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Thread: My First Day...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
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    9,934

    My First Day...

    Numerous members have written me wishes me the best for my new venture, and I am so grateful to have made such good, caring friends.

    My first day was a good day, but not necessarily an easy one. These are teenagers, grades 9-12 and most of my classes are the classes with students that are not advanced.

    I have learned during my venture that most teachers prefer the more advanced kids because they are typically well behaved, but knowing this I welcome the challenge.

    My heart is set on helping those that are struggling, for whatever reason, and that is exactly where I will be for the next few years. It's not an easy task, and I know there is no way to succeed with all of them because some are simply determined to nothing to better themselves.

    There is no way to tell you how excited I am to finally have the opportunity to make a difference with even just a few.

    I have had the fortune of having that chance, and I benefited greatly from it.

    It is hard for me to explain, but I have immense gratitude for a country and a system that allowed me that chance to learn and prove myself.

    It's my turn to show my appreciation for those that made that happen.

    It has been a lot of hard work, determination, and roller coaster rides, but I seem to have landed in the right place. I was frequently visited by fellow faculty members today offering assistance and advise. To top it off, the teacher that I replaced took her personal time to come back to the school visit me, know me, and share with me her knowledge and experience with these students.

    Over and over, I heard from other teachers, "I have fought to stay here at this school". I think I knew why on the day I visited to interview.

    There is no doubt in my mind that all my hard work has been worth it, so please hang in there with me as I settle down and learn the ropes in a brand new career.

    I do have a computer in my room with access to the internet. I have not told my students about Landspro. I know that when I do, they will be interested.

    I took a hand count of the students with access to computers and the internet at home, and it was minimal.

    There is so much for these children to learn, and most important of all, they need to learn as you have.

    The ability to learn how to learn and the abundance of information made available to us by the internet is fantastic, but as you know, they also have to learn how to weed out the erroneous information from the good.

    Thanks, so much, my friends for your support and patience. Life will indeed settle down and become normal for me once again.

    You are the GREATEST!!!

    I Thank You ALL from the Bottom of my Heart!!!!

    Today was my first day, and tomorow is my second. For now, I take it one day at a time....
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    NW Oregon
    Posts
    30

    Talking Just a reminder at this important time...

    Have F U N !




    With best wishes from Chachi (and her grandma)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
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    Oh, Susan!

    That means a lot to me.

    Not many of you realize that with this transition to teaching, and as a newbie teacher, I get the ones that are not trying, do not care or for whatever reason do not 'get it'. Ie., the most challenging....

    In two short days, I have gained signficant ground with these kids.

    Perhaps it is simply because I care and know what I am doing.


    All I can say is that no matter how hard it is right now, I am so very glad I have stuck to my guns and tried so hard to make this happen.

    I am actually a High School Teacher!!!

    Oh, my Gosh! I was ready so very long ago. It is about time...


    Thanks!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Central Indiana Zone 5a
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    4,917
    Blog Entries
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    Ann,

    We need more teachers like YOU! All of our school systems would be in much better shape.

    Keep the Faith and don't let the Devil steal your thunder!

    Rebecca

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Western Michigan near Muskegon
    Posts
    1,462
    Ann,
    Last yr. my daughter (Becky 12 7th gr.) was put in the advanced math class. We had a little rough going for a bit and she even begged me to take her out of the class, she was afraid it was to hard for her. But her teacher assured me she was more than qualified. She was bummed cause she finished with a C+, (messed up her straight A's). After her complaining I found out from the teacher that any papers she got low grades on they could redo. She just chose not to. So it was her choice to receive the lower grade, not her abilities. Flat out told her honey this is a life lesson, learn from it. You want the A's then you work a little harder! You don't get stuff just cause it's easier. Nobody ever said life was easy! We are fortunate at our school that we have some very dedicated teachers, just like you Ann!
    Well, she's in advanced math again this yr. 8th gr. and she will earn high school credit for this class. She thinks that is totally awesome!
    Just a little life story from West Mich. Have a GREAT day!
    Happy Growing,
    Vicki in West. Mich.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
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    Thanks ALL!

    Day 3 is complete, and every day will get easier.

    Vicki,

    Thank you so much for sharing that. It is similar to what I am noticing with some of these students. Some just simply do not want to try.

    I did something different for them though. I quickly accessed their work, and noticed the areas in which these children are having the most difficulty.

    My classes are currently with the struggling students. When a few children misbehave and try their best to disrupt the class (new teacher syndrome), I see the disappointed eyes of those that truly are trying but have missed out for one reason or another.

    My first 3 days were spent more as cram sessions. Ie., I reviewed adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing postive and negative numbers. Today, I gave a rigorous lesson on working with fractions.

    Those that realize I am intent to get them past whatever hurdles are causing them to fail listened intently, took notes and toward the end of class thanked me for taking the time to get them past what was blocking them from understanding algebra.

    It's part of getting the students to gain trust in me, letting them know that I care and want to help them, and that is why I have worked so very hard to be their teacher.

    I've seen it before, and I am sure I will see it over and over again. People don't like change. They resist it. Teenagers are no different.

    I've definitely got my hands full, and these first few weeks will be the hardest because everything at this school from administration down is totally new to me.

    But, I know in my heart that I am currently where I need to be. All that hard work is definitely worth it...

    Thank you all!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    NW Oregon
    Posts
    30
    Ann,

    My older daughter is a very bright, very hands-on person, but confinement to a classroom for 12 years was a misery. The high school sent out attendance records with their report cards, and at the first quarter report of her Junior year, I noted that she was late or skipped a class almost every day. Part of my immediate action was to let her know that if she couldn't get herself to Every class ON TIME, then I would have to come to school and escort her myself.

    Well, it wasn't long before my bluff got called, and I actually did pack a lunch and go to high school. What an eye opener for me! Her English teacher was a left-over hippie who was using the lyrics of old drug songs from the 70's for a "poetry unit", her Personal Finances teacher turned on the video tape and disappeared for 45 minutes, and here's the topper -- She was in a remedial math class, and a lot of the kids were completely inattentive, even disruptive. At one point a boy said he still didn't get something, and the teacher raised her voice to the entire class that maybe they wouldn't be so stupid if they paid attention! All of this with me, a parent, in the classroom.

    Unfortunately, back in those days I was afraid to make waves. Not to mention that my kids were out-of-district transfers, and I didn't want to jeopardize their welcome. I should have raised a big enough stink to make the front page! In defense of the school I have to say that the majority of her other classes were very good with caring teachers, and that we specifically sent our girls there and drove 20 miles each way so they could be in the Ag program and FFA. In the end, it was her outside-the-classroom experience and two teachers who were like second fathers with FFA that kept her in school.

    So the point of this ramble, is be encouraged, don't ever give up! Sometimes kids are turned off by horror stories like this, sometimes it's just a teacher who no longer stretches enough to relate to individual needs. Some kids are "different" learners and need to be accessed outside the mainstream. You are really reaching out for your kids. If you can make a measurable difference in the first week of school, just think how you can change the direction of a life in a year!

    Susan

    P.s. I will NEVER forget how much I used to hate graphing x versus y in the 7th grade! Funny thing, I use that kind of data all the time now

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Tex .. near Dallas
    Posts
    280

    survival

    Well .. u survived and I am assuming that u didn't shoot/kill/or otherwise damage any of them .. so I would say u have had a great start.

    You are going to find out that how they react to their former teacher or other teachers in the school .. will not necessarily determine how they will react to u. U care . kids will pick up on that .. and most will respond .. a lot come from homes that are less than perfect and some may come from homes where they are the first to take algebra. the average student/lower students/less than perfect students/minority students get a bum rap. Sort of like pure bred dogs and working dogs. Give me a smart mutt anytime .. I can work with him. Give me a kid with the sparkle gone from his eyes and my heart breaks .. but to see the light come back ... and to have him/her realize that they can achieve ...... whatever they set their minds to .. makes the down days (and u will have them) worth while. Don't ever expect "less from any kid" they will give u what u expect. Expect them to master the material and they will. Don't be their friend .. be their teacher .. friends are equals ...... they like friends . they respect a good .. dedicated teacher... and bust their souther exposures to please them.

    Been there Ann 25+ yrs .. still miss the action and the challanges.... it's a great life if u don't weaken LOL

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
    Posts
    9,934

    My Feet Still HURT!!!

    My thoughts exactly, Jim. I am a professional. After 25 years, that is one trait that I do NOT intend to change... I am not there to be their friend nor am I there to be their 'Mama'. I am there to teach.

    Being a new teacher with a different style is going to take time for the students to absorb. On top of learning so very many names and getting to know them, there is learning a totally different and new administrative system.

    Right now, I have very few supplies, no teacher editions and one very worn out book. I do have a supply of paper and access to making copies, but no study guides to copy for them. I have paper clips, but that is about it.

    I have a white board with no dry erase markers and a chalk board that I can't use because there are too many students to make room to access it.

    I have a filing cabinet with no file hangers, boxes of 'something' to sort through to see what is useful and what is not.

    It took a few days, but the staff is great, and I now have keys to my desk, the filing cabinet and the closet. That's a start.

    Thank goodness this coming week is graduation exams and having a senior home room and no assignments, my week is free to get organized, find the books and materials I need and hopefully 'decorate' the room so that the students will see my taking ownership and responsibility and will be around for a very long time.

    I like being where I am. It is where I need to be. Some things will simply take time.

    The hardest part is conveying to them I care while at the same time taking care of the discipline and behavior issues.

    And, yes, some have already been sent to the office and disciplinary reports written. I have even begun to have parents and the ROTC instructor visiting me to find out why the potentially 'model' student has been sent to the office for misbehavior.

    It is part of 'trying' the new teacher to see how far they can get. These are teenagers, high school students. They all want to be liked and popular. It won't take them long to figure out that they can't 'break' me.
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


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