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Where Can New Teachers Get Help?

Great Question!

  1. Go to an experienced teacher that you feel comfortable with and like how they teach. The students will always know which teachers are the most effective. Ask them. Set up a meeting with that teacher, bring a list of your questions with you. A truly effective teacher will be happy to help you and share with you what they have learned over time.

  2. Meet with other new teachers at the end of the week and share what you’ve learned that week. This will feel like happy therapy and is wonderful for all of you. You will feel better knowing that they are having similar challenges. Putting your collective “heads together” will help all of you and you will get ideas from each other.

  3. Meet with your department and review the curriculum guidelines for the year ahead of time. Many new young teachers are worried about knowing exactly what to teach and when. Some schools/departments are very prepared for this and others are a little more loose. If you do this over the summer, before school starts, you’ll feel more prepared. If you are already into the school year and feel that the department does not have a clear guideline for curriculum content and timing then it can help to ask teachers at a different school that teach the same thing. Some of my mentees have had to do that. Hopefully your department is more prepared than that but this solution helped some of my student teachers.

  4. Make a curriculum calendar for yourself so that you feel confident about what you plan to teach ahead of time. This goes a long way in helping a new teacher. The more I tightened up my curriculum calendar for the school year, the more relaxed I felt as a teacher. Even if you have to modify your calendar as students learn the content more slowly or more quickly than you expected, you can always adjust.

  5. If you are having classroom management challenges (we all do at times), here are a few ideas to help:

    1. Ask yourself if your students are engaged in the activities. Students that are truly excited about your lesson plan and learning are WAY easier to manage. If they are not excited, work on a “hook” to stimulate student curiosity and find ways to add relevance to your lesson topic. Give your students some “hands-on” interactive activities in the day or cooperative learning, or small-group discussion. The more your students get to “do” something, the more you will have an easier time managing them.

    2. Check with some other teachers that have good classroom management skills and see what their step system for discipline is. Find the one that you like and feel comfortable with and use that.

    3. Be consistent with your plan once you choose one that you feel comfortable using. Don’t worry if your students like you when you stick to your plan. If you are clear and fair they will love you!

Final Thought: You are not alone! Reach out to experienced teachers and meet with them.

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