Rules For Posting To This Blog and Weekly Blog Question

1. Only use your first name (no last names, addresses, IM screen names, etc.)
2. Show respect and consideration of others when posting and commenting. This includes individuals, students, organizations, political parties, colleagues, etc.
3. Check all posts for spelling and grammar errors before posting.
4. Protect the privacy of others. Gain permission from other people before you write about them. Avoid sharing someone else's last name. Use job titles or pseudonyms when writing about experiences with your co-workers or students.
5. Watch your language. Use politically correct and non-offensive language.
6. Make sure you write about things that are factual.
7. Keep your postings education-oriented. Avoid discussing plans for the weekend, etc.

This week I would like you to use your imagination. You have just won the lottery and will leave your teaching post immediately to travel around the world. As you leave your keys you meet your replacement. You are asked to give this new teacher just ONE piece of advice. What would that be, and why? Enjoy your world expedition!

Blog Post - Week 7
This past week in my own teaching I felt a little disconnected which prompts my question to you, "What was the moment (or moments) when I felt most disconnected or disengaged as a teacher - the moment(s) I said to myself, I'm just going through the motions here?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 6
For the past couple of weeks you have experienced asynchronous online learning (doing modules by yourself). Previously this semester you have experienced synchronous online learning (all together in the Collaborate room). Which do you think is more effective and why do you think that? Which do you like better, and why?

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 5
This week we have what we call "open mic." You can write a post about anything related to your teaching that you would like responses from your classmates.

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 4
Here is this week's question: "What was the event that most took me surprise this week - and event that shook me up, caught me off guard, gave me a jolt, or made me unexpectedly happy?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 3
Please write a post about the following question, "In thinking about my past week teaching what is one thing I would do differently, and why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 2
Please write a post about the following question, " In thinking about my teaching activities this past week, of what do I feel most proud? Why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 1
Describe something you used in your program in the first weeks of school that you learned in the summer NTI program. How did it work? Did it get you off to a stronger start than last year?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Help me I am drowning....

I felt that title was appropriate because I think we all feel or have felt that way at one point or another in our teaching career. Granted, this is my second year doing this, but I still feel that way. Maybe it is because I was just oblivious to how I should have been doing things last year, but I am exhausted. Trying to keep up with NTI and all these new concepts and terms I have never even heard of, lesson plans, evaluations, TKES, and oh yeah just teaching, I feel like I am slowly going under. I will just be honest, if I didn't have a wife in education that can help me when I feel clueless, I would have already hung it up and went back to being a police officer. NOTHING could have prepared me for what it was going to be like as a teacher. I used to sit in my office as a School Resource Officer and think I can do that. Boy, was I mistaken as to the actual responsibilities that fall on teachers. We are asked to teach, keep up with tons of paperwork, IEP's, complete lessons plans for multiple classes, not to mention the other hundred things that we are asked to do on a daily basis. Then, as someone else stated, we are asked to motivate what seems to be the most unmotivated group of kids. For the most part, when they come to class, they don't want to do their work and they don't care if they get a bad grade or not. Now, this isn't all of them, but it seems we spend most of our time on them. What is the saying, you spend 95% of your time on 5% of your students--there is much truth to this.

I have also decided I need a class in organization, that being organized is essential to surviving in teaching. This has been a very eye-opening second year for me. I have definitely realized that teachers are underpaid and under-appreciated. This is one hard job--rewarding, but difficult.



Mr. H said...

JT I feel I am in the same boat as you. When I first started reading your blog I felt like “Man, that is me right there…” All the teachers around my school have a saying, and ever since the first day of pre-planning they have been telling it to me. Over and over I have seen teachers in passing and they all say the same thing to me, maybe a little because I am new at this whole teaching thing. They all say, “Keep your head above water.”

The first few weeks of school I thought, I can do this. I have this thing down. I was pumping out lesson plans and keeping about a week ahead of schedule with my Edmodo posts, lesson plans, and Essential Questions. However, by that third week of school I had this unnerving feeling of uneasiness. It was like I was Luke Skywalker rushing off of Dantoine to head to face Darth Vader and once he stood before his soon-to-be-announced father he had that Oh no, what have I gotten myself into moment.

What I mean to say is that I agree with you in that nothing and no one could ever prepare someone for being a teacher. You could spend thousands on mock classroom environments and go to all forms of training but at the end of the day when you are standing on that metal platform looking up at Darth Vader (Those five percent kids) the question is are you going to give that five percent right back to them or are you going to push that ninety five percent?

I know this week has been full of my own challenges being as it was the end of the first nine weeks of school. Of all my 90 plus kids I only had TWO who were in the failing percentile. I had offered after school tutoring, allowed them to take the book home to get caught up, and even reassigned some quizzes in the hopes that some of my own five percent would take the bite. At the end of the day NONE of them did. I had five that were at-risk in my book and not a single one put forth extra effort to raise the bar.

In closing, two kids with a failing grade may not seem like a lot, but to me those are two kids I didn’t try hard enough for or fight hard enough for. If I have learned anything from reading your blog JT it’s a simple revelation… You give until you can give no more. And while you give, you NEVER give UP. You continue to fight the good fight and be there for those five percent because quite frankly, at the end of the day, more than likely no one else will.

Keep your head up and know you are doing the right thing. For every teacher out there who has been burned out and torn, battered, beaten, and bruised by the daunting task that lies before them, there is a new teacher willing to fill the shoes of the ones that have moved on. I know that I am thankful to be in the company of everyday heroes and inspiring lights… as corny as that may sound, being a teacher is not just a job. It is a way of life, it is a philosophy in and unto itself, but most of all it is a chance. It is a chance for those of us called teachers to have our chance to change the world one student at a time.

Mr. H.

Trenton said...

Right there with ya JT. This is my second year as well, and had anyone told me the second was going to be tougher than the first, I may not have returned at this past August. You are correct, in all the statements you made, but especially the one about it being rewarding. I have to constantly remind myself that this entire job is about the students and our influence on them. I too am disorganized, distraught, and at time disgruntle(that 5% you spoke of), but I attribute this all to still being a green rookie. My program is still not up to it's full potential and probably won't be for a couple of years. I feel bad for the students I have know because they are not receiving that full potential, or heck even my full attention, but they are still getting my support and dedication. We learn from one another. Keep up all your great efforts, you are changing lives daily.

Sonya Dunbar said...

Hi JT, you gave a very accurate description of what my second year felt like. There were times I felt as if I was just trying to make it to the next break. A lot of it was because I had WAY too much going on personally but the other part was due to poor organization like you said. We rarely get enough time to spend in our classrooms to actually get some real work done. Planning periods and teacher work days are often interrupted by administrative directives. I am into my third school year now and I have been able to tweak my system a little more each school year. I do invest time after school in my classroom just to get myself together for the next day. It is not a good feeling to arrive to school the next day to meet things in disarray. You also might find it helpful to link up with other teachers (veterans) who don't mind giving you pointers. They don't necessarily have to be CTAE teachers. Look at their classrooms for set-up and organization and ask them how they do things. I am the only one teaching healthcare at my school so most of the time I am flying solo. My first year I felt like I didn't have much support but by my second year I knew that most teachers felt the same way or at least started out feeling that way. So, I guess the old adage "how do you eat an elephant?" comes into play here...the answer is "one bite at a time" :)