What big challenges do new teachers face?

This article is excerpted from 130 FAQs and Practical Answers From Scholastic's Teacher Helpline
by Ruth Manna

The biggest challenges new teachers face are in three key areas: support, discipline, and classroom management. These questions will help you focus your efforts to overcome the challenges:

SUPPORT

  • Is there a new teacher orientation program?
  • Are school policies and procedures in writing for new teachers?
  • Does a new teacher have an assigned mentor teacher? Do they meet weekly?
  • Does a new teacher’s administrator check in with her frequently?
  • Are colleagues available weekly for team or grade-level meetings?
  • Do teachers plan together or assist a new teacher with planning?

DISCIPLINE

  • Are a new teacher’s students respectful toward one another and their teacher?
  • Does she have rules in place that she reinforces?
  • Are there logical consequences for students who don’t follow the rules?
  • Does a new teacher’s class move around the building in an orderly way?
  • Does she know how to handle difficult students and situations? Does she know when to ask for support?

CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT

  • Is a new teacher well-organized? Does he follow a schedule?
  • Are systems in place that make the school day run smoothly?
  • Does a new teacher work effectively with assistants and other adults in the classroom?
  • Is time used effectively? Is pacing appropriate for a given class?
  • Does a new teacher advocate for his students?
  • Is a new teacher sensitive to diverse learners?
  • Are all students treated fairly without regard for race, gender, socioeconomic status, and so on?
  • Is a new teacher able to multitask?

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