The first and second years of teaching can be the most challenging. Research tells us if we can keep young teachers in the field early on, they will be around for years to come. And with the current teacher shortage, it’s imperative that we find ways to provide new teachers with the support and guidance they need to find success.
For many years, we have had programs that provide new teachers with a mentor, someone to show them where the copy machine is, help them with an occasional difficult parent, and to guide them through the first classroom observation. But that is it. These mentor teachers are also responsible for their own classrooms, their own upset parents, and their own evaluations. Their time and their support are limited.
It’s time to provide dedicated resources to support new teachers. New teachers need a system of support to help them gain command of their classroom in a caring and systematic manner.
When teachers are masters of their classrooms they facilitate learning, orchestrate transitions, and keep laser focus on developing student behaviors to ensure a learning focused classroom. They need a trusted mentor to help troubleshoot classroom problems. And, they need job-embedded coaching from an expert who works alongside them modeling the way and providing support as they make adjustments to their practice.
A system of support includes professional development for teachers, mentoring, and coaching. These three elements provide new teachers with the opportunity to build their capacity, work with a thought partner to examine their practice and the ability to practice with an experienced practitioner by their side. Click here to learn more about how IEE is helping districts support their newest teachers.