Teaching is a noble profession! To enter the career, future educators move through either traditional or alternative licensing programs, which bring excitement about teaching students and an overwhelming feeling of responsibility for future students. Far too often, new teachers feel unprepared and state that they lack support to help them grow. These responsibility and constant adjustments create additional frustration to the point that 44% of teachers quit within their first five years.
This trend needs to be reversed, and that is one reason the Stride Professional Development Center exists. We have started a “How To” series offering practical examples for instructional practices, will release a video series on YouTube in May to share some additional ideas, and published blogs that can help (look under the “Tips & Tricks” section)
But, right now, we want to help build new teacher confidence by sharing resources that they can tap into over the summer. These resources can help reduce anxiety and worry by replacing it with confidence. Such self-assurance makes the tasks less daunting in those initial days.
New Teacher Resources
Edutopia offers as resource toolkit that provides a series of articles and videos and advice for any new teacher. The resource can help new teachers to avoid mistakes in the classrooms. It also answers questions about subjects, such as teaching techniques, and provides direct guidance on questions new educators will want to ask. Pay particular attention to these two, personal articles:
· What I Wish I’d Known as a New Teacher
· If I Knew Then: A Letter to Me on My First Day of Teaching
Another go-to resource is Teacher Vision. This New Teacher Resource page was created by their Advisory Board based upon feedback from the field. It is detailed by offering a toolkit, classroom essentials, and includes self-care resources. As you scroll down the page, you discover a section allowing you to jump to specific topics that highlights advice for new teachers, what to expect on the first day, and teacher/parent relationships.
New Teacher Survival Guides
The Teaching Channel presents a New Teacher Survival Guide that offers a balance of videos, articles, and resources that focus on classroom management, planning, classroom culture, and practical advice.
Clearly, new teachers are some of the busiest individuals in schools and reading time is hard to find; however, this site includes an article that presents a suggested reading list for new teachers. When you find the article, scroll down to the bottom to find those recommended books.
Share My Lesson has also created a New Teacher Collection that includes free lesson plans and resources. The compilation includes blogs, webinars, articles, and resources that includes Advice from Veteran Teachers. This advice covers a wide range of topics such as exposing motivation myths, keeping an even keel during the ups and downs of that first year, and creating a welcoming classroom with decorations.
When you report to your school and begin the process of preparing for the upcoming school year, be prepared for a lot of information coming to you all at once. You will face days of professional development, classroom set-up, and generally learning about the school/district policies or procedures.
Despite all that is going on, you MUST make the time to meet and talk to your special education team! Ask them questions about how you can work together for the benefit of students you collectively support. Inquire about their expectations for progress monitoring and participation in student IEP meetings. Finally, seek advice on what they want you to know as a brand-new teacher.
These external, new teaching resources and our one practical tip provide learning opportunities before that first day ever occurs. While they will not answer every question or prepare you for every situation that will arise, the information will put you in a better position than I was as a first-year teacher. Even with my mistakes, I know that I positively influence my students as several have found me on social media to say thank you.
With you being better prepared than I was, I know that will make an even larger difference for your students. As a final piece of advice, follow this strategy – whenever a student writes you a note to say thank you, KEEP IT! If it is an email, print it out. Start a folder of all of those from day one because that collection of information will restore your purpose when you feel overwhelmed!
If we can help you during that first year, reach out and let us know.
Thank you for choosing to be a teacher and we hope you have a fantastic first year.