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Equipping new teachers for success

Posted by Hlengiwe Zwane on 18 January 2022, 12:10 SAST
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This is all that new teachers need when coming into this profession. After all, no one can say that they were prepared for everything that was thrown at them in their first year of teaching. Providing the above from the onset will help make a huge difference and here is how we can go on about that: 

This is all that new teachers need when coming into this profession. After all, no one can say that they were prepared for everything that was thrown at them in their first year of teaching. Providing the above from the onset will help make a huge difference and here is how we can go on about that: 

Focus on stability.
The most important this is creating a holistic school environment that promotes open communication, teamwork and support for everyone. This creates a sense of unity not only among the learners but the educators as well.

Action Plan.
Find out from some of your staff members what was particularly challenging for them and then find the commonalities and eliminate those for the new teachers for your school. Have an action plan that clearly illustrates how leadership and staff will provide assistance to them.

The blueprint. 
Have an orientation session for new teachers to meet one another the rest of the staff and help them get acquainted with one another. Provide them with a guidebook or welcome packet that informs them on things such as the school calendar, the school bell schedules, school running order, policies, professional expectations, and district contacts.  

Put them on the path to success. 
Allow them to have access to the facilities prior to them starting on their first day so that they can familiarise themselves with the space in which they will be teaching and the operational runnings of the school, just so that they aren’t overwhelmed with everything on their first day. 

Create a welcoming environment.
Remember, be sensitive to the fact that they are new. So take the time to introduce them, have a small celebration, do some team-building exercises with some of the staff. Share cultural norms and traditions with them.

Assign mentors to first-year teachers.
Whether you chose to do this during the induction process or not, it is important to have these in place. While that is very helpful in terms of professional development, it’s important for new teachers to have a mentor teacher in the building who can help them navigate the particulars of their school.  

Apart from providing a mentor for them. Make time to attend to the needs that their mentors can not provide for them. New teachers want ideas, guidance and constructive criticism. They want a leader who provides meaningful, workable strategies to help them improve their craft. Be especially supportive when it comes to discipline and parent issues when they align with your school policies. New teachers need strong support dealing with higher-level issues like parent complaints and high-maintenance students. Take a protective stance and teach them how to successfully negotiate these situations. 

Once you can provide these things for new teachers. Your educators will be able to sustain themselves as a community through supporting each other and this is what you want. The moment this happens there is a huge sense of belonging and this is how a strong community of teachers will be built. 

Source: We are teachers

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