New Teacher's Aide Feeling Overwhelmed -- Is this normal???
September 8, 2013 8:51 PM Subscribe
Hi Everyone, I recently took a job as a teacher's aide in a public elementary school. It's my second week, and I like it, but I'm feeling overwhelmed. I think I may want to become a teacher, but I'm having some setbacks that are making me wonder if I am cut out for this field. I feel like I am one step beheind everything and/or totally ineffective at communicating with the kids. Here are some examples (They are long-winded . . . my apologies)
posted by neanderloid to education (36 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
example 1) I am with a small group of 4 kindergarten kids and we are working on handwriting. The kids in the group have varied levels of ability--2 low, one medium and one high. I find myself stuggling to help the low kids complete the work, because they are struggling with how to hold the pencil, attention span, ect. The high level kid is bored because they are already done and I'm giving them random things to do (like draw a picture on the back of the paper that starts with the letter we're working on) and the medium kid is getting almost totally ignored and I feel terrible about that. They basically get their work done, but I wonder if they really performed to their potential or if I let them slide by with sub-standard effort. (I have no way of really knowing) Some of the low level kids are special ed. I wondered if anything I tried to show them stuck, or if it went in one ear and out the other. Sometimes I feel like we are back to square one the next day.
example 2) I have a small group of kindergarten kids and I am working with them on the letter "N" and I tell them the differance between upper and lower case N. I have visual aides. They do a cut and paste activity and at the end almost none of them can tell me the words upper case and lower case. I have no idea what I did wrong and they can't remember. Additionally, almost 12 of them do not follow the directions that are given in spite of the fact that I redirected them during the activity. (I was repeating myself like a broken record.) I was using a sing-songy teacher voice and smiling and using their names, but to no avial.
example 3) I read a short story to a class of 20 kindergarteners in the afternoon and I had to stop almost every minute to redirect them so that they would pay attention to the story and stop talking/playing/fidgeting. I tried to read with expression, using different voices for the various characters to keep their attention, but it wasn't working at all.
example 4) I remind all the children CONSTANTLY about appropriate playground behavior, following the rules, ect. The kindergarteners are not getting it very well. Again, it's the whole broken record thing. I have having to resort to time outs and some negitive consequence stuff. The consequences are the only thing that seems to work for some of them and even then it only works some of the time. I am afriad that I am buidling a bad rapport with a couple of them.
Bottom line: I feel one step behind, I don't feel like I'm teaching the kids anything, and I feel like they do not listen to me at all sometimes. I come home EXHAUSTED! Mentally tired, physically tired and emotionally tired. It's not bad, but I am like 80% spent by 3:00. It's kindergarten for Christ's sake! We're coloring and gluing an singing the ABC'S and I'm feeling like it's really hard work. Am I just really not cut out for this, or is there something that I can change??? Is there a book I can read or a class I can take to get a batter handle on this???? Help! I LOVE the kids and staff at the school, but I am really concered that I just don't have the ability to do my job effectively. Thanks for reading my post and any giving advice that you may have!!!!
I am working at a public school on an Indian Reservation in North Central Idaho. The population we serve is considered "At Risk".
There is a great deal of poverty in the disctrict and the families struggle. Several of the kids struggle wth developmental ad physical disabilities.
Nearly 30% of the kindergarteners I work with came to school unable to write their own names.
Regular school attedence is an issue for a few of the kids.
I worked with kids before a little bit, but I only have like a year of experience previously from being a PSR worker in another school district.
I don't have kids of my own.