Where Do New Teacher's Fit In?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Math, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. Math

    Math Cohort

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    Jun 24, 2013

    Where Do New Teachers Fit In?

    I'm not saying that new teachers are horrible by any means. I love all of you! :love:

    I just happened to be thinking of what students deserve. Then, I was like well students in higher level courses deserve seasoned teachers. However, I wouldn't just want to see all new teachers handling the lower level students. I'm just thinking though wouldn't students get a better understanding of the content with a seasoned teacher? So, being with that said should veteran or new teachers be the ones teaching Honors and Advanced Placement or Gifted and Talented courses?

    Well, then I also started thinking that new teachers come into the field with a new way to approach things. They have just taken rigorous courses more recently. So they would probably have a more fresh in depth understanding then someone who hasn't seen the material in a couple of years. Plus, this would then make new teachers more valuable in a sense because they would probably have more ideas. Yet, it seems as though new teachers don't get to teach the best courses from the start. It looks like they must earn it.
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jun 24, 2013

    This is a good question, and it's one that many districts and administrations probably struggle with.

    In my school, we have a lot of teacher turnover. It's a difficult environment and not everyone is cut out for it. Because of that, we get new teachers all the time. They are expected to be able to teach anything within their content area, from remedial classes to AP and everything in between. I'd say that new teachers at my school have a very good chance of getting to teach upper level courses. In my school it's less about "earning" upper level courses than about being interested in teaching them and skilled enough to do so.

    I've just completed my 7th year teaching, so I'm among the more seasoned teachers at my school. While I happily teach AP classes, my preference is and has always been the lower level courses in my content area. I think I will probably always feel that way. We all have our preferences, plus our own talents and gifts. Hopefully teachers get paired with admins who support those preferences, talents, and gifts.
     
  4. chebrutta

    chebrutta Fanatic

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    Jun 25, 2013

    I think it depends a great deal on the environment the admin/district creates.

    My school is very like how Caesar describes her school. Huge turnover; it's not the right fit for everyone. Still, my admin tries to place everyone where they will be the best fit - and it's usually the more seasoned teachers who have the most preps, as they feel that a seasoned teacher will be able to handle that particular pressure better than a new teacher.

    At a former school, seniority ruled as far as getting the higher-level classes and weeding out the more, um, challenging students. New teachers never stood a chance there.
     
  5. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jun 25, 2013

    I´m not really sure I have an exact opinion on this. I can see how new teachers come in with new ideas, strategies, etc., but seasoned teachers have experience to rely on, which is worth a lot. I don´t think there is one right or wrong way to place a new teacher, except that the teacher shouldn´t be placed in a class that´s way over his/her head (which might not be easy to tell in the beginning). Some new teachers might be great at taking a challenging class, while another new teacher might not. Thinking about it from the view point of my school, all teachers have to have at least 2 years of experience teaching at an American-type school, and admin typically gives stronger teachers (or at least who they deem are strong) the challenges.
     
  6. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Fanatic

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    Jun 25, 2013

    I taught senior honors my first year as well as sophomores (regular and honors) and regular seniors. I know I did a much better job with my honors courses. The kids and content were both easier to teach.

    This past year I got a new job and started teaching AP, College prep seniors, and sophomores. AP went very well but I definitely have things I'll do differently next year (true with all my classes). But I love teaching my AP group. They had/have a lot of respect for me. They learned a lot, but we had a lot of fun too.
     
  7. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Jun 25, 2013

    This is the thing that is ignored, in the name of teacher job security (i.e. seniority). New teachers need support. But that support tends to be lacking in a lot of areas, because "everyone else" is new as well. Then in other areas, NO ONE is new. Everyone is in their 10th year and above, which ignores other factors of the profession (e.g. complacency).

    The ideal situation is one where new teachers work alongside old teachers, in a symbiotic sort of way. But we ignore this fact, all for the sake of preserving the jobs of the most entitled.
     
  8. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    Jun 25, 2013

    Boring to say, I know, but it depends. In some schools, less desirable assignments (the meaning of that expression varies from teacher to teacher, of course) are often given to new teachers, a very unfortunate, even dishonorable, practice.

    Within the department, we collectively decide who teaches what (administration has nothing to do with it), and for the newbies (known or unknown) we always leave a good set of classes - few preps, classes which others are simultaneously teaching, classes for which we have a lot of stuff lying around, and, apropos of honors courses, classes suited to the teacher's expertise and interests.

    So it depends on what's best for all concerned.
     
  9. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Aficionado

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    Jun 25, 2013

    This is off topic, but the district asked me to mentor a new teacher last year. I think he was a bit perplexed when he realized I was ten years younger than him.

    At the elementary level, we take great consideration when forming a class for a new teacher. S/he won't get many low students and will generally have few students with behavior problems. We try to set them up for success during their first year. I have, however, worked at a site where new teachers get all the low students and all the behavior problems! There was nothing we could say as a grade level team, though, because our principal formed the classes.
     
  10. JustMe

    JustMe Guru

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    Jun 25, 2013

    Thankfully I was not given a challenging class my first year (or any more challenging than the others) as we do not do that. I think that's mean-spirited and lazy.

    As to the OP, experience simply doesn't equate to quality and effectiveness. I realize it makes perfect sense to assume it does, but it doesn't. It's iffy, therefore, to automatically grant certain classes to vetern teachers and thus withhold them from new ones. I do understand waiting a year to see how a teacher performs before assigning certain classes, but after that it's a matter of who wants it, who could teach it best, and when all else is equal then experience comes into play.
     
  11. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

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    Jun 25, 2013

    My first year, I was at a rough school and given mostly freshman, including remedial freshman double block. I had no support. I learned A LOT, really fast. :) Five years later, I'm glad of the experience, but I also know a lot of teachers who would have been overwhelmed entirely and burned out quickly.

    I think a fine balance is needed - new teachers need SOME challenges or they'll never learn, but they also need a reasonable number of preps and a balanced load of kids.
     
  12. MsB2012

    MsB2012 Companion

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    Jun 25, 2013

    :clap::clap::thumb::thumb:

    I'm glad someone pointed this out specifically. You are definitely correct JustMe--experience does not equal quality at all. It's always interesting to me to read posts on this topic because at my school, there seems to be more effective new teachers than effective seasoned teachers. Although, it does become an issue when administration only looks at seniority over capability to teach particular levels/classes or for promotions.

    I love when we get new teachers. They're almost always so enthusiastic and full of ideas! Our kiddos eat that stuff up! :D
     
  13. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    Jun 25, 2013

    I've been teaching for thirty-some years, and I too love having new teachers around. I have mentored many of them (our school offers one full year of mentoring and an optional second year: the mentoring teacher is paid for the work), which I have found wonderfully rewarding and (creak) rejuvenating.

    My only reservation re new teachers these days is that their scholarship seems not as strong as it once was, though that may have something to do with evolving (or devolving) understandings of "scholarship." It may be just a high school thing too, since teacherly ignorance is a kind of blood in the water to a certain sharkish subset of high school students. The sharks may, of course, have a point.
     

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