Do you feel like a natural teacher?

(6 Posts)
trickycat Mon 17-Feb-14 23:12:50

I teach primary and am in a new job. The behaviour is overall good so I feel the class should be more manageable than I feel they are. Maybe I am being hard on myself but I get frustrated with myself if I make mistakes or feel the class is not progressing or they are too noisy etc.

Can anyone identify with this? anywhere good to get tips?

I have always done well (in college/probation years) so feel I should be further on than I am now. Perhaps I am stuck in a rut. Does this even make sense?!

colander Tue 18-Feb-14 23:51:08

How long have you been teaching? I qualified in 1997, although I have had a fair chunk out as a sahm. I would say I have times when I feel like a fantastic teacher, and also times when I wonder what on earth I am doing!
Can you watch others for some ideas? I am secondary so I don't know how much of this will be of use, but if I am not clicking with a class I might see if I could watch someone else teach the same kids, move the seats around, change the layout of the room, throw in some wildly different activities, arrange a trip out, take them outside, do some junk modelling, give them the lesson objectives and tell them to plan the lesson, give them a questionnaire about what they would like to do (lol with guidance!), spend some time watching their behaviour and trying to work out if it was them being annoying or me being irritable, quick rewards, praising those who are getting it right, keeping in at break or lunch for the real pita!
Probably more but I really should go to bed now! Hth

fatcheeks1 Wed 19-Feb-14 19:31:39

Hi, I'm similar to colander (qualified in 96) but only have about 4 years teaching under my belt and a lot of that supply.Sometimes it clicks and I feel that life is good and I am good and I'm doing a good job.Those times sadly are not that frequent for many, many reasons.I put a lot of pressure on myself and cannot always recognise the good teacher/colleague that others talk about.Other times I'm super confident about myself and my abilities but it's often tongue in cheek.Good advice there from colander, I do empathise.Are you feeling like the new little fish in the big pond perhaps? It takes time to settle into a new job/school etc.

bakeroony Fri 21-Feb-14 08:25:54

I hate the phrase "natural teacher". No Head or mentor has ever explained to me what a natural teacher actually does that's different from any other teacher.

I think it's all down to self-confidence, as most things are.

PurpleAlert Fri 21-Feb-14 08:51:01

I used to feel like a natural teacher- when I was allowed to get on with it and teach the way that seemed to come naturally to me. My pupils always did well- make good/ better than extpected progress etc.

Jumping through ofsted hoops means that although I am mostly graded as outstanding I don't feel that I am now teaching in a way that seems natural. It all seems very contrived. I am told that next steps, peer and self assessment, success criteria etc are proven ways for children to make progress but my pupils were doing well before all this crap and they had longer in the lesson to actually get work done...

Sounds like you don't have a handle on their progress, that always makes me feel panicky. Do they all have targets? Writing targets, maths targets etc so you know exactly what they have to achieve to hit the next sub level? And do you have a really up to date assessment folder?

Also, do you have control over them all the time? I find that if I feel like my control is slipping, lots of other things slip too like behaviour.

Eg I wait till every child is looking at me before I start teaching. I wait for every child to be standing behind their table at the end of a lesson, wait for them all to be silent when lining up to go out to play/assembly/lunch etc.
I also use lots of visual communication, and model the behaviour you want them to do eg folding arms so they do, sitting up straight etc.

And I wouldn't worry about your mistakes, my class love it when I make a mistake!!! Hope that doesn't all sound patronising, I totally know how you feel and when it happens to me, I go back to basics and reestablish some of the class rules and go all strict on their asses!!!!!

But in answer to your original q, yes and no! Sometimes it feels amazing and I think I am brilliant, other times I wonder how I am getting away with pretending to be a teacher.

DH once wrote in something he had to send to someone; 'my wife is a primary school teacher' I actually did a double take and looked at him all bewildered, like what, is that me?!?

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