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Difficulties

Discussion in 'BoM Blogs' started by Vorona, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. Vorona

    Vorona Shadow-Whisperer

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    I guess this is going to be a little self-indulgent and whiny. I'm just really frustrated with my life right now. I know that being a first year teacher is hard work. I've recently heard from some more experienced teachers that they got fired their first year. I'm really worried about that. I'm doing my best, but it just doesn't seem like my best is ever good enough.

    The first quarter, I didn't do so well, but I didn't really expect to. I knew I had a lot to learn, and so it didn't bother me so much. Also, the administration gave me the impression that they weren't expecting perfection. That said, I also knew that I didn't do as well as I should, and I tried to do better second quarter. Second quarter, I did better, but it still wasn't good enough. First quarter, I didn't get behind on the grading, but I didn't have enough grades. I also didn't write to parents as often as we're required to. Second quarter, I had enough grades and I wrote to parents, but I got sick, so I got behind on my grading. I had a lot of troubles catching up. I thought I could get caught up over fall break, but I didn't. I had my evaluation and was told that my communication plan (i.e. the grading and planning) were in "complete disarray." Considering that I thought I was doing better than first quarter, this really upset me. It also upset me because I know that I am 100% on top of the planning, and several teachers, even more experienced ones, aren't and don't care to be. But I guess that doesn't matter.

    Third quarter, I did much better. Or, I thought I was doing better. But no. I got sick again, and then I got behind again, and now I'm all screwed up again, and the grades are later than they're supposed to be, and I'm sure they're thinking my communication plan is in disarray again.

    I'm also frustrated because although I like a lot of things about our school, there are some things I don't like. Our students aren't allowed to have any fun. Even if they have a movie night, the movie has to be connected to the curriculum in some way. They can't just watch a movie. I was going to play Loreena McKennitt's song version of "The Highwayman" to accompany the poem, and I did get permission (we have to get permission for EVERYTHING we use in the classroom), but was told that "it was okay, but not great" because the students should only be exposed to the original texts. It's not like I was not keeping the poem!

    Also, we had our state testing this week, and our students aren't allowed to read when they're finished . . . except during the last 10 minutes of the session. As someone who does best when she does each item and goes on and does only minimal checking, I find this ridiculous! The more time I spend going over a test, the more I start second-guessing myself, and that usually means I end up doing much worse. I'm best if I only check to make sure I've marked the answer I originally wanted rather than actually seriously double-checking my work. But their philosophy is that if they let students read when they're done with the test, it will be seen as a "reward" to get done fast and not do a good job on the test. I see it more as a punishment for students who *shouldn't* overthink their tests, so it really irritates me. Yes, I know there are students who need incentives not to race through the test, but I also know (because I am one) that there are students who shouldn't spend too much time on them either. As a proctor, not a student, it didn't matter, since I couldn't read until all the students were done anyway.

    Finally, I had a problem with a student. She's convinced she turned something in, that I graded it, and that I returned it to her. She's sort of right: I did grade something and returned it, but it's not what she thinks it was. She thinks she worked ahead and gave me future work and that I somehow graded it and then forgot to write the grade down. That's simply not true. I don't grade future work, so if I had made an exception in her case, I would definitely have written it down and I would at least have remembered making an exception. I know memories aren't perfect, though, so if she did happen to still actually have the papers I supposedly graded (which she should have kept, since they're for discussion, so if they were working ahead, it means she would have needed them in the future . . . ), I would accept it. But she threw them away because she didn't like the grade. Now, her dad is claiming that I've misplaced the papers of MANY students, and that's not true either. There have been times where I have misplaced things -- that's true, but not "many" and in all but one situation, I know exactly what happened and was able to find the "misplaced" paper. In most cases, it was actually the students who had them! ("Most" being two out of three).

    I know it's normal for teachers to deal with this kind of thing, but I'm really having a hard time with it today. I'm worried I'm going to get fired over all of this, even though I know I'm doing my best. I'm so tired of my best not being good enough . . .
     
  2. Gaear

    Gaear ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful

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    It'll work out, V. Can't do much more than your best, can you? :)
     
  3. Vorona

    Vorona Shadow-Whisperer

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    Thanks. I know that I always feel this way the first year I have a job, and I have struggled a lot (and still do) with perfectionism.

    We just found out that we no longer need to have our lesson plans done for two weeks in advance, and I haven't had any problems with that, so that made me feel a little better. A lot of other teachers have really had troubles with that.
     
  4. Dice

    Dice ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    You worrying about this only shows that you care about your job. Your kind of work involves pleasing a lot of different people, and you can't please everyone. I agree with Gaear, you can't do more that your best. I bet a lot more people appreciate your values and your morals than you realize.

    Also venting in an anonymous blog in a place like this is great. Writing is one of the best therapies, in my opinion. I would also suggest listening to "Three Little Birds" by Bob Marley at top volume.
     
  5. Vorona

    Vorona Shadow-Whisperer

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    Yeah - and I do worry too much. We've established that my worrying is also related to my stomach issues. I'll be sure to try out the Bob Marley thing!
     
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