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 my 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 2:07 pm
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 6:39 pm
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Whoa. Good story...kinda makes me nervous. However, I think you did the right thing. I know that there will be many teachers who are going to compare my experience with their and assume that they know the "best way" or the "right way" but teaching strategies and waves of thought are changing all the time and when we go into the field, we are going to have the newest and freshest ideas that their years of experience won't have. So, again, allowing them the discourage you and change what you had originally planned to do would have been a definite loss. Also, if your principal was going to fire you just for being friends with another outspoken teacher, maybe you were in the wrong place to begin with. I know that the world isn't perfect, and that employees aren't always going to get along with their bosses...but if you you felt like you principal was too narrow-minded to allow you to exercise your rights as an American citizen and you had the flexibility to change schools, then maybe that school wasn't a good fit for you, anyway.


Wed Apr 30, 2008 2:46 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2008 10:37 pm
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I think that you handled it the correct way. Teaching is a difficult thing, heck I am just now writing my first lesson plan ever and I am a junior in college! But when you have ideas that you think would work for the students, go ahead and try them out. Those same ideas that those teachers have been using for years started out the same way, someone came up with the idea and then it eventually spread to the others. I do not think that you should let anyone discourage your creativity in helping the students achieve their goals.

As far as the principal, they should have used better judgment before assuming that you were just like the other teacher. Luckily you had your mentor to stand up for you, but if you did not maybe going and talking to the principal might have cleared things up.

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Kristi Allison Edwards


Thu May 01, 2008 9:17 am
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