I'm glad you vented. Please don't worry about sounding negative. You had a rough first year with a difficult group of kids. I myself am working at an inner-city school this year and despite my 19 years of teaching experience including five years at another inner-city school, I've been having a difficult time readjusting to my class.Originally Posted by Alma_Nueva
I have several thoughts that I would like to share with you.
First and foremost - the first year of teaching is always very difficult. Some people were born to be teachers - but most of us have to learn how to do our jobs As a new teacher you have to integrate everything you learned in your teacher education program - instructional methodology, class management, curriculum design etc. This isn't easy as it sounds - particularly when Johnny is off task talking to Rachel and half the class is complaing that they "don't get" the assignment. While you try to figure out what to do a parent pops by to see you and the school secretary buzzes you over the intercom to see if you have the paperwork that was supposed to have been turned in yesterday.
A classroom can be a very hectic place and learning how to manage everything can take 1-3 years or more. In my case it took five years before I really began to feel comfortable with my job.
So - don't beat yourself up about your first year. Given that 17 out of 20 kids passed the Spanish test, it sounds as though you must have been doing something right, right?
Secondly - there is a national shortage of teachers and bilingual teachers are especially in short supply.
I firmly believe that each teacher has a niche that he or she is comfortable with. My good friend, Bill T. - an erstwhile visitor to this site, is a middle school teacher who prefers to teach 6th grade. His certification will allow him to teach elementary or secondary but he prefers 6th grade. Don't ask me why because 6th graders would drive me bonkers. My own niche is third or fourth grade. Out of the nineteen years I have taught, I have spent 17 years teaching 3rd or 4th grade.
One thing you may want to think about is that maybe you weren't cut out to be a 7th grade teacher. Maybe you should try another grade.
Given my experience with inner-city schools I would also like to say that not everyone is cut out to be an inner-city teacher. I myself am thinking that perhaps I should cut and run at the end of the year. I'm thinking of high-tailing it back to a suburban school where I can work with middle class kids.
Don't get me wrong. I LIKE the teachers I'm working with. I even like my kids - but some of them don't seem motivated to learn and some of them have problems following the school rules. Calls to parents are rarely useful insofar as most of the numbers I've called have been disconnected. When I was lucky enough to get through to a parent, I was told the following. "Feel free to whup the child upside his head if he gives you any grief. You can tell your principal that I said it was okay to give him a whupping."
There was a time when I was a good inner-city teacher. Nothing ruffled my feathers ... but that was eleven years ago when I was younger and had more stamina.
Nowadays I come home exhausted and I must admit that my morale is pretty low.
I do not think this makes me a "bad" teacher. The reality for me is that maybe I don't belong at an inner-city school.
The same holds true for you. Maybe you don't belong at an inner-city school either.
There are all sorts of schools out there. You just have to find your niche. Have you considered switching grade levels? Have you thought about teaching a bilingual elementary class? What about moving up to high school?
Given the shortage of teachers, I would think that most schools would love to have you.