Year One, and Counting

So, what do all new teachers need to be successful? What do they deserve? What slack can we cut them so that they can better function in a new role, in a new endeavor, in a school that is new to them,  working every day with other peoples’ children?

Let’s say that we’ve been able to recruit some of the best and brightest newly-minted teachers, fresh from undergraduate programs in respected colleges of education. Now, what should we do to retain said teachers? How can we design an induction program (a.k.a. mentoring) that both benefits the new teachers and enhances the educational program that they can provide for their students during years 1-2-3? How can we smooth their pathway into the profession? How can we enmesh them in the culture of the district and of the schools in which they teach? How can we make this work out for everyone?

Talk to a new teacher, or use your imagination, or heck, try really, really hard to remember what your first few years were like. I have some ideas–what do you think?

This entry was posted in New Teachers, Quality Teachers/Quality Teaching, Teacher Education Programs, Teacher Tenure, Teachers and Teaching. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Year One, and Counting

  1. Mike Matthews says:

    You want to know what we need? I’ll tell you. As a second-year teacher, the responsibilities placed upon us are daunting. There were times in my first year where I wondered if I was going to make it through.

    I’m thinking of one thing in particular: The mentoring program for new teachers. I don’t know who comes up with this stuff at the state level, but it was complete farce to me. Aside from the interactions with my WONDERFUL mentor, I found the program to be of little use and simply another rote, form-filled exercise in ridiculousness. We had a huge document to fill out before the end of the year that simply required us to regurgitate information from any host of videos and pedagogy books.

    This is not how education should be. A suggestion my mentor and I had was to give new teacher a few sub days per year to allow them to visit teachers with much more experience in their school and sit in and observe them and perhaps absorb some of what they’d seen. I would have found such a thing much more valuable.

  2. Frederika says:

    I would love to hear from lots of new teachers–year one, two, or three. Or even from more veteran teachers thinking back on their first few years. Mine were so long ago, that it is a very different story these days. The one thing that I know I lacked was classroom management–it was the old beg and plead routine, and it did not work. Then I took some courses as part of my master’s dgree–thank God–now I had a set of strategies for managing kids.

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