Yesterday was my last day of school. I had one conference with the grandmother of a student. Her granddaughter needs to be retained. I was surprised the meeting went so well. Past conversations with parents involved a lot of denial and requests for evaluations for IEPs.
When I began I met a former teacher at Office Depot. She told me every year she failed one or two students in 2nd grade. I was shocked by this. Now I understand why. That sums up the year for me; someone gave me advice, I thought no that’s wrong and later learned no that was spot on advice. In the beginning I thought I would reach so many students, I was told I should be happy if I reach 3. In the beginning I was told to have a tete-a-tete with my TA, I did not. I was told to not let the parents get me down, I did.
During this year I retained 2 students, something I thought I would never do. During this year communication broke down terribly between me and my TA. I would definitely do things differently. I had parents accuse me of not caring for my students or not following through only to learn there was another bigger issue I knew nothing about.
This was a tough year with lots of growing pains. Next year will also be difficult as I love to a new school and continue to learn more.
My advice for any new teacher; 1. This is not an easy job, 2. Parents can be an obstacle but we must also see their side, 3. Students will test your boundaries you must remain firm and consistent, they will love you for it, 4. Utilize all the resources you can and 5. If a tenured teacher says it then 99.99% of the time it is true, listen, seriously listen.