First, try really,
really hard not to be a Negative Nellie.
I understand that may be difficult given that you have been teaching for a long time, may not like all the changes the government keeps imposing on teachers and schools and that you may not even like your students. I get it. Teaching is often unheralded and we teachers are often pariahs. That does not mean that you have the obligation to instill all sorts of negativity into the lives and hearts of new, young teachers. This is the number one reason I do not eat in the teachers’ lunch room. Ever.
Second, be a
welcoming presence in the school where a new teacher has been hired.
I understand all too well that we are busy. We are very busy. I heard a teacher say the other day that she is leaving special education precisely because she is sick of all the paperwork she has to do. Add on top of that training and everything else and it all adds up to busy. But we can all take the time to stop by the new teacher’s classroom and say hello or let him or her know what room we are in if he has any questions. We can do simply things like introducing ourselves or inviting him or her to lunch.
Third, share your
Seriously. You have years of experience, curriculum, ideas, games and projects. Share your stuff! When I first went to my classroom, I had 18 weeks’ worth of stuff from student teaching, a few projects I had completed in graduate school and books from my sons’ library. One of the best aspects of my current place of employment is that the staff has been extremely generous with me. There is no shortage of ideas and no shortage of stuff to share.
Fourth, take some
time to have a nice long training seminar with a new teacher and explain how
the school’s computer software works.
If I have a complaint about my current location, it is here. I had a five-minute training session one afternoon. Other than that, it’s been learn on the fly. I’m sure this is not everyone’s experience, but it may be yours. If you are a seasoned teacher or a mentor to a resident educator, please take time to make certain your new teacher knows the ins and outs of the software.
Fifth, make certain
new teachers are receiving important information.
For many new teachers, the ups and downs of joining a union, buying insurance or understanding the local contract are overwhelming, to say the least. Throw into this important meetings or training days or in-service days and the mix becomes rather confusing.
I assume that it is normal for a mentor to handle most of this, but if you live next door to a new teacher, it will not hurt to pop in every now and again and make certain he or she heard about the retirement party or the after-school meeting taking place in the cafeteria.
It is difficult being a first-year teacher in a new school district. Seasoned teaching professionals can help make the transition smoother by being available and helpful. There really is a lot to learn in the first year of teaching.
So, to Reality 101 readers, based on your experiences as a new teacher, what will you do for new teachers once you make it into the realm of the seasoned professionals?