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New Teacher Questions



I'm a new teacher...even though I'm a maternity leave, I was hired as a tenure track. The district is taking care of my license, etc. I have a mentor and all that.

I love teaching but I feel a lot of stress and am overwhelmed. I teach 3 different subjects in a middle school. That's not so bad, but I had big projects due for 2 of the subjects within a few days of each other. I'm STILL grading them and it's been a month. There are also a LOT of meetings, faculty meetings, new teacher meetings, and meetings for each subject area. Then there are "association meetings". I'm looking at 6 meetings a month, sometimes. Add to that before and after school extra help and lunch time extra help. And it's a 70 minute drive each way. As I'm writing this, I can see I need to limit my extra help time...I need some time for me...I'm feeling very burnt out.

Unfortunately, my mentor doesn't really seem like she wants to be bothered with me. She's pleasant enough but is more interested in gossiping with her pals than checking in with me to see how I'm doing. She told me to feel free to ask quesions.

Please don't take this the wrong way...I don't expect her to plan my lessons for me or anything like that, but some guidance as to school procedures and the like would really be helpful. When I ask her things, she's vague and evasive.

I think I'm doing ok anyway. I'm pretty sure the teacher I'm in for is going to come back to work.

So, will it be easier just having a year's experience, even if I am sent to a different grade level or school?

Thanks so much for listening...I feel better just unloading that!


Full Member
Do you pay for your mentor?

In my district every new teacher pays a stipend for their mentor. The stipend comes right out of the new teacher's paycheck. Since the new teacher pays for their mentoring service, they feel more comfortable demanding attention. The mentor must meet with the new teacher every week and help with plans as well.

I think you have every right to demand more attention from your mentor and ask for a weekly meeting to discuss your frustrations.

From what you have posted, it is hard to offer a whole lot of suggestions. You really cannot do anything about all of the district-mandated meetings or your long commute to work. (I also have a 60 minute commute each way to work and use it as a time to build up for the day in the morning and to wind down some on the way home.)

As for having to correct all of the projects, is there a way you can stagger the due dates so you get one project at a time that needs grading? I teach at the middle school level. I teach five of the same classes, but I always make sure that when I need to assess their notebooks, I leave time to get them all graded before I have a paper due to grade. Your mentor should be able to help you figure out how to play with your unit planning and due dates to make sure the grading process is not overwhelming.

Good luck! It will get better for you! The first year in any new placement is always the most difficult!


Full Member
Teaching is a time intensive job, but I do have a few suggestions. As a mentor myself, I welcome questions. It gives me a direction and an area where I can do the most good. As far as meetings go, many are mandatory. However, in our district "association" meetings are optional and we have a representative from each school who reports back to us and there is a newsletter. Perhaps that is one meeting that could be skipped if you look into how to get the necessary information. Also, is there any way (in the future) that you could stagger when big projects are due so you don't end up with two at once? If you do have to change schools and can get a shorter commute, that might help free up some time and relieve some stress. Since you have middle school and the kids are a bit older, is there anything you are doing that they could be trained to do? I had to learn to let go and let kids do things to give them more responsibility and frees up time for you!


Senior Member
Being a new teacher is hard work.
Give yourself permission to relax.
It will get better. And yes, even having one year under your belt will make next year easier.
I would like to tell you that the meetings etc will decrease but likely they won't. :rolleyes:

I'm glad you have a mentor. That is a help. I'm sorry it isn't more of a helpful relationship. Is it possible to set up weekly chats with your mentor? Is this person in your school / teach similar subjects? Is it possible to hook up with another group of teachers that you could plan and share with? The wheel has already been invented --- you shouldn't have to re-invent it.

You have already figured out that having too many projects due close to one another results in a huge workload. I think that is a "rite of passage" kind of experience. You can check that off your "note to self" list. LOLLOL Sounds like you learned that faster than I did. I confess that there were some projects that simply didn't get marked my first couple years ---<!--ouch--><!--ouch-->

Is there any way you can eliminate some of your volunteer time before and after school or lunch?

Don't forget --- you have an endless supply of mentors right here on these chat boards.

Your students are lucky to have a hard working, enthusiastic teacher. Enjoy your holiday weekend. :s)


I am thankful for your support

It's so nice to have support. I really appreciate it.

Yes, I am learning a lot through my mistakes! For instance, I just realized that I need more grades for my kids. The marking period ends in a week or so and naturally there are all kinds of final exams so I can't give any quizzes or anything....

Next marking period will be better, simply because I'll have an idea of what's expected of me.

Thanks for listening.