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Advice For Novice Teachers And Experienced Teachers
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Finding a good mentor is a great first step. Novices who find they have not been assigned a mentor should request one from the department chair or another administrator. A mentor, who provides great professional feedback about lesson planning, classroom management, and assessments, still might not meet all of a new teacher's needs. Perhaps novices also need a colleague more attuned to their personal needs, someone who provides a sense of community just by listening to the same Cartier Pasha Replica music or watching the same television shows. This reassurance might come from a teacher who works next door or who shares the same students. In general, finding more adult conversation during the day might help.
Novice teachers should be proactive in pursuing productive conversations about the specific personal and professional issues that concern them. One of Anna's colleagues, another teacher in her first year and also in the professional development program, wrote: "You must socialize and ask" (Bickmore 112). This teacher's first year of experience taught her the importance of venturing out and seeking colleagues and advice. This advice was echoed over and over again by new and experienced teachers during the second year of the professional development program.
Many successful professional relationships occur when a novice connects with an experienced teacher who has many of the teaching characteristics and practices he or she wishes to emulate. New teachers in a middle school should depend on and communicate with cross-curriculum team members. They can provide advice about student academic advancement, discipline issues, school procedures, and creating positive relationships with parents. In one study, colleagues and I found evidence that changing schools and working in a different culture and climate might make a positive difference in some situations (Bickmore, Bickmore, and Hart). While it is important to find a school that provides an appropriate professional fit, seldom can teachers realistically shop around for an ideal choice.
One final bit of advice for the novice teachers: Valuable experience can come from observing the school from a different point of view. They should attend a football game, a music performance, or a school plays. Getting to know the school and the students in extracurricular settings ushers one into the culture and climate of the school in a manner that cannot occur from inside the classroom.
While novice teachers can extend their efforts, experienced teachers can reach out more. In many instances the structures for including the new arrivals already exist. Regularly scheduled department meetings, faculty socials, and team or grade-level planning sessions can also serve to help a beginner meet both personal and professional needs. Experienced teachers can participate in Cartier Replica Watches planned, quality mentoring by anticipating potential needs and offering help before new colleagues ask. Inviting novice teachers to collaborative planning sessions if they share a common course or unit can also help. Just spending time talking before and after school can help new teachers feel less isolated.
Experienced teachers who remember what it was like to be new should provide a welcoming environment so that, through the combined efforts of experienced and novice teachers, these new teachers will remain our colleagues for years to come.
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