Thrown In The Deep End

The musings of brand new high school science teacher

I have survived!

Well, I have survived my very first term as a teacher.  10 weeks.  For the past 2 weeks I have been hanging on by a very thin thread.  I've turned into a cranky cow and I am really not suffering fools - especially those aged between 11 and 16!  I need these 2 weeks off so I can just catch my breath.

I do have a lot of work to do... lots and lots of marking!  And if I feel motivated to do so I will try and plan a good 3-4 weeks of lessons before the first day of term 2.

Despite all that there is one thing I will be doing this holidays... I shall be sleeping in EVERY SINGLE DAY!  I will also have an afternoon nap if I so desire!  Ahhh sleep, how I have missed thee!

So what have I learnt about myself as a teacher this first term...

Here are the not so good points...
  • I'm too soft.  I need to be a lot harder on the girls (have I mentioned I work in an all girls school?) because the amount of respect they are showing me has slipped dramatically over the 10 weeks.
  • I need to give more homework assignments.  I give them time in class to finish the work and then they are expected to finish it before the next time I collect their books.  They aren't finishing the work.  I usually collect a lot of work at once every few weeks but now I am going to collect at least 1 or 2 items a week.  All my classes receive marks towards their final semester grade for their classwork - it should be the easiest marks they can get.
  • I need to do more preparation with regards to certain topics because I hate being put on the spot with questions that I just don't know the answer to.
Here are the somewhat better points...
  • I am fair.  I treat everyone the same which is sometimes hard to do.
  • I enjoy teaching even if I would like to string them all from the ceiling at times.
  • I don't see going to school each day as a job... I just see it as a part of my life that needs to be done.  I proved this to myself when I was as sick as a dog but still went to school.  In any of my previous jobs I would have called in sick for up to a week!  I did have a couple of sick days in my first few weeks but I was really sick and couldn't get out of bed.
  • I have the ability to build a good rapport with most students.
We recently had parent teacher interviews and I received some amazing feedback from the parents.  Their girls had told them I was their favourite teacher.  Their girls now considered science their favourite subject.  It was very nice to hear that I was doing something right because at least once a day I question my ability and question if I am doing it right.

I suppose the test results for all my classes should have told me I was doing ok (very good averages!) but sometimes you need to hear it from someone!

Ok that is enough typing for one day!

Posted: Sunday, April 13, 2008 12:02 PM by MissBeaker

Betty said:

It sounds like you are off to a good start with your class.  Even after years of teaching, I found myself going through the same self analyzing thoughts.  Each group of students is different.  It is nice to get positive feedback from the students and parents.  Enjoy all of that extra sleep.:)

# April 13, 2008 2:26 PM

Barbara Rice DeShong said:

Rock on!  I've always hated when I've been sick, but "had" to go on working, and like you, to make it through was a victory.  I'll come back to hear more of your adventures.

I'm a psychologist writing as

# April 15, 2008 9:08 PM
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