How to survive your first year teaching


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How To Survive Teaching Middle School Students

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How to survive your first year teaching

  1. 1. How To SurviveTeaching Middle School AmeriCorps Member Orientation 8.21.2012
  2. 2. “Overwhelming and Not Without Tears.”This is how too many first- year teachers describe their first few days on the job. Unfortunately, this feeling can last much longer for some teachers, and can even result in some searching for a new career.(Harris, 2003)
  3. 3. THE FACTS…..• “The teaching occupation suffers from chronic and relatively high annual turnover compared with many other occupations.” (Ingersoll & Smith, 2003)• The turnover problem, although high for the entire teaching occupation, affects beginning teachers more than others.• Teaching loses many of its newly trained early in their careers…..long before retirement.
  4. 4. THE STATISTICS… Beginning teachers were asked why they left… • 19% - reasons such as cutbacks, layoff, termination, school closings, etc. • 39% - left to pursue a better job or another career. • 29% - left due to dissatisfaction with their teaching career • (Ingersoll & Smith, 2003)
  5. 5. LET’S TAKE A CLOSER LOOK…These final two reasons (jobdissatisfaction and pursuit ofanother career) account for morethan 2/3 of beginning teachers • Student disciplineleaving their jobs. problems • Lack of support from administrationWhat were the reasons for the • Poor student motivation29% who left due to job • Lack of teacher influencedissatisfaction???? on classroom decision making (Ingersoll & Smith, 2003)HERE THEY ARE…….
  6. 6. This is a Critical Time!! “Given the fact that fully half of the teachers who will be teaching in the year 2015 will be hired over the next decade,SOME MORE FACTS: this is a critical time to• Approximately 200,000 new transform the quality of teachers will enter the teacher preparation.” profession each year. -Linda Darling-Hammond• Up to 50% of new teachers “The Quiet Revolution: will leave teaching within Rethinking Teacher Development.” their first seven years of (March 1996). teaching. Education Leadership, p.6• (Wong & Wong, 1998)
  7. 7. What the First Year is Like… (
  8. 8. The Five Phases….• Anticipation Phase• Survival Phase• Disillusionment Phase• Rejuvenation• Reflection
  9. 9. ANTICIPATION PHASE• The anticipation phase begins during the student teaching.• The closer student teachers get to completing their assignment, the more excited and anxious they become about their first teaching position.• This phase usually lasts through the first few weeks of school.• (
  10. 10. SURVIVAL PHASE• During the first month, beginning teachers are often bombarded with a variety of problems that they had not planned on.• There is little time for new teachers to stop and reflect on their experiences.• New teachers spend up to 70 hours a week on schoolwork.• Become focused and consumed with the day-to- day routines of teaching.• (
  11. 11. DISILLUSIONMENT PHASE• After about 6-8 weeks, new teachers are faced with several new events (parent conferences, evaluations by administrator, etc. )• New teachers start questioning both their commitment and competence, express self- doubt, and have lower self esteem.• (
  12. 12. REJUVENATION• Usually occurs in January, soon after returning from winter break.• There is a slow rise in the new teacher’s attitude toward teaching.• They gain new coping strategies and skills to prevent, reduce, or minimize problems.• (
  13. 13. REFLECTION• “It is critical that we assist new teachers and ease the transition from student teacher to full-time professional.” (• We need to know the ways to help new teachers during their first years, so they have a more positive experience.
  14. 14. So Who Can Help Change this Problem?? • School and district administrators • Other teachers within the building • Counselors • The new teacher too!
  15. 15. Getting Help from Your Colleagues• You will find that different teachers in the school will have different strengths, so don’t be afraid to use them as resources. For example, there might be one colleague who is a creative lesson planner, and one that is an extremely caring individual that you could talk to. (Rominger, Laughrea, & Elkin, 2001)• Counselors and psychologists are often helpful when dealing with difficult children and even difficult parents.• Sometimes second year teachers, the “sophomores”, can provide some of the best advice. They can remember the successes and failures from their first year the best!
  16. 16. Words of Advice from a Few Second Year Teachers ( • Take charge • Keep students busy and engaged • Get peer support • Get parental support • Organize yourself • Organize your students • Write and reflect • Have Fun!!
  17. 17. The ABC’s for First Year Teachers (• Admit your mistakes – and learn from them.• Be firm but flexible.• Communicate with parents.• Develop a homework policy – and stick to it.• Empower your students; don’t just lecture to them.• Find time to attend after-school events.• Get to know all the teachers in your school and make friends with cooks, custodians, aides, and secretaries.• Have the courage to try something else if what you’re doing isn’t working.• Institute a clear discipline policy – and enforce it consistently.• Just listen – both to what the kids are saying and to what they’re not saying.• Keep a journal.• Learn your school’s policies and procedures.• Model desired attitudes and behavior.• Non carborundum ignorami. (Don’t let the imbeciles wear you down.)• Overplan.
  18. 18. The ABC’s for First Year Teachers (Cont’d)• Prepare interesting lessons.• Quit worrying and just do your best.• Remember that you teach students first, then you teach whatever academic discipline you learned.• Stay alert.• Take pictures.• Understand that the learning process involves everyone - - teachers, students, colleagues, and parents – and get everyone involved.• Volunteer to share projects and ideas, and don’t be afraid to ask others to share their ideas with you.• Work within your limits.• Xpect the unexpected - - and plan for it.• Yell if you need support.• Zero in on you strengths, not your weaknesses.* Education World compiled this list with the help of numerous teachers who “survived” their first year teaching! (
  19. 19. MENTOR PROGRAMSDefinition- A mentor is a veteran teacher who has been assigned by either the school or the district 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 an entire school year. (Rominger, Laughrea, & Elkin, 2001)
  20. 20. Mentors Will Provide Details to Help You…• Organize and manage • Provide instructional classrooms resources and materials.• Maintain student discipline • Communicate with parents.• Pace lessons. • Deal with stress. • Prepare for and conduct• Plan for instruction parent conferences.• Use time effectively • Understand the different• Diagnose student needs. learning styles of students.• Evaluate student progress. • Become familiar with• Motivate students. system-wide policies. • (Curriculum Review, 2003)
  21. 21. Keys to Success for New Teachers • Be Reasonable • Organize your Life • Reflect
  22. 22. BE REASONABLE• You went into education to help students, but need to know you won’t save them all.• Don’t expect lots of positive feedback from students….students do complain.• Teach what you are comfortable teaching.• You can’t do it all your first year. ORGANIZE YOUR LIFE• Don’t expect to have too much free time outside of student teaching or your first- year teaching.• Find a lesson plan format.• List changes that you should make before teaching it again.• It is OK if you are only a day or two ahead in your lessons. REFLECT• Make short notes about how policies work, how units went, and think about how you treat your students.• Take compliments seriously and criticism lightly.• Talk about your frustrations to others.• Take time for non-education reflection. (
  23. 23. You Must Establish Routines and Procedures!!! Establish routines and procedures to handle daily “A smooth-running classroom business such as: class is the• Use of restrooms responsibility of the• Distributing and collecting teacher, and it is the materials result of the• Setting up and running equipment teacher’s ability to• Lining up at the door teach procedures.”• Beginning and ending expectations for attendance, seating , dismissal, etc. (Wong & Wong, 1998) (
  24. 24. Why are Procedures Necessary?• They allow many different activities to take place efficiently during the school day.• They increase on-task time and greatly reduce classroom disruptions.• They tell a student how things operate in a classroom, thus reducing discipline problems.• Procedures are statements of student expectations necessary to participate successfully in classroom activities.• (Wong & Wong, 1998)
  25. 25. CONCLUSION…• The fact that 50% of new teachers will • New teachers can get a lot of leave the profession is disturbing. We support from various colleagues in must be able to find ways to reduce this the school, such as principles, from happening. counselors, and fellow teachers.• Teachers move through 5 phases: • Mentoring programs are strongly anticipation, survival, disillusionment, recommended for new teachers, as rejuvenation, and reflection. These it will help them get many of their phases are useful to help us understand questions answered. the feeling new teachers have, which • New teachers must take the time to will allow us to help them. create routines and procedures to• It is very important for administrators help their classroom run smoothly. to take time to listen to new teachers, • First year teachers must be and follow certain steps to make sure reasonable, organize themselves, their first year is a success. and reflect on their teaching.
  26. 26. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR FIRST YEAR TEACHERS:• MiddleWeb’s The First Days of Middle School Developed for new middle school teachers, this resource is packed full of advice and tips for ANY teacher, new or experienced!!• A ‘Survival Kit’ for New Teachers A new resource, with practical ideas for classroom use, makes a great gift for new teachers!• What to Expect Your First Year of Teaching This U.S. Dept. of Education on-line book is “based largely on a series of discussions held among winners of the First Class Teacher Award sponsored by Sallie Mae.
  27. 27. CHAT WITH TEACHERSWHO ARE EXPERIENCING THE SAME PROBLEMS!! • Teachers.Net Chatboard Provides 24 hour mentoring for teachers, and provides peer support which many new teachers need. Discuss issues within your classroom with other teachers.
  28. 28. REFERENCES• Ingersoll, R., & Smith, T. (2003). The Wrong Solution to the Teacher Shortage. Educational Leadership, 60, 30-33.• Harris, J. (2003). How to Survive the First Year of Teaching. Momentum, 34, 48-51.• Renard, L. (2003). Setting New Teachers Up for Failure…or Success. Educational Leadership, 60, 62-64.• Rominger, L., Laughrea, S., & Elkin, N. (2001). Your First Year As a High School Teacher. Roseville, CA: Prima Publishing.• Tips for Creating an Effective Mentoring Program for New Teachers. (2003, April). Curriculum Review, 42, 6.• Wong, H., & Wong, R. (1998). The First Days of School. Mountain View, CA: Harry K. Wong Publications.
  29. 29. Website References• Advice for First-Year Teachers – from the ‘Sophomores’ Who Survived Last Year• Assisting First Year Teachers With Classroom Management• 1st Year Teacher Attitudes Toward Teaching• Keys to Success for New Teachers
  30. 30. Good Luck!! The End