Question Detail

How to get over a rough day?

Feb 5, 2015 4:50pm

This is my third week as a new teacher and I always come home, exhausted, and feeling down. My students do not respect me since I am short, young, "too nice", and not experienced.

  • 5
  • Behavior / New Teachers


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    • Feb 6, 2015 11:09am

      I would also add that choosing one thing to focus on each day will help you feel more successful. Maybe this week it is having smooth transitions. Then you can focus your energy on this one area, rather than feeling like there is a million things going on that aren't the way you want them to be. Also, be kind to yourself!

      • Feb 7, 2015 10:43am

        Every student needs someone to relate to. Don't think that who you are in your personality has a lot of bearing on your work. Your first concern should be educating your students and that may mean having no bells and whistles. Teach them and then if anything gets in the way of your job or of their learning, bring out the "guns".

        • Feb 6, 2015 2:11pm

          Remind yourself that every day is a new day. Don't be afraid to change the way you are doing things, mix up routines and rules, re-frame expectations, etc until you find what is working best for you. If you are clear and honest with your students and explain to them why and how you are changing things up then hopefully they will work with you rather than against you to help establish a positive learning environment.

          • Feb 6, 2015 3:05pm

            Know that this will get easier. The first teaching year (especially beginning mid-year) is the hardest point in a teacher's career.

            I encourage you to do three things:
            1) put student behavior first
            2) communicate
            3) reach out.

            1- Putting student behavior first- There are so many places where you can put your attention. If you prioritize classroom management issues (how students enter the room, seating charts, phone calls home, discipline progression), these pieces will open the doors for your instructional goals. Sometimes, putting off the behavioral issues can seem like a short term fix, but getting these to a firm place will pay great dividends. Two excellent resources for support are Harry Wong's THE FIRST DAYS OF SCHOOL, and Doug Lemov's TEACH LIKE A CHAMPION (chapters 5 and 6).

            2- Communicate- You will have far more support with parents and with building administrators if you are proactive in your communication.

            3- Reach out- Seek the support systems available in your building. Do you have a mentor teacher? An instructional coach? Are there supportive, experienced teachers on your team, or elsewhere in your building? Ask questions. Invite others to give feedback. This is extremely complex work, and no one should have to go it alone.

            Congratulations on this new step in your career! Planning, reflection, study, and support will help your situation become easier. Hang in there, and stay strong.

            • Feb 23, 2015 12:13pm

              First, let me say that you can do it! When I started teaching, I found that more than half of my success was my belief in myself. I am short and students struggled with how they addressed me, but I set my standards and "respectfully" and consistently reiterated them on a daily basis. It was rough at first but soon I discovered the students developed respect for me when I showed respect for myself. You are wonderful or you would not be doing this job! You can do it! Believe in yourself!

              • Mar 1, 2015 7:03pm

                I wanted to say thanks to everyone who contributed to this post, I've had a hard week and this was really great to read and reflect!