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 first year teaching - a few experiences 
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Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 9:02 am
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I wanted to tell you about my first year teaching, and the biggest problem that I had. So here goes yet another story...

My first year one of the biggest issues that I dealt with was other teachers who didn't think that I knew what I was doing because it was my first year. Granted, I did still have a lot to learn, but I had a lot of ideas about what I wanted to teach and how I wanted to teach it. When we would sit down in meetings to discuss our lesson plans for the next week and I would throw out ideas about what I wanted to do many times I heard, "Well I don't know if that will work. This is how we've always done it." I got very discouraged at first and very aggravated because I wanted to try my ideas. I wanted to try the things that I had just learned in my education classes, and no one would listen to me. I started teaching right before my 22nd birthday and I think that my age had something to do with it too. I just got sick and tired of hearing that my ideas weren't good enough or wouldn't work. Eventually, I just closed my door and did what I wanted to do anyway. Just curious about your thoughts and how you would handle the situation. Also, I was wondering how you think your age and your lack of experience will affect how you teach.

Another issue that I had was that I was friends with a very outspoken new teacher my first year. She didn't hold anything back and our principal put me in the same category with her even though I tried to keep my mouth shut and just do my job. I found out a couple years later that I was almost fired because of who I was friends with. Thankfully, my mentor stood up for me and said that I was not like this other teacher. So what do you think? Honestly, should I have picked better friends or should my principal have known me better than to assume that I was like my friend?

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Erin Painter


Wed Apr 30, 2008 2:06 pm
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Erin, I can see myself becoming a lot like you in the respect that you "just shut your door and did the way you wanted to." I find myself in that situation with a lot of the things that I do now, and I can see myself really bothering some seasoned teacher because I do not like to stick with the status quo if it is not working or if it could be improved. Also, don't we need to try new things just to keep the classroom interesting and better not only our students' experience but also our own? One thing that I have always said about why I want to be a teacher is that I never want to stop learning. And I know that I will have to do things differently in order to keep myself fresh.

I also think that it was kind of sad that your principal almost fired you because of association with a co-worker. That makes it sound like just because you happen to know the person that you are guilty by association. Especially since you WERE NOT acting like this co-worker, it seems a little immature for you to be punished when you were going about everything very professionally. I understand that principals have a lot to deal with, but I think that they should consider you as a teacher and not who just happens to talk with you before they fire you.


Thu May 01, 2008 10:31 am
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My mother in law was a teacher for 20+ years. She moved to North Carolina and got a job at an elemntary school, but only stayed for one year. One of the teachers seemed to just hate her. This particular teacher was great friends with the principal. So you can imagine that the principal didn't think much of her. I just don't know how I would handle something like that--a dislike that's not based on anything and where the consequences just aren't reasonable.

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Jessica DuBose


Thu May 01, 2008 11:15 pm
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