Posted By Ryan Duques
New Teacher Survival Guide Series Installment Five TutaPoint’s New Teacher Survival Guide series is produced to help teachers new to the classroom navigate their first few months on the job.
A teacher’s first year is often the most challenging. Learning how to manage a classroom, design lesson plans that work for students, cooperate with faculty and administrators, and manage the time to perform all of these tasks and more is difficult for entering teachers. This new teacher guide offers tips for new teachers and strategies for new teachers to help your first year be successful in seven critical areas.
Becoming Part of the Faculty Community: Strategies for New Teachers
Over a teaching career the aid and support of fellow instructors will not only be invaluable, but absolutely necessary. New teachers will be sharing ideas, problems, programs, and students with fellow faculty, so they need to get along as much as possible and join in with the existing school community.
§ Observe faculty reactions. In some cases the faculty lounge is a place to let it all out. In other schools it may be more demure. Respond to and mirror the prevailing attitude.
§ Spend time in the faculty lounge. It’s going to be the best opportunity to meet fellow faculty until you receive…
§ Out of school invites. Accept out of school invites to socialize unless an inappropriate place is suggested or it presents a scheduling conflict. Take early opportunities to socialize with other faculty – or the invitation might not be repeated later.
§ Find a mentor. Every faculty has at least one mentor to new teachers.
Avoid the Cliques: Strategies for New Teachers
As a new teacher, avoiding the cliques until you gain your footing is a wise move. Some cliques are constructive; naturally, math teachers will have a core group and art teachers another. Other cliques are destructive – the administration supporters against the administration critics, for example. In no way does a new teacher want to inadvertently be perceived as an administration critic, especially not in the first week! Here are a few clique-avoidance strategies for new teachers.
§ Respond to everyone equally. If a certain group or individual invites you to lunch, go – then be sure to reciprocate by going with another group or individual later in the week, even if you have to extend the invitation first.
§ Pay attention to dividing lines. Another reason to spend time in the faculty lounge is to see who gets along and what individuals say about the administration, programs, policies, and other points of contention.
§ Take personal information with a grain of salt. One instructor may think another is a poor instructor, or tell you that another teacher is out of favor with the administration. See “respond to everyone equally”, and follow it unless you have a career reason not to.