Monday, March 1, 2010

The Role of the New Teacher

teacher Last week I received this Twitter message:

emapey2 @loonyhiker Hi Pat!! Teachers as Masters Learners, What do you think is the role of the new teacher???

He referred to the post, Teachers as Master Learners by Will Richardson. In the post, the author writes,

“…we teach kids to learn. We can’t teach kids to learn unless we are learners ourselves, and our understanding of learning has to encompass the rich, passion-based interactions that take place in these social learning spaces online.”

I think a new teacher has many roles. Here are some that I thought of but they aren’t in any order of importance. They are more in the order as they came to my mind. If you have any you think I left off, please let me know.

1. Bring in knowledge of new instructional strategies.

2. Be willing to learn from more experienced teachers.

3. Continue to fine tune their art of teaching.

4. Develop a Personal/Professional Learning network online and face to face.

5. Bring a zest for teaching and learning to the environment.

6. Be willing to share current research with others.

7. Stay current with what research is out there by connecting with others.

8. Ask questions when they are confused or don’t understand something.

9. Seek support when they are discouraged. Don’t be afraid to share these feelings because every teacher has them.

10. Don’t volunteer to do too many things (because it is hard for a new teacher to say no).

I think new teachers bring so many new ideas and techniques to a school that it would be a waste not to take advantage of this. With the energy and excitement of new teachers, I think they breathe fresh air into a school. I love when new teachers come to a school because their wonderful attitude can be quite contagious and help a school be more successful.

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original image: 'Reading Aloud to Children' by: Judy Baxter


Oriana's Blog said...

As a current student teacher in a low-income school in New York City, I must say that your post has really given me a chance to reflect on some of my current teaching practices. It has also given me insight into the ways that I must reflect on my own practices and has also given me good techniques to use during my student teaching assignment. I believe that I have learned so much from the experienced teachers at my school and I have been able to further develop my own philosophy of teaching in the process. I have been able to experience, first-hand, which strategies work with students as well as the ones that don’t work as well. I feel that my own cooperating teacher has been able to learn a lot from me as well, despite the fact that I am a relatively inexperienced teacher. I have brought to the table several innovative lessons and methods that have impressed my teacher who has over 30 years of experience in the classroom. The roles of a new teacher like myself are many and the classroom is immersed with learning opportunities—not just for students, but myself as well.

luckeyfrog said...

I think #2 is a big one. A lot of new teachers come in with new ideas, but you need to be careful presenting them in a way that says "Here's something else you can try" instead of "Well, THIS is the best way to do it." Some new teachers almost come off cocky, I think, to more experienced teachers.

I don't disagree with you that new ideas are important; I just think it's vital for the tone to be very respectful of those who have been around a lot longer! I think occasionally new teachers get too excited and forget that. :)

(And no, I'm not knocking new teachers-- it's my first year!)