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Guest Post Up!

I have a guest post up over at JD2718; he's been thinking about new teacher retention, so I wrote an essay from the perspective of a relatively new teacher and what would have helped me. Please go check it out!

I'd love thoughts from anyone, but especially from those of you who are still in your first five - statistically, around half of us should be gone by then. I don't intend to be one of those, and I don't think most of you do either, but are there things your schools or districts could have done (or could still do) to help keep us around?

Ideas here or there are very welcome!

4 comments:

Rachel said...

I like your comments and generally second most of what you said. I think the mentorship is a big one. At my school, there are a lot of activities & policies that we're just kind of expected to know. While the administrative offices need to be better about communicating with the teachers, one way to help with that would be the active mentors who WANT to help. They would be able to give us heads-up, etc. about those things. I had an okay mentor, but she was on the other side of the school, and really it was quicker for me to get info & help from my neighbors - two young next-door teachers who were my lifelines that first year. And more than just having mentors who want to do it, create guidelines for them - what things should they talk/ask about? What else should they DO besides talk? How often should they meet?

Well, I'm preaching to the choir here. Sorry ;)

Something that my school district does that I like is that they have teacher coordinators (not sure of their official title) who help with the transition into our county. They are assigned certain schools and try to stop by anywhere from 2-3 times a semester. They observe a class and make notations to help you before you have an actual observation from a principal, as well as offer tips & suggestions for ANYTHING you need.

jd2718 said...

Thank you for writing in. In NYC the Department of Ed beats up on new teachers and old teachers, but too often we don't stand together; we don't even listen to each other.

But we have a shared future. We have an interest in helping and listening. And in particular, we need to help new teachers stay in the job.

This conversation is intended as a small contribution towards that. You added some important perspective.

Thank you,

Jonathan

jd2718 said...

Oh, and I just finished my twelfth year. But I remember how lousy my first few, especially my first two, were. And I vowed to never forget. Which I have not.

teachin' said...

Rachel - that teacher coordinator thing sounds awesome. What a great resource to give new teachers a heads up on where they're struggling before it impacts their reviews. We have a person at my school who could do something similar, but currently does not - perhaps I'll suggest that change be made.

Jonathan - I think it's great that you're interested in having the conversation. Though some experienced teachers are very willing to help newbies, others just want to be left alone. I was told at one point during my first year that new teachers should be seen and not heard. Awesome. Way to make people feel welcome and valued. Me being me, I ignored that jackass (who has now left) but I don't think everyone would brush it off. So it's great that you actually care (because of course it does matter)!

"I'm a dreamer but I ain't the only one Got problems but we love to have fun" -K'naan, "Dreamer"

I teach eighth grade Language Arts at an urban school. My kids kick ass and will change the world. I want everyone to know.
 
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