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First year and I want out...
Old 01-17-2017, 03:06 PM
 
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I'm in my first year of teaching first grade (with a probationary certificate through an alternative teaching program, and with no prior teaching experience), and I want out! I've heard many times that the first year is the hardest, but my experience thus far has been so bad (from tension with the team, no support from my mentor, and behavioral issues with students, parents, etc.), that I literally cry and contemplate qutting everyday. My students' academic performance is below level and although many have ADHD, and a language barrier (most have only Spanish speaking parents), I blame myself for their performance. I can't sleep at night and dread going to work every morning. It's affecting my health and the relationship with my husband and kids. I'm under contract and I honestly don't care anymore what the consequences are if I leave. I try to think positive, but I'm unhappy, unmotivated, and drained...


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Old 01-18-2017, 04:23 AM
 
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(((Honey)))...first year of teaching is very challenging for everyone, but you had a bad start, coming in to the classroom without proper preparation for the job. I can't imagine trying to teach first grade without quite a bit of specific training (and I taught high school for 40 years). You need some real help!

If I were in your shoes, I would schedule some time to talk to mentor or supervisor, and unburden myself. They might agree that you are not properly prepared for your job. Ultimately, this could lead to being nonrenewed...but that is no worse than quitting. Ask what trainings are available to help you become more effective.

If you want a career as a teacher (especially first grade, which is such a critical year), you will likely need to invest some time and $$$ in proper training. Having a course of action will help you bear your current situation if you are motivated. If you feel you made a mistake going into teaching, knowing what you need to do to be more effective may help you feel better about leaving.
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Look for More Support
Old 01-21-2017, 11:12 PM
 
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There are a number of great videos for classroom management online. Ask if you can observe a few top 1st grade teachers in your district for a half day. That really helped me my first year. Keep the kids busy, busy, busy. Activities that take attention and time so that misbehaviors will lessen. TPT has lots of fun CC based lessons that can be a good alternative if what you are using isn't working. Active learning strategies will help. On Pinterest are a bunch of 1st grade bloggers with great ideas as well. Hang in there and look for ways to have fun with your students...songs, games, and group motivators like earning a monthly class reward etc. Link up with a teacher that cares and will help you succeed.
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Don't just hang in there, choose a new ledge
Old 01-25-2017, 07:20 AM
 
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I'm so sorry to hear that you're going through this, and saying that we all have gone through something similar doesn't seem to help i'm sure. Can I suggest a website to help?

http://thecornerstoneforteachers.com...ing-twice.html

I taught at three different school districts, and there is a remarkable difference between them, some were much better than others in different ways.

As lisa53 stated, if teaching is your desire, then you need to get started off on a better foot through proper training. There are many online programs as well that can help you, I work for a public university that offers those online degrees and training, let me know if you want more information.
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Old 02-02-2017, 08:08 AM
 
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I am sorry. I think you need help to decide whether or not you want to continue teaching or not. If you do, then follow the previous posters' advice. If you don't, that's okay, too. I think it's easy to have an idea of what teaching will be like and then discover that the reality is not for you. Teaching is hard. It is exhausting physically and mentally. Nothing is harder than the first few years, but it never gets "easy." If you really are crying every day, dreading every day and not sleeping, I'd say that's a pretty clear signal. Look into what the consequences for breaking contract are.

Good luck with a difficult decision.


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Really?
Old 02-05-2017, 10:34 AM
 
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This sounds like a very ineffective program. It takes years to learn how to teach. When I was in college, we really learned in baby steps. First, basic education theory with some observation. Then, more classes, and practice teaching, then specific classes for another year, and finally student teaching. That was four years of prep before just student teaching. We did two placements and a semester of student teaching. Then, I subbed for years before I got my own classroom. I still wasn't completely prepared. It really takes years and you fail back on your experience. It took me time to plan lessons where kids can learn. It took me time and much advice before I understood how to get kids to listen to me. It took time to learn how to communicate with parents. I am lucky because I had coworkers who trained me how to act. They basically said, "Keep your mouth shut and your head down. Smile to admin. and agree and then shut your door and really teach."

I still read classroom management books and try different things. The beautiful thing about teaching is that next year you get to start completely new. Get through this year and start again next year. Read all you can and talk to teachers who can give you good advice.
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Hang in there
Old 02-10-2017, 05:49 PM
 
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So sorry your mentor isn't supportive. Is there another teacher at the school that you can count on? Having at least one will help get you through. Do not blame the kids performance on you. Change cannot happen overnight. And kids are kids, you are doing the best job you can and you care! That's what counts. Forgive yourself. Reflect. And everyday is a new day.
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Old 02-21-2017, 09:52 PM
 
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Thank you for the response and information. I agree if with you, the program did not help, at all. If I had known I definitely would have tried aquiring some experience as an aide or sub at least. I've read several books and watched many videos on classroom management, etc. but, sadly I don't feel the situation has gotten any better.

Many other issues have occurred, but one that has just really done it for me was recently. The principal transferred a student (from a bilingual - all Spanish class) with behavior issues/ADHD from a nice and experienced teacher, to me - I teach in English only. The student's parent claim that the other teacher does not like their child, and that she had been purposely failing him. So, since they threatened to move their child to another school the student was transferred to me as a "second chance to make it right" - exact words. I was told the student supposedly "chose" me to be the new teacher.

I've already had three conferences (one the principal didn't show up to) with the parents and they seriously believe that their kid does no wrong and tells no lies. I understand that in teaching I will deal with difficult students and parents, but I think it was unfair to place the student with me to begin with since he could have been placed in another bilingual (all Spanish) classroom which is available.

I'm now required to differentiate my instruction for him and translate everything for him into Spanish. I was told I would get additional help, and it hasn't happened.

Unfortunately, the experience has been so bad that I don't see myself teaching next year, or ever. I have submitted my resume for other nonteaching positions and am praying I get a call soon! I will feel guilty for leaving my students mid-year but I know that mentally I cannot take it anymore. My babies (at home) need me to be okay for them.

With that said, I admire and appreciate teachers so much more now...
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Similar boat
Old 03-26-2017, 07:36 AM
 
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I feel very similarly. I am teaching 9th grade english. My mentor Is supportive i guess? I feel like it is a lot of criticism without advice. The advice is more like "This needs to change" "You need to get better at this". My students had poor benchmark scores and my admin has just recently put me on an improvement plan where I have to script my lessons (1 lesson plan now takes at least 2 hours) video my self and watch other teachers during my planning periods. These are helpful things, but they would have been more helpful at the beginning of the year as opposed to 3/4 the way through and it is creating SO much more work and stress. These past two weeks I have wanted to quit every day. The worst part is is that my district isn't even bad. It's rural with smallish class sizes. I am also unhappy and miserable.

Know you're not alone.

Last edited by Emptyhanded; 03-26-2017 at 08:55 AM..
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Old 09-26-2017, 11:43 AM
 
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Emptyhanded, when my principal suggested I get on a so-called "improvement plan", that's when I resigned. I felt that if I needed to get on an improvement plan to teach in the way the county wanted me teach, then perhaps I shouldn't be teaching in the first place. I just remembered being a substitute teacher and teaching being so much more fun, spontaneous, and creative. There weren't any "benchmarks" and all of these prescribed and rigid ways of instructing students that didn't necessarily work with my preferred style of teaching. I have to say, I don't miss it. Interestingly enough, I became a substitute teacher again so that I can actually teach, and enjoy it!


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