Stressed Out

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Mairead, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. Mairead

    Mairead New Member

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    Dec 6, 2017

    I am a first year teacher, and I am struggling with all the work that I have to complete. Not only am I completing lesson plans, but I am constantly going to Professional Developments, Meetings (during School and After school), one-on-one meetings with the principal, observations, etc. I feel like I am being watched like a hawk and am under a microscope all the time. I have lost at least 15lbs, I am constantly on my computer working, my own kids feel like I am never available and they are falling behind with their work. I have told the principal that I am overwhelmed, and she says that she does not understand why. Is is normal for me to be so discouraged and stresses out and always working. I feel like I am not teaching my students to my full potential because I am constantly trying to do other work that my principal is requesting.

    Also, is it unusual to have a self contained fifth grade class... I think this might be one of the reasons I am so overwhelmed. Common Core Math is new to me, and I am struggling with the new concepts, and the Novel study that I am doing for reading is a brand new book, so there are no lessons created out there, and the Lucy Caulkins writing curriculum is so time consuming....plus add Science and social studies...I don't even have time to teach that half the time!!!!!
    Is this an over load of work, or am I crazy????
     
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  3. Been There

    Been There Companion

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    Dec 6, 2017

    It sounds like you're in a real sink or swim situation - no wonder you've lost so much weight! Doesn't your district provide any support for first-year teachers? If it does, have you asked the director of the program for advice? Are there other fifth grade teachers at your school or at others in the district that you can collaborate with? If so, they might be able to share lesson plans, materials or provide some helpful advice. Perhaps the district administrator of the Curriculum and Instruction Department can advocate on your behalf to relieve some of the pressure - make an appointment today.

    Whenever possible, try to avoid going to as many meetings as possible (they're usually a waste of time anyway). It's also worth telling the principal again that you are overwhelmed by the unreasonable work load, but this time be prepared to elaborate and explain why. Also, prepare a list of ways that your principal can help to make your first year a successful one. Be sure to tell her how much weight you've lost due to the stress.

    You need to seek some relief before the heavy work load causes you to have serious health problems. Try to talk to those mentioned above before the end of this week. Good luck!
     
  4. svassillion

    svassillion Rookie

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    Dec 6, 2017

    I think this is normal for a first year. Your main goal for the year is to survive. However, I was lucky enough to do that before having kids. I can't imagine having to put all that work in at home with your own kids on top of it. I felt like I never stopped working my first year. It gets so much easier your second year. Were you assigned a mentor who can help?

    And on a side note, I HATE Lucy Caulkins. I used her curriculum last year with my Ks and found it extremely boring. Small moments, pattern books, observational writing is not what a kindergartner wants to write about. If we're going to force 5 year olds to write, at least make it interesting.
     
  5. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Comrade

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    Dec 6, 2017

    It sounds normal, hang in there!!! And count yourself lucky that you're in the camp "stress=weight loss". I'm in the camp "stress=to McDonalds and Pizza Hut I go"!
     
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  6. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Dec 6, 2017

    I teach self-contained fifth grade. It is a lot of planning, but it is doable. Your first year is a learning curve. Pick one subject to focus on for right now, and put all your energy into that subject until you feel better about it. Then add in another subject. There are many online resources for math, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. There are many areas of fifth grade math that teach standard algorithms—even with Common Core. What novel are you using right now? What standards are you teaching with it?
     
  7. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Comrade

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    Dec 7, 2017 at 1:32 AM

    The first year is almost always the worst, at least so I’ve been told. Once you have written your lesson plans for the year, you don’t have to feel like you have to start from scratch. My suggestion is to make digital copies of everything so you can reuse them in years, so save them on a flash drive or in Google Drive. This will make your job SO much easier later on.
     

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