Adventures in Education!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2003
Adventures in Education!!
10
Wed, 08-10-2005 - 1:09pm

Okay, stop badgering me. I'll tell you what's going on. Geez!!

Well I have had several interviews this summer. The first one went well, he never called. The second one also went well, she called a week later and I accepted that position. But then another school called, I interview with them *the utopia school I told you all about* but they didn't call back...

So, then I go to the week long training of the Mosaica school where I accepted the position.(by the by anyone ever heard of Mosaica and the Paragon Social Studies Curriculum??) It was long and tedious but necessary and we did do some fun activities. It was just so damn long. I mean 8 hours a day for 5 days. Good thing is though, I knocked out 30 hours of professional development in one week...

Then another school calls, I interview with her, but she said their is no room for error when it comes to discipline and if the kids are not "in line" the teacher will be reprimanded. Then I had to write a 100 word essay on what the school's motto means: "No concessions for mediorcrity." My goodness!!

Next, I get a call from yet another school to interview. She asks me when was I available, I said that day or Wednesday because I had an appointment on Tuesday. She said well all we have available is Tuesday at 3:30. I was at yet another training 45 minutes from my place and knew I couldn't be there by 3:30. I asked her if she could move it to 4 I would be there. She said no. I asked if I could see her the next day or even within the same day, she said no, so I had to let that opportunity go...

Then, I talk to one of teachers who will be working with me and she said she had worked at the same school(the one that just called me) and hated it, but they had better benefits. Which makes me feel worse because the woman wouldn't extend the interview time...

So, then at the training for Open Court (by the by what do you all think of it, if you use it) Everyone had to get up and tell about themselves. Everyone was having a baby, or buying a house or getting married, or had a great hobby, except for me....

When I stood up to tell who I was, I said, My name is.... I will be teaching 2nd grade at this school and I have nothing else to say. I have no kids, I am not getting married, I am not buying a home and I don't have any real hobbies. Of course everyone started busting out laughing....lol

Finally, we are in the training and the other second grade teacher seems to be quite uncomfortable around me.(he's male) I know I am not imagining this. But he and the other teachers have worked together before so he has a repoire (sp) with them. When he is talking to me, he gives one word answers and acts as if it's killing him to talk to me....

Really, I am not making this up. There is something about me that some people love and some can't STAND. When we were in the training,(the long 5 dat training) they sat at the back of the room, well I don't sit at the back of any room, I CAN'T SEE. So, we weren't all at the table at first until the presenters told us we had to sit with our group, then when I sat with them they talked so much I couldn't hear....

Alrighty!! But through out the entire training, I felt that I had to make the effort to get to know them, they really didn't make me feel all that welcome. I mean they were polite, but they all hung together and I had to kind of mingle with others. No-problem. Also, I am not just one to mingle with "my own" *wink* I tend to mingle with all, I kind of like to make people come out of their shells a little, you know speak to someone they wouldn't normally speak to...

That's just me. Bottomline, I think I somehow gave my new colleagues the wrong impression of me and that wasn't my intention. Also, I don't know them and they don't know me, so maybe it will just take some time. However, I am not imagining the icy treatment.

Oh and did I mention that I am taking a pay cut, which sucks. Which means I will have to find a way to supplement my income. I guess it's back to the second job routine until next year. Then I will receive my usual 3 percent increase and bonus for great test scores. Yeah!!

Oh and this school has alot of materials too, which will be quite nice. Computers in the classroom, air conditioning and enough supplies for everyone. Wow, that will be new.

Alright any thoughts, questions, concerns or comments??? Talk to me!!

GT34

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-17-2001
Wed, 08-10-2005 - 4:20pm
Hello GT,
Good luck in your new position. I would not worry about the male teacher. Maybe he feels uncomfortable because you are unattached.(That is his problem-not yours.) I think it is terrible that you have to find another job. We work so hard, I don't know how I would manage another job.
I have been teaching for over 15 years in Maryland. I mainly have been in fourth grade. This coming school year, I will be teaching first grade. I am nervous because I have never wanted to teach that grade level. Any how, for the last two years, my school has used Open Court. I totally love it. At first it was hard because you teach the same story to all the students-then you break off in groups during workshop time. It was a lot easier, you have so many materials with the open court. If you want to talk more about Open Court just let me know.
I hope everthing works out well for you.
Laura
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2003
Wed, 08-10-2005 - 6:29pm

Well maybe it's just going to take some time to warm up to me. I know I am not imagining it. But maybe I have done something or presented myself in a way that made him uncomfortable. Also, people can be quite silly. If you don't come in being all friendly and over extending yourself to them, they have a problem with YOU. But make no efforts to get to know you. Oh well!!

As for open court, I know I am going to like it. Oh and the stories aren't the problem, it's all the preparation. For second grade we have 15 days of "getting started" which is using the letter cards and reviewing all the sounds. The question concept board and setting up workshop. It just seems like a hell of a lot of work, but it has been proven to get results. I am so used to Houghton Mifflin, it will be a big change but I am ready.

Thanks for the good wishes. With more materials and a younger grade, I am sure I will have a better year. Now that I am going to have the materials I need, it will be great to see if I am really cut out for this. As far as the second job is concerned, I did it for the better part of ten years. I have had a two year break now, so I can get back to it. I am just planning to put myself out there as a tutor. If I can get a couple of kids to tutor twice a week, I can make up the difference in my missing salary.

Take care and good luck to you too laura. You will be fine. 1st grade is awesome.

GT34

Avatar for sharlene1
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 08-10-2005 - 6:45pm

Wow, sounds like a rollercoaster of a summer! I'm teaching second grade this year too after 7 years in first grade. I used Open Court in first grade but our (goofy) district only uses it in K and 1 then we switch to Harcourt. I loved Open Court. Once you set up it is sooooo easy to do. The first year is a learning experience but after that is is so smooth. I was the only teacher who used it 100% and I always get compliments on how well my former students read.

I hope you have a great year--you soooo deserve it!

Sharlene

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Wed, 08-10-2005 - 7:08pm

Hey, GT! As one who has changed schools and levels many times, one thing I've learned is that most groups are not friendly to the newcomers. There are exceptions, but overall it is like the high school click thing. They are all in a group and you've got to find a way in. Usually being friendly and playing them a little at first will help open the door. Also let them think you need advice or info,

Sherry

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 08-11-2005 - 1:12pm

I'm teaching 2nd grade this year too. Don't know about Open Court - our reading series is Trophies - it's okay, especially in the younger grades. We also have Voyager for the kids who are below grade level. It's totally scripted. It looks like a pretty good program though - the teachers say it's hard to find the time to do it.

I hope you love your job this year! Stephanie

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2000
Thu, 08-11-2005 - 4:20pm

Sounds like you've had a busy summer. I sure hope this coming year is better than last year!

Just a comment on Open Court. It is the series that my kids' school uses. It seems to really hit the ground running in 1st grade, but by 2nd they are pretty decent readers. Both of my boys really struggled in 1st grade, though, with reading.

Karen

 


PJPIIadoration.jpg picture by Kimberly_sahm

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2003
Thu, 08-11-2005 - 5:22pm

Thanks Sharlene!!

The only problems I have are the pay, (taking a pay cut), the dental insurance (it only covers 50 percent) and the neighborhood my school is in. Damn I am sick of working in neighborhoods that looking like war-zones. Otherwise, it will be fine. It's so funny though, all the people I am working with have worked at or interviewed with the schools that called me for interviews. Hmmm?? Interesting. We'll see how things go. I know that I will at least be at this school for the next 3 years. By then I will have my Master's degree and I can teach what I want. I really want to be a Title One teacher. I would prefer to work in small groups and not have to deal with an entire classroom. Take care and thanks babe!! Have a great year.

GT34

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2003
Thu, 08-11-2005 - 5:42pm

Ahh but there's more:

Today we were in more training for Open Court reading and as I was talking to different teachers, they were making some really silly comments which let me know that, "they will not last long in this profession" Hey, I am hitting my ten year mark and then PEACE BEECHES!! So who am I to talk but...

Do you ever just look around and think, "he's not gonna last, she's not gonna last" Cause they were saying stupid things like:

"I shouldn't have to teach phonics in 6th grade." well no you SHOULDN"T but kids from poor low-socioeconomical bacgrounds come to school very far behind and often have high absenteeism rates, if you don't review previous grades, you are shooting yourself in the foot..

Next, the specials teachers were whining about having to learn the Reading Curriculum when it has nothing to do with their particular subject. Oh really?? Good Ideas are universal and can be adapted to any grade, curriculum or program if you do it right.

Then we had the, "Oh I will never teach summer school, ever" people. Um, just when you say never, you will end up doing that very thing you said you would never do....

Finally, we have, "I came from the business world and I must have order, I need to have order, if things don't run smoothly, I will have a problem." Um, then EDUCATION is not the place for you. Heck, we are teachers, which means most of us are anal retentive control freaks who need order too, but you learn to let go of that fast in the education system. Mainly because one year you are in an orderly school and another year you are in a school that is A-backwards.

So, as I was listening to all the people, I told them all, let go of your expectations. You will be sorely dissappointed if you don't. I never know what to expect and sometimes I am greatly suprised and sometimes I am not.

Any more thoughts??

GT34

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 08-11-2005 - 8:46pm

Dear GT,

Your posts are hilarious! I would NOT want to be in training with you because all I need is the slightest peep from someone who thinks its silly and I'm GONE. I shake and laugh to myself nearly every time I go to these things. You think YOU can alienate a room!!!! Everyone takes themselves so seriously all the time, its unbearable.

I thought this would make a good essay for the ninnies at the "essay" school wo couldn't schedule an appointment with you: "I came from the business world and I must have order, I need to have order, if things don't run smoothly, I will have a problem."

Don't write this, though: "Heck, we are teachers, which means most of us are anal retentive control freaks who need order too, but you learn to let go of that fast in the education system."

Your post(s) were so funny. I can't even concentrate right now. Good luck with the new job, and be sure to write about it a LOT. You are a good writer, I think---Pam

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2003
Thu, 08-11-2005 - 11:10pm

Thanks so much Pam!! I am just honest about how I feel. I know that everyone has a style, but what I have come to realize is that you must let go of your expectations in education....

Now I didn't say morals or expectations of your students. I simply mean what you EXPECT a school to be because if you don't, boy will you be unhappy. Also...

I have told all of the new teachers how lucky they are to be starting out at a school that has materials. Cause for many of us, we were handed a grade book, keys to a room and told to "do our best" Besides, textbooks and desks, we had to furnish everything else in the room...

They don't have to do that and neither do I now, but I keep hearing these "nutty" statements and I just shake my head. Thanks again Pam, glad I can keep you laughing. That's my goal.

GT34