When I go walking down the street I have the urge to run up to perfect strangers and beg them to help me.
I am a 1st year teacher doing alternative certification. Just about to start my 3rd week with the 1st grade. I need help and I don't know what to do. I cry every day. My management is okay. But I feel like I am working/stressing every single minute and I can't keep it up. Basically I do not know what I am supposed to teach. My team members all are pregnant/have little kids, so they don't have time to stick around after school and help me. They all dissappear at 3 ... and I'm alone in the building until 8 or 9 ... come home and work more until 11:30 ... then I get back to the school at 6:30 in the morning. I told my team leader I can't do it anymore, so she is meeting with me this week ...
will this get better? When? I actually made myself sick this weekend from crying so hard. I dreamed about being a teacher. But I'm starting to think its not worth it
It takes years to develop your skills and curriculum. You cannot be a "complete package" from day one. Pick one thing you are going to concentrate on now. Everything else you continue to do, but maybe not as perfectly as you are trying to do now. Once you have a handle on the first thing you chose, move on to another.
While I did not go through an alternative cetification program, I am a first year teacher. I have spent the last three weeks stressing, worrying, and pretending I am okay. I will tell you that I have cried once already. I went to my dept. head and this person really helped me out! I teach secondary level students... one thing that helped me was using a lesson plan format that I learned in college. Although I am not required to submit lesson plans, it certainly helps me keep my thoughts straight.
Secondly, be honest with yourself. It is important to remember that you are only human and you have selected a field of work that can be both completely stressful and rewarding at the same time. By owning your feelings, you take control of them. If you want to be a teacher, be a teacher!
Finally, remember to set a stop time for yourself. I do not allow myself to work on school stuff past 6:30-7:30pm. Keep in mind that I am at school by 6:45am-7:00am and I leave at 5:00pm. This means I do a small amount of work at home. Do you have a support system at home? My fiance has taken on most of the household work (cleaning, laundry, and cooking) during the week. He makes sure that I have a clutter free space to come home to. This helps because I feel like I have somebody that understands the demands on a new teacher. Please take care of yourself mentally/emotionally. Otherwise, you will not be able to do your job to the best of your ability.
I am glad you are meeting with your team leader because you NEED to have a mentor. It is hard at the beginning, even if you have gone through a traditional teacher prep program. Somehow your team needs to recognize that you need a sounding board and a resource to keep you from burning out before you ever begin!
Hang in there--it DOES get better. But it takes time. One day, and you won't even notice it when it happens, you will realize that you DO know what you are doing and you can handle whatever they put in front of you!
In the meantime, enjoy your kids, ask lots of questions, and come back to PT often. Post on other boards, too (first grade, busy board) and more people will chime in to answer your questions. Trust your instincts in your classroom and let the kids show you what they need.
You are not alone. EVERYONE goes through this. I struggled most with management and literacy.
If you are having trouble with management:
-Look up ENVoY. There are books by Michael Grinder.
-Develop a behavior management plan (i.e. Take-a-Break, Buddy room, etc)
-Keep talking about expectations and MODEL, MODEL, MODEL!!
If you are feeling overwhelmed with your literacy block:
-Read and implement The Daily 5 and CAFE
Take a deep breath. Set boundaries for yourself. Don't forget that you are a person first, and take care of yourself.
I am feeling the same way! I am a first year teacher in 4th grade math/science, and it is completely overwhelming. The other day, I went home crying, because I just felt like I couldn't handle it all anymore, and this was only the 4th week of school. My partner teacher (ELA/SS) leaves right after the bell rings, so I am left on my own then too. And, to top it all off, I live an hour away from school. It is just a lot harder than I thought it would be. I feel like I can't do anything else in my life but be a teacher, and I even stink at that
Every first year teacher goes through this. That said, what is your biggest problem?? That is where you should start. These boards can give you plenty of management tips. I hope you are not trying to grade everything the kids do - that alone will get you hopelessly behind.
Some things that are just for practice don't need to be graded. As students work at their desks, you can walk around and put a star or mark on the paper to indicate that they are on the right track, and then you are done with that set of papers!
Ask on these boards for a "best tip" on a certain problem you are having. Your first year teaching doesn't need to be fancy - just follow the curriculum guide and make sure you get your behavior plan solid and working first. You can't really accomplish anything until you've got behavior under control. Also lots of ideas on these boards for a good behavior plan.
Take care of yourself! You've got to eat right and get plenty of sleep. If you don't, once flu season hits you'll really be in trouble. Also, don't be afraid to ask for help, be it other teachers or friends and family. Even older students might be able to help - I had 3 5th graders who would put up bulletin boards, grade simple papers and drill kids on various flash cards. Good luck and let us know how you are doing!
My first year I was a total goofball. Does your district have a curriculum for you to follow? Everyday you need to count your sucesses and build upon those and continue. I think you need to RES for a dya and have some fun. You are overwhelmed and that is not good. Calm down and make a list of things you need to accomplish for the week and begin working towards accomplishing those. Choose a good lesson plan template and four main books that you will pull supplementary materials from and work fron there. Good luck. If you need anymore help send me a private message and perhaps we can email each other I would be glad to help in any way I can. DON'T GIVE UP!!!!!
This is an assessment that I created to give me an idea where my kids are in reading and spelling. Maybe it will be some help to you! It will get better. I have done this for 33 years and I am always tweeking my materials to meet the needs of my kids. I used to go home and take a nap on the couch to get the energy to get ready for bed! Stick with it, you will get the hang of it! Also go to your state's education website and look up the state standards. There should be "access points" listed. These are the standards that you need to follow. Look at the Main skills for reading and math. Teach to these. If you have more questions you can email me at. jcle181824#aol.com Good Luck!
Hang in there.... Connect yourself to people who will help you..... We have mentors and that really helps. But your first year is going to be stressful. It gets MUCH better after the first year. Don't EVER be ashamed to ASK...... and keep asking until you get the answers you NEED.... Good luck.... you CAN do it! I have taught 30 yrs!
I was an AC intern myself, seven years ago. I hereby will number the items that I believe helped me go through such an strenuous and challenging program successfully and get it over with the first year:
Continue to hang in there, since it should get easier as you approach the end. Do not give up as of yet.
Try to pass all of those extensive certification test as soon as possible.
Be on the good graces of your Principal, who will be the ultimate decision maker for your certification.
Get as much help from your colleagues, but you are pretty much on your own. Try to be as pro-active and created as possible with your lesson and instructions,. Make sure that they are well thought of and planned so that you can deliver them with the least amount of glitches, which there will always be. This should help you to leave school earlier. Planning, planning, planning. Enjoy the kids and teaching while in the class, (That should be the rewarding part of the process).
Do you not have an assigned mentor??I was lucky to have a pretty good one. If not ask your principal to assign somebody to you who is experienced, and sympathetic to help you navigate the many waters of a school's day to day life. (Perhaps and Ex-AC graduate).
Be organized, timely with school and AC requirements.
The time you are putting into should be pretty much normal, as you try to encompass so many requirements unknown at the same time. I think the most important thing should be for you to try to leave school earlier thus you can have some time to rest, enjoy yourself and your family before going back to AC requirements work.
Do not get discouraged it will get better.
Hopefully you are somebody who is entering and will stay in the career.
I know this post is late, but I wanted to say that I cried all the time during my first year of teaching. I don't anymore! If you really love teaching, my advice is to stick with it. The first year is absolutely the hardest.
By now you've probably sorted a lot out. You can go to your state standards to know what to teach. For me, the Lucy Calkins Units in reading and writing gave me a good solid base and I didn't feel like I had to plan anymore every second of the day. They're expensive but saved my sanity.