Five Scenarios a New Teacher Will Face and How to Cope
Dec 11, 2008 Teacher Training 2107 Views
In helping many college students over the years make a smooth transition into the education profession, there are a few concerns that stand out among the rest when it comes to fears and scenarios associated with a new teaching position.
I have written many memoirs and documents on the countless scenarios that new teachers face as well as numerous of accounts of the many fears new teachers face when it comes to their first job. I can think of five prominent scenarios that concern a new teacher during their first year. These are scenarios that will repeatedly haunt a new teacher if the expectations and guidelines are not clear from the get go.
1. Classroom Chaos
Your students will with out a doubt test you during your first year. If you do not establish clear guidelines and expectations and follow through you will have chaos in your classroom.
If you take the time to carefully plan for the beginning stages of this difficult year, this will save you mountains of time and frustration for both you and your students in the long run, as well as improve learning in the classroom.
Plan your student expectations carefully and set very specific guidelines and then stick to your guns, be consistent, and follow through with discipline. This will not be easy at first, but if you stick with it, the reward will be well worth it for both you and your students.
2. The Fine Line between Friend and Teacher
As a new graduate just out of college, chances are you will be fairly close in age to your students, especially if you are teaching high school. More than anything a new teacher wants to be accepted and, as a result, ends up crossing the line between being friends with a student instead of the teacher. An experienced teacher knows that this is a very fine line to navigate.
This is not to say that you cannot be friendly with your students, however, if you cross the line in this regard, your classroom management strategy will most likely suffer and you will invite disrespect from your students. Keep your private life private and maintain a good balance with your students. The payoff is well worth the effort.
3. Parent Testing
Some parents will test you during your first year. If they know what buttons to push to get you to react, they will keep pushing them in an attempt to control you. Make your expectations clear and be consistent, stay calm, and be friendly, but firm. If you need to let out your frustrations, do it later.
The old adage, "Never let them see you sweat" goes a long way in this regard. If the parents see they cannot push your buttons they will eventually back off.
4. Administration and Colleagues Demanding Your Time
As a new teacher you will not yet be tenured, however this does not mean you that you have to be a doormat. You will have administration and colleagues making demands during your planning period and lunch time. You first year is stressful enough, so set the boundaries with administrators and colleagues early on to ensure your sanity. You can be professional without being insubordinate.
5. Grouping Tough Students Together
Some school districts group all of the tough students together and impose this responsibility on the new teacher. Use a strict classroom management strategy, follow through, and only call on administration in extreme circumstances. Less reliance on administration is an indication that you are in control of the classroom in both the eyes of the administrator and the students.