Nana Has Wrinkles

Learning, laughing and loving in a world that tells it like it is.

First Year Teachers


I have a soft spot in my heart for brand new teachers. It’s such a wild ride, that first year. Here are a few things that must be addressed just in the first month:

• remember names, faces and teaching assignments of the department and school staff, as well as that of the central office administration

• become familiar with building layout, schedules and daily procedures

• conquer the fine art of loading and unjamming the variety of printers used in each office

• decipher the power structure and politics underlying each staff

• begin to understand the culture of the building and community

•  master technological expectations, including ActiveBoard or SmartBoard use, digital record keeping, website maintenance and management of blast emails to parents

• figure out where to get paper clips

Add to that the expectation to master the state curriculum, local standards and create engaging lesson plans with authentic assessments, and it’s enough to bury even the savviest educator.

I’ve recently heard several stories of first year teachers being criticized to the point of losing all of the confidence with which they started the school year. Rather than working with, or even acknowledging, the good aspects of what is being done in the classroom, teachers are criticized for everything they are doing poorly. These hard-working young professionals are being held to high standards, as well they should. However, if they treated students in their classrooms the way they have been treated, I know they would be disciplined by their principals.

Education is under fire these days from all fronts. We do not need to be turning on each other. We need to nurture new teachers in word and in deed. They are eager, they are the future of the profession, and it would serve everyone well to treat them with the respect they deserve. If you hired them, you should support them.

posted under Education
One Comment to

“First Year Teachers”

  1. Avatar January 28th, 2012 at 2:31 PM Sherri Says:

    Hello, Friend. I’ve been catching up with you via your blog…couldn’t let this entry pass without a comment.

    I couldn’t agree with you more, and now I’m going to spend some time reflecting on how I am supporting my new teachers.

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