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scotty435 scotty435 is offline
 
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Paralyzed with FEAR
Old 08-14-2011, 05:26 PM
 
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After teaching K-1 for the last 23 years, I have been moved to 4th grade. I am so fearful of the first few days of school. I need support from others but I keep hearing "You'll be fine!" but I am not sure I believe it. There is so much new curriculum, pacing and all the tests the kids have to take. One day at a time, one foot in front of the other are just things that I think people are just saying.

I don't believe they are hearing me or understanding my feelings.

I have two years left before I retire. Gor moved due to lower class numbers.

Thanks for reading, listening and sending a positive thought my way.

Scotty


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Just a little older.....
Old 08-14-2011, 05:30 PM
 
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I've taught 4th and 5th grade for over 13 years. They are just a little older. They can do a little more than the K-1. I'm sure you will be great. Yes, testing is something, but like you said one day at a time.
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Will you have any of your former students?
Old 08-14-2011, 05:39 PM
 
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Of course they are older but they may be excited to see you and have you again for a teacher. I have taught mostly first, but also K and 2nd, so I know I would feel a little anxious going to fourth and fifth grade. Hopefuly you have used this board to find some great mature activities. Good luck. Just focus on the first week activities such as getting to know you. Hopefully you'll feel more confident after that.
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Here is a positive
Old 08-14-2011, 05:40 PM
 
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I personally prefer the older kiddos. They have more humor, they are more independent. But, change is scary, so I get what you are saying! Sending happy thoughts....
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you will be fine
Old 08-14-2011, 05:44 PM
 
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the students are often as nervous as the teacher. This is my 9 th year in 4th grade. and I taught first graders for 10 years before that. I wouldn't ask to return to first because I like the indepenedence of the 4th graders. what subjects will you teach?


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Old 08-14-2011, 05:52 PM
 
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I guess you'll just have to see it to believe it, so to speak.

It will definitely take an adjustment, but there are plenty on here who've had to make a move like yours, so I'm sure they'll have some suggestions and comments to relieve your stress some. Of course, you're going to be freaking out. Who wouldn't? That's a big change to go through. However, you'll just have to take it slowly and rely on others, hopefully your teammates, to help. If you won't have anyone on your grade level, then you make a connection with the teacher above your level for suggestions. You also keep on PT and ask any and all questions you need to. You'll find that the 4-8 Board, the Busyboard, and even the 5th grade board will be fabulous (and I'm not exaggerating) resources for you!

You're not a newbie to teaching, so as a teacher what do we have to do all the time and every year? Adjust. Think back to ALL the times you've had to make adjustments. That might be where folks are coming from when they say, "You'll be fine." That stinks that you have to do this two years before your retirement, but you might find that you wished you'd been teaching the upper grades all along! They're great to work with.

I can't give you much input about 4th grade because I teach 5th, but I made a move from 2nd to 5th, and I was freaked out at first, too. That happened after teaching for 14 years. I know that's a bit different from your situation, but it was quite a jump, in my opinion. I asked a lot of questions, did a lot of what my coworkers did that first year due to my inexperience with that grade level, and was willing to accept that I would make some mistakes along the way.

9 years later--I LOVE the upper grades and would NEVER want to go back to the younger grades again.

Good luck to you! I won't say, you'll be fine , but I will say take it slow and you'll find that your natural teaching instinct will take over and allow you to enjoy your learning experience.
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Scared too!
Old 08-14-2011, 05:55 PM
 
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Scotty, I'm scared too! I student taught in 5th and am teaching 5th this year, but as a first year teacher, it's really scary. All of the curriculum at my new school is different from where I student taught. People have been so nice so far, saying they will give me all of their lesson plans, units, etc. and told me I could use it if I want or create my own. I'm just really nervous because I won't get to meet with the other teachers until the end of August, just a few days before school starts. I'm the type who really wants to be prepared. I'm ready to know NOW or sooner than NOW how everything works! I also feel like college was a waste. I had an amazing teacher prep program, but I still feel like everything is new and overwhelming!

Feel free to PM me and we can chat...it looks like we are in a similar situation, and as a first year teacher, I can always use the support of 1 more veteran...even if you aren't use to this grade! Good luck!
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You will be great, but...
Old 08-14-2011, 06:01 PM
 
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It stinks that after all the years you have given to the education of the children in your district that in the last few years you have left, you have to have the added stress of changing grade levels. One of my best friends in teaching had a similar situation--after doing many years in one grade, she was moved to a lower grade. She had shared her feelings with the principal, but the principal had her own agenda and wasn't listening. She was reluctant to move for the reasons you mentioned (minus the state testing).She did a great job, but at the end of the year decided to retire. I think it wasn't so much the switch (I think she would have enjoyed a second year at the new level), but combined with all the politics of education going on right now, and the lack of time to spend with her husband, she decided it was too much. I personally loved 4th grade, and would go back to it in a minute if I could. You were honest about stating your feelings, and as a result, you will do the best job you possibly can. I hope you love it, and if you don't, I know you will give it your best shot. Take time out of the classroom to relax, unwind and do things for yourself and those you love. Hugs to you and best wishes for a wonderful school year. I know you will face those new challenges with a smile, and your new kids will be lucky to have you!
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Changing levels
Old 08-14-2011, 06:08 PM
 
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When I moved back into third grade after seven years of teaching special ed, I was excited but apprehensive. I took the approach of "We're going to learn about third grade together" and that worked well for me. I think fourth graders will step up to the plate when given that responsibility of helping you "learn" fourth grade.

I think you will enjoy their independence and be amazed at what they have learned how to do since first grade. While I'm still a major third grade fan, fourth would be my second choice as they are still not as cocky as middle schoolers!

I don't think people are not hearing your concerns as much as they are trying to be supportive and positive. I hope you have a good team to work with. You will be nervous until the kids are in front of you on that first day, and then I predict you are going to relax and enjoy the ride!

Teacherbee: Good luck to you in your first classroom! I'm sure you'll be awesome. Lean on your new colleagues (they sound great), and lean on PT. It has never let me down!

As for college, I always say (and I'm sure it is not an original thought) "I went to college and got my degree. I went to work and got my education."
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Old 08-14-2011, 06:21 PM
 
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Your feelings are totally valid. Of course you will be afraid! Any change is scary. It is normal and appropriate to feel this way.

I feel scared before every year starts. This is especially true when changing grade levels (I'm doing that this year, too, and yes, I'm terrified too). What I try to remember to remind myself that I always feel scared before the first day starts, but once I'm in front of the kids I'm simply too busy to be scared. Then, they go home, and I remember that I was scared before, and think, "that wasn't that bad, really".

The next morning, before they get there, I'm scared again, and again, once they are in front of me I'm just too busy to be scared. Repeat for the next few days and eventually I'm not scared anymore. At that point, I know them, I know how the day is going to go, what to expect and I know I can figure it out.

I won't say, "you'll be fine". I will say, "you'll be scared, but you'll do it, and eventually it won't be quite as scary".


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Old 08-14-2011, 06:57 PM
 
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I did a year in K, then a year in 3rd, and the last four in 4th. I loved K, truly I did, but I love my big kids sooooo much. They get more (sarcastic) humor and are super independent. They are still little kids, and thrive on personal attention (I do Daily 5, and kids really remember when I'm going to meet with them and look forward to it!), but they can work on their own without me having to "hold their hand" so much. It's still important to model, model, model, but I think you will be pleasantly surprised at what they can do, especially if you had any of them in K/1...so neat to see how they've grown!

I'm sure you will do great, but it is an adjustment, and it will take some getting used to. Hang in there!
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Understand
Old 08-15-2011, 02:28 AM
 
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Like many of the previous posters I too am being moved from primary to 4th. I feel like yelling at the people who keep saying I will be fine-"How do you know ?". Then I think of the positives and I am sure they are right.

I have taught this group before , so most of them I know and we won't have that long getting to know you phase.

Love the independence of this age group. I think we will have a good time learning 4th together .

I have found great resources here already and I know my PT friends will be a great help! Ther is such a great wealth of creativity and knowledge on here I can't lose!

The curriculum looks like it will be fun to teach. I found a great website that belongs to a PT member and it has made planning so much easier. Goggle Mrs. Sanchez and you will find amazing things to help you. (She even has a new teacher download that I have used for several years .)

I'm sure there is more, but I hope this helps. Please feel free to PM me if you need a "friend " or resources . I am always happy to share what I have found. Prayers for a great year!
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Here for You
Old 08-15-2011, 07:46 AM
 
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While my profile says I am a new member, I am actually a former senior member who's just changed my username. I've taught grades 3, 4, 5 & jr. high. I have been teaching the 4th grade the longest and am a 16 year vet. If you need any advice, or just to chat, pm me. Changing levels is not as hard as it seems--you may find that the curriculum actually stimulates new, creative ideas. As far as being fearful of testing, the kids, etc., that is normal. We all still have those back-to-school nightmares, right?
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Old 08-17-2011, 11:53 AM
 
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I have real back to school nightmares!! Bad sign? Listen, I hear you, I have been teaching JK for 9 years and I was moved to Gr. 4. I go back in 2 weeks and I am feeling the same as you. Everyone keeps telling me it will be okay, and I just want to yell at them. I am really scare too. But, there are a lot of helpful people with great ideas and advice on this site and all we can do it take it one day at a time! Good luck to both of us!
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Former students?
Old 08-18-2011, 05:12 PM
 
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I've been teaching for about 17 years. I've taught pre-school through fifth grade. One year specifically, I was moved from first to fourth grade. I was able to have my former first graders again in fourth grade, and I couldn't wait to see how much they had changed. You know what?? They did not change at all!!! They were just bigger! It was great. While each age group has its own uniqueness, the fact remains that they are ALL children! Enjoy them, and good luck!
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Old 08-18-2011, 05:23 PM
 
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I've taught 1st through 5th and 3rd-5th are my favorites. They are so much more independent and love to do projects. Which gives us some time to grade papers or even just sit every once in a while during the day instead of running after them constantly. I think you'll love it.
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