
4. I used to want everything perfect. I really do not care about that anymore. My bulletin boards may be crooked and I no longer go to meetings that we have no say in ( unless you agree w/ the P on everything. That saves me a ton of time!)
5. I focus (almost-OK..lol) solely on teaching kids while I am at work. If something is needed asap w/ no notice from the office, I'll give the kids needed skills to practice and do it during class time if possible. I get a small bit of time to socialize at lunch and sometimes after school we go out to dinner.
6. I know some teachers would see the above as lazy, but my well- being is important to the kids, my family, and me. I have taught long enough that I know what the kids need to know. Planning does not eat up my time like it used to yrs ago. I guess I did put in a lot of life years though to get to the point I am at now. 7. I'd say my worst fault as a teacher though is my expectations are pretty high and I have to monitor myself on that every now and then ( more like daily reflect..lol). Times have changed, as well as populations I have taught. A lot of times, I realize I need to " let it go."
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Great Question!
Old 06-19-2016, 06:30 AM
 
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I agree with all the areas you listed and after 20 years, I've adjusted my thinking.
1. I don't grade everything. Only benchmark assessments and papers that show growth or concerns to share with parents. I also grade short quick checks, but not daily worksheets.
2. I don't go into work on the weekend unless there is a special activity to prepare for or large amounts of copying.
3. I have good parent helpers to ease the copy load or stuffing folders.
4. I try to form good relationships with kids and parents so there is trust and fewer complaints and misunderstandings, that way you are not constantly feeling like to have to cross every t to cover yourself. It reduces stress.
5. I don't spend a lot of money on materials, period. Just stop doing it. I promise it will be okay. I know people that spend a lot and usually it's unnecessary. I made my own furnishings for my classroom, found things at garage sales, etc. and shopped at the dollar store.
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Impressive
Old 06-19-2016, 07:13 AM
 
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This is very impressive. I really don't get how teachers can pull five 12 hour days per week, year after year after year. Isn't that a recipe for burn out?
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Make up work
Old 06-19-2016, 09:02 AM
 
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-Even after over a decade, I cannot find a way to deal with make up work! I always tell students it is their responsibility to make up things, but most flat out don't care. Then, months after the assignment, I get parent emails about it. Ugh. I've done binders, absentee helpers, setting aside the work, and even posting everything online.

-Also, I struggle with maintaining binders with all the paper work. I want to go paperless, but this has not worked well. My school has pretty terrible technology. There are some days I have to call or send a note to the office to take attendance because our internet is out. We also don't have computers for students. I try to get kids to use their cell phones for academics and checking grades, but they end up texting or taking videos. I continue to try to incorporate technology when a smart person would probably just give up.

+I decided to quit some of my extra duties this past year to go to the gym. I love going in the morning because I was always too tired to go after school. Sure, I am making less money, but it is worth it.

+I never work through lunch and have a fun lunch group where we laugh and talk about all types of things (not just complain about school.)

+We changed to a new curriculum where it was all planned out. I did have more time overall, but did try to adapt somethings.

+Spent almost no money on school except for the gifts and donations. I did break down and buy pencils though
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Old 06-19-2016, 10:14 AM
 
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Rushing through lessons, not recognizing the clueless stares, and then having to repeat themselves/their lesson (several times, even). I think this is a skill that is honed over time, but a common one I am seeing.
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Clueless stares!
Old 06-19-2016, 11:51 AM
 
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Such a tough one. I've noticed that some students will look completely lost and confused but when confronted, they actually know the material better than I do. And vice versa lol.
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Different for a Service Provider
Old 06-20-2016, 04:46 AM
 
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As a service provider, I used to be very much overwhelmed with work just like any classroom teacher. However, my second year I learned to prioritize things.
1. I set up a schedule for my assessments. I do one each six weeks. This gives me a bigger picture how many I will need in a year and it also allows the AP and P have an idea how my assessment works. (Danielson will like it).
2. I never give out homework.
3. Everything students do in my class I do not grade. They do! I coach them into using rubrics for speaking and writing. Each time they complete a speaking/writing assignment they do peer review using rubrics (they were created by both students and myself). This way I allow students to reflect on their own strengths and weaknesses, and decide what their next steps should be (I believe it is highly effective in the assessment department in Danielson rubric).
4. I made it a habit to plan my lessons on Sunday. Yes, it takes up most of Sunday but at least I never have to plan lessons each weeknight. For example, I always leave after the last bell, together with the kids. I am normally home by 4 pm. It feels so good to not plan lessons! This allows me to do whatever I crave: going out with friends, reading a book, shopping - you name it!
5. Now I do not spend a dime on my classroom. Thanks god the school provides the basic supplies. But if I do have a creative project, I ask the kids to bring in stuff. For example, for 'My neighborhood' diorama I asked the kids to bring cereal boxes, and different art supplies. Many of them brought glitter, scraps of fabric, glue, and so much more. It was wonderful project! Also, when I plan my lessons and projects I make sure the projects are fun but at the same time do no require some fancy materials.
6. This year I scheduled my prep periods right in the middle. For example, I already come in early so I prep for my first three periods in the morning. Then I have my actual prep. During that time I prep for my last three periods. This allows me to actually prep for each class, unlike it was last year when I had only 45 minutes to prep for all of my six classes.
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mine
Old 06-20-2016, 09:10 AM
 
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1. Bringing work home, then toting it back undone.

2. Planning too much, then feeling like we didn't finish.

3. Forgetting self-care. I need to eat low sodium and due to poor planning often show up for work without good food

4. Neglecting to work out.

5. Trying to do too much in general.

6. Letting fear make me feel insecure, doubting my worth and abilities.

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thank you OP
Old 06-20-2016, 09:13 AM
 
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I learned a few things reading your replies. Love my PT family!
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I agree with catandturtle...
Old 06-25-2016, 09:50 AM
 
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I understand that totally! Too tired to always be strict. That is me also.
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Old 06-25-2016, 05:27 PM
 
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I totally understand this. The issue is that if I give my assistant a "project job" it will take up the whole morning or afternoon and then I wont have support for instructional time.Jobs like checking homework, pulling items from book bags and having kids select home reading can be dragged out to take a whole work day. If I do the job myself, it will be done in a fraction of the time. but then I end up doing everything. Im thinking of ways to make the kids more independent so my assistant isn't spending ridiculous amounts of time doing a task. so hard to know what to delegate. any suggestions?
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Old 07-14-2016, 09:39 PM
 
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Taking work home. Spend no more than an hour after school getting work done. Eat lunch while you work. Sometimes staying out of the lounge during lunch can be a positive thing.

#2 can be a damning one. I've seen 20+ years of marriage turn into divorces. This profession can chip away your personality and you would never know it.
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