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 Lessons learned my first year of teaching 
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Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2003 3:01 pm
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My first year of teaching I taught at a school in Gaston County. I was so excited to have a job, because at the time I graduated, unlike now, it was difficult to get a teaching job. I had been subbing and doing interims for over a year and a half. It was the most difficult year of my teaching career. I know the first year is always stressful, but I wasn't prepared for all the barriers I encountered, especially with my students' language. I learned lots of new words that year. I know my students had a hard time relating to me, too. I tried to make the class interesting, but many of them had such difficult home lives - such as living in their car, parents in prison, rat infested homes, etc. I really didn't know how to deal with all the situations that I was faced with. I left teaching for two years after finishing that school year. I felt like I had failed all the students in my class that year. As I look back on it now, although it was the most difficult year, it is the year I learned the most from. I feel that it made me a much better teacher and if I were faced with that situation again I would be much more successful in helping my students to succeed and I would be better able to communicate with them.


Tue Apr 22, 2003 10:40 pm
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Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2003 7:16 pm
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Location: Glen Alpine Elementary
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Hey, Melissa. Why did you feel they were speaking a different language? Were they actually bilingual or was it dialect? It MUST have been a tough year. You're right, my first year was the hardest too. So hard in fact that I think I was still in a daze my second year because I don't even remember much about it! I think I was still shell-shocked. I never imagined the hardships our students face. And unfortuantely, I don't know that I could have understood without living through it. But isn't it wonderful that you and I both are still in the game, still working hard, and still trying to make a difference. You know, I think there's something to be said about people like us 8)

On another note - got you message about tonight. We'll take good notes for you and catch you up on whatever you miss. See ya tonight!


Wed Apr 23, 2003 7:19 am
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Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2003 12:35 pm
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Location: Maiden Elementary
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Melissa, your first year of teaching reminded me of my first year. Jobs working with children were hard to find. My job was very challenging. I wish I would have had the help that is available for beginning teachers now. However, I gained a wealth of experience in that one year. :idea: I also learned a lot about teaching "other people's children." I was a minority in my classroom.

Cindy


Wed Apr 23, 2003 10:09 am
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Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2003 3:01 pm
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I'm glad you saw my note about being late, Regina. Thank you. After I posted it, I got to thinking that maybe I should have put it as a new topic. The kids in my class during my first year used slang words and most of the time I had no idea what they were referring to when they used these slang terms.


Wed Apr 23, 2003 10:32 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2003 1:10 pm
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Location: Webb A. Murray Elementary
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Melissa, I did subbing and interims for a year and a half also. I had one interim position that could have turned into a full time job for the rest of the school year. It was a rough situation (a lot of behavior problems and no support at home). I completed my six week obligation and then went back to a TA position that I did at a private school. Had I completed the year in that classroom, I don't think I would be teaching today. I know more now how I could have changed things, but when you are beginning and in situations like that for the first time you are so unprepared. I am glad you came back to teaching and I am glad I made the decisions I did---I know we are better teachers for it.

Kim


Thu Apr 24, 2003 1:56 pm
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