- Wisconsin-based high school English language arts teacher Anna Mae Tempus shares a handful of strategies to help new teachers navigate potential classroom hurdles in a piece for Edutopia.
- To address classroom tension or prevent it from taking hold in the first place, Tempus has students complete "Roses and Thorns" journaling exercises, in which they detail the week's positive (roses) and negative (thorns) moments before engaging in a discussion.
- She also suggests that when an assessment doesn't turn out the way an educator expects, examining the process used is critical, and notes that a "square one" strategy can help mitigate conflict between teachers by pointing back to the initial goals when discussions become heated.
With new teachers, regardless of how much talent and promise they bring to the table, there are plenty of guaranteed rough spots before they find their rhythm. While it can be discouraging, this is the reality of virtually any profession. But administrators can also take a number of steps to ease disappointment and help young educators learn from those setbacks rather than dwelling on them or letting them crush their optimism or passion for teaching.
Perhaps the most important is pairing them with an experienced teacher mentor/coach. Reassurance from a veteran peer can make a considerable difference when things don't go as expected, as can the wisdom those teachers can provide. Additionally, the rise of micro-credentials have made it easier than ever to offer individual teachers personalized professional development opportunities in any area in which they need or want to improve.
It's also worth looking at how high-performing countries prepare and support their educators. From teacher competitions in Shanghai to "partner schools" paired with research universities in Finland, there are notable differences from how teachers are prepared and retained in the U.S., as well as many of the issues faced.