Any other new teachers just overwhelmed with everything? There is so much to fit in and so much to do! My principal keeps telling me he is so impressed, but honestly, I feel like a failure and that I should be doing more! There is WAY TOO MUCH TO DO and EVEN THINGS I WANT TO DO in the classroom! Off to Starbucks later tonight to see what I can get done with no family or tv around to distract me.
New Teachers unite with al there is to do! I feel like I am constantly making goals for myself and constantly wanting to do more. I need to learn to relax and stop being such a perfectionist!
After, frankly, having fallen apart in October, I am trying to "recover" from being overloaded. :-) I can't fix a lot of stuff, so I'm trying to get more efficient at what I do. For example, I am working during my holiday to plan three weeks ahead, so that when I go back, I can start working three weeks in advance on at least some subjects. Unfortunately, my team leader sets the pacing guide, and she tends to hand out info just before we need it. It makes planning ahead a constant scramble. I also think I'm going to go into school for a couple of hours and do some cleaning and organizing and make photocopies for the first day back. I hate running around in the morning before kids show up. My biggest challenges are to use my teacher assistant more effectively (I have her two hours a day, four days a week) and stop being a perfectionist, which several people have pointed out to me. I'd appreciate suggestions on both. To me, the perfectionist thing stems from caring about the job you do for your students. So how do you stop caring so much? I surely don't know. I've been told to stop trying to do more than the teacher guide calls for--no extra projects, no videos, no crafts etc. Not sure I like that solution, but...
How did the Starbucks trip go? I tend to get up really early in the a.m., even on weekends and break, and do an hour or two of work before everyone else gets up. So far this week, I've finished math and reading lessons. But I can tell I'm avoiding grading. Sigh.
I'm a new teacher January will mark my 2nd month. I'm very fresh into this...and I definitely feel you, I felt very overwhelmed with everything, just saying the word overwhelmed would make me cry, no joke! Now I'm just practicing to take everything day by day and to relax. I'm trying to be as efficient as planning three weeks ahead and I'm trying to get to that point when I can. I'm using my holiday break to catch up on grading and planning. I'm not sure what kind of job im doing, but at the end of the day all I can do is keep working! I'm sure you're doing better than you think and that the starbucks run proved to be helpful!
I was too - even after 20+ years of teaching Title I reading and math, then going to a second grade classroom. It didn't help to have been unknowingly dumped on by the administration (who didn't realize it either) that there were six kids who definitely should not have been put together since they had been together for the last three years! It was all play time and I had one horrible parent who attacked me verbally two weeks into the school year and continued until early spring when she took her kid to another school in the district because the principal decided her accusations were unfounded. I got through it and said if this year startd out like last year, I would quit by November.
Well, I am still here. I found that the way to think about school was to focus on working smarter and not harder. I cut cutsey stuff down to one every two or three weeks. I am here to teach, not be a babysitter. I do not let the children dump on me first thing in the morning to tell me what they did last night or are going to do this weekend. If their puppy died, I tell them I am sorry. I just don't let the kids take up my time. It is too valuable for me to give it away and yes, I know that some of them have no one to talk with at home. In education you have to develop thick skin or you will burn out.
I have taken to using my smartboard to help me keep on schedule. It is too easy to be pulled off into doing something that is not in your planbook. Yes, I do vary when the moment is right to teach something.
I don't do fluff papers. I don't grade verything. Yes, that is hard to accept. I am here to help the kids learn. Many times they need lots of practice before I take a grade and that is only fair.
My suggestions: decide if what you are teaching is worthwhile; use a highly visible schedule to help you stay focused; cut back on the grading; use kids as peers to assist kids who are struggling when you can not assist them; read all tests except reading tests; make use of quiet time to "grade" if you have to, plan for the next day/week, or just relax.
Even "old" teachers get overwhelmed so you are not alone! We have gone from using the basal for reading to Making Meaning, Being A Writer, and learning about the integrated curriculum, which by the way, has almost nothing for us to use......so we spend all of our time making up rubrics and planning performance tasks. My first year of teaching was an eye opener. I cried every morning in the shower and drank a big glass of wine every night! Even after all that I would not give up my job! I love teaching and have found that first grade is my niche. I am overwhelmed and need a few days to clean my room, fix my word wall, update my daily 5, etc. etc. etc. It will get easier for you but the pace never slows down! Make sure to take time for yourself (I'm still working on that!) and the rest "will follow"!!!! Good luck to you!