Supporting New Teachers

LisaFinkNCTE

The summer I graduated from college, I spent much of my time looking for a teaching job, looking at newspaper ads, visiting our county Office of Education, calling school districts. If there was a way I could have prepared myself more for my first years in the classroom, I would have. I was lucky to get a position in a district that prioritized professional development and encouraged mentoring. These are the things that made a difference to me.  What can we do to help others who are new to our profession?

NCTE recognizes the importance of taking a holistic approach to preparing, inducting and retaining English language arts teachers, and offers a variety of resources for those who train and support beginning teachers.

It’s reported that one third to one half of new teachers leave the profession within five years. By focusing on innovative ways to support graduates even after they enter the teaching field, successful teacher ed programs may be able to combat this trend.

Supporting Beginning English Teachers: Research and Implications for Teacher Induction shares the results of a study of beginning and veteran English teachers to determine why so many new teachers leave within the first few years of teaching and how to retain new teachers.

Relying on research and case studies focusing on the stated needs of new teachers, the authors of “The Role and Responsibility of the Experienced Teacher” describe a variety of ways that experienced teachers can proactively help newcomers in their schools.

Author Susan Spangler suggests that mentors need to be aware of some key factors that motivate us all. She offers guidelines that can help mentor teachers facilitate the growth of prospective teachers in a way that is humane, logical, and effective in “Finding the Golden Mean: Mentors and Student Teachers Working for Success”.

The results of a seven-year research study identify the challenges new teachers face and how all concerned can help keep new teachers in the profession.  Read more in Tensions and Triumphs in the Early Years of Teaching: Real-World Findings and Advice for Supporting New Teachers.

How do beginning teachers feel? In “Meeting the Challenge: Beginning English Teachers Reflect on Their First Year” these folks share their first-year experiences and new secondary teachers (and their college methods professor) describe the importance of reflective teaching practice for professional development.

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About Lisa Fink

Lisa Storm Fink is the Project Manager for ReadWriteThink at NCTE. After teaching grades K-4 for almost 9 years, she brought her varied experiences (multi-age classrooms, looping, cooperating teacher for preservice teachers, plus a specialization in Remedial Reading) fulltime to the ReadWriteThink site. Lisa feels lucky to have worked on all parts of the ReadWriteThink site as a writer and reviewer, curriculum developer, and now as Project Manager. She enjoys sharing the site with others during professional development opportunities as well as with her preservice students at the University of Illinois.

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