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How to Survive your First Year Teaching

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  1. How to Survive your First Year Teaching New Teacher Induction Program Paradise Honors High School July 19th, 2013

  2. “Overwhelming and Not without tears” Unfortunately, this is how many new teachers describe their first few days in the classroom, and for some this feeling can last for quite awhile. For some, it will even lead to a career change. (Harris, 2003)

  3. Facts and Stats • “The teaching occupation suffers from chronic and relatively high annual turnover compared with many other professions.” (Ingersoll & Smith, 2003) • The turnover problem, although high for the entire teaching occupation, affects beginning teachers more than others. • 19% left due to cutbacks, layoffs, termination, or school closings • 39% left to pursue a better job or career • 29% left due to dissatisfaction with their teaching career • (Ingersoll & Smith, 2003)

  4. A Closer Look These final two reasons (pursuit of a better career and job dissatisfaction) account for more than 2/3 of beginning teachers leaving their jobs. What were the reasons for the 29% who left due to job dissatisfaction? HERE THEY ARE . . . • Student discipline problems • Lack of support from administration • Poor student motivation • Lack of teacher influence on classroom decision-making • (Ingersoll & Smith, 2003)

  5. This is a critical time!(For you! Yes, You! Right now!) SOME MORE FACTS: • Approximately 200,000 teachers enter the profession each year. • Up to 50% of new teachers will leave the profession within their first seven years. (Wong & Wong, 1998) Thus, this is a critical time for us to develop and implement effective new teacher training programs to ensure your professional health and happiness!

  6. The Phases of a First-Year Teacher

  7. Anticipation Phase • Begins during student teaching • The closer a student teacher comes to finishing his/her studies, the more excited and anxious he/she becomes • This phase typically lasts through the first few weeks of one’s new teaching assignment

  8. Survival Phase During the first month of the school year, teachers are often bombarded with a variety of problems they had not planned on. There is little time for new teachers to stop and reflect upon their experiences. New teachers spend up to 70 hours/week on school work. They become focused and consumed with the day-to-day routines of teaching.

  9. Disillusionment Phase • After about 6-8 weeks, teachers are faced with a series of new events (conferences, evaluations by administration, benchmark testing, etc.) • New teachers start questioning both their commitment and their competence, express self-doubt and have lower self-esteem.

  10. Rejuvenation Phase • Usually occurs in January, shortly after the return from Winter Break • Teacher attitude begins to rise towards his/her profession • New coping strategies are gained to prevent, reduce and minimalize problems and stress

  11. Reflection • Occurs at the end of the school year as teacher reflects on his/her successes and failures • Anticipation builds for the next year • Leadership Reflection: • How can we help you have a more positive teaching experience here at PHHS?

  12. Our Goals • Only hold new teachers accountable for professional development activities designed to boost classroom effectiveness • 1 weekly Cluster meeting • 2 bi-weekly Teacher Induction meeting • 1 weekly mentor meeting (as needed) • Assign each new teacher a mentor teacher he/she can connect with in a one-on-one setting.

  13. Advice for 1st Year Teachers from the vets! • Take charge! • From day one, establish the classroom environment you desire from your students. It is easy to start off strict and get looser as times goes by. It isn’t easy to start loosey goosey and then firm up. (Ask any vet!) • Have a seating chart. • I repeat: HAVE A SEATING CHART! • Keep students busy and engaged! • Over plan!Over-preparedness is looked upon highly in this profession. • Integrate multiple learning styles into your lessons. Create movement, incorporate music, allow for interpersonal learning opportunities.

  14. Advice for 1st Year Teachers from the vets! • Organize yo’self! • Start simple. Organize your curriculum maps, your lesson plans and your student profiles for easy accessibility throughout your day. • Create a system for turning in assignments. Don’t forget about late work! • Designating a space in your room for assignment submissions is a great way to avoid the classic case of the “teacher desk”. (It’s a hard ailment to combat after onset.) • Create email folders. • Don’t let your inbox fill up with 309 messages. Create folders with labels for filing purposes. • Bonus: Never delete an email from a parent or student! Save these files under “Parent/Student communication” and create a folder for each student you receive communication about/from.

  15. Advice for 1st Year Teachers from the vets! • Reflect! • Reflect upon your daily successes and failures. • Use your colleagues as a sounding board! • Mentors and your MT are great resources for curricular and classroom management needs! • Trouble with a student or a parent? Talk with their guidance counselor? • Craig Alessio: A-Ma • Thom Hughart: Mc-Z • Have fun! • Remember why you became a teacher. Refer to this tidbit often.

  16. Your Mentors • Definition: A mentor is a veteran teacher who has been assigned by PHHS Leadership to a first or second year teacher. The mentor is a resource for the beginning teacher and someone to whom that teacher can turn with any questions. The mentor helps the new teacher for the length of the entire school year. • (Rominger, Laughrea, & Elkin, 2001)

  17. Mentor Responsibilities • Mentors will help you . . . • organize and manage classrooms. • maintain student discipline. • pace lessons. • plan for instruction. • use time effectively. • diagnose student needs. • evaluate student progress. • motivate students. • provide instructional support and materials. • communicate with parents. • understand the different learning styles of students. • become familiar with school-wide policies. • deal with overall stress.

  18. Three Keys to Success for New Teachers • Be reasonable! • You went into education to help students. Understand that you can’t save them all. • Don’t expect lots of positive feedback from students. Students complain, regardless of how engaging and fun the lesson. • You can’t do it all your first year. • Organize your life! • Don’t expect to have the free time you enjoyed before your first year as a teacher, but don’t eliminate your fun, either. Family and friends are a necessity during this time. • Find a lesson plan format that works for you. • It is okay if you are only a day or two ahead in your lesson planning.

  19. Three Keys to Success for New Teachers • Reflect! • At the end of the day, take short notes on how your lessons went. What graphics worked well? How was your pacing? How did you treat your students? • Take compliments seriously and criticism lightly. • Talk about your frustrations to Mike, Jessica, or someone else you trust. • Negativity is not an option! Let us help!

  20. Establish routine procedures! • “A smooth-running class is the responsibility of the teacher, and it is the result of the teacher’s ability to teach procedures.” (Wong & Wong, 1998) • Establish daily procedures for: • Use of restrooms • Distributing and collecting materials • Setting up and running equipment • Attendance • Bell Work • Dismissal – The bell does not dismiss your class – you do!

  21. Why are procedures necessary? • Wong & Wong (1998) suggest various reasons for establishing routine procedures within the classroom: • They allow for many different activities to take place within a singular class period. • They increase on-task time and decrease disruptions. • They tell a student how things operate in a classroom, minimizing discipline issues. • Procedures are statements of student expectations necessary to participate successfully in in classroom activities. • Students need structure!!!

  22. Reflection • Take this time to reflect upon your establishment of routine procedures, such as taking attendance, collecting assignments, or using the restroom. • How will you communicate these expectations to your students? • How will you hold them accountable for their actions?

  23. Resources Ingersoll, R., & Smith, T. (2003). The Wrong Solution to the Teacher Shortage. Educational Leadership, 60. 30-33. Rominger, L., Laughrea, S., & Elkin, N. (2001). Your First Year as a High School Teacher. Roseville, CA: Prima Publishing. Wong, H., & Wong, R. (1998). The First Days of School. Mountainview, CA: Harry K. Wong Publications.