Sunday, September 15, 2013

Supporting the Emerging New Teacher

Last February to June was my first teaching position. I had just finished my credential and was hired as a long term substitute. It was my dream position, middle school band, orchestra, and choir. I taught two levels of each subject, a beginning 6th grade and an advanced 7th/8th grade of each.

It was the toughest job I have ever had. Looking back now, I know this was because I had no support. There was no one on campus to talk to, the principal was much too overwhelmed to help me, and I had no mentor who had been through this kind of situation. I eventually found some very kind mentors who were willing to listen to me and offer new suggestions. They are the reasons I didn't quit. I found the support, new ideas, and willpower to keep going through them.

Three weeks ago I started my first full time position as a K-6 music teacher. Many of the other music teachers in the new-to-me district have offered assistance. They ask if I am okay or if I need anything. The teachers at my site have offered the same help. I feel that, if I needed something, anything at all, I have a myriad of people around me who are more than willing to assist.

My school has a simple system of positive feedback that teachers can write to one another. I received two from this last week and both commented on my enthusiasm. It is such a bolster to my self-esteem that others can see how teaching music brings me such joy and that this is valued by the other teachers.

Both an easily created support network and positive feedback are necessary to support a new teacher.  My support network created itself out of the kind teachers who have offered their support without me having to ask. Sometimes it is hard to ask for help, especially in a job that expects you to be amazing at classroom management immediately. Having people who offered their help will make it much easier to ask for help when I need it.

The positive feedback I have received is encouraging and uplifting. I feel like I am on the right track, that others see the hard work I am putting in, and that I am a valued member of the education team at my school.

No comments:

Post a Comment