Wednesday, July 28, 2010

More things to do to support new teachers

Here are some more things you can do to support your new teachers:
  • Give new teachers “new stuff” as much as possible. Be sure they are adequately supplied with classroom materials, and check on their material needs often.
  • After the initial interviews and during the hiring process, maintain e-mail or phone contact.
  • Constantly ask new teachers for their input on key school issues. They likely come with new perspectives and have a lot to offer. Be sure to involve them in the decision making process, and invite them to share a new or innovative idea they learned in college or other careers.
  • Provide a “newcomer’s kit” including demographics of the town, places to go, places to live, coupons, and treats. Provide a map of the city marking important of interesting places such as the mall, library, teacher resource store, etc.
  • Before an observation, go over the process so the new teacher will know what you will be looking for.
  • Speak positively to each teacher daily.
  • Form a new teacher social group to meet outside the school setting.
  • Keep an idea box or “issue bin” available for comments and questions.
  • Hold grade level, team, or department meetings weekly to discuss team issues, but also to listen to issues of and give support to new teachers.
  • Conduct brief (5 minute) drop-in observations daily, but don’t write anything down. Talk to the teacher before the end of the day about what you saw. Tell them at the start of the school year that you are going to do this to “catch them doing good things!” This will get them used to you and observations so they will not feel under pressure on formal observations.
  • Assign a good, helpful teacher assistant – not the one nobody wants.
  • Accentuate any particular skill or knowledge the teacher brings to the school.
  • Have someone on the staff (facilitator, grade level member, mentor) call and welcome the new teacher to the school.
  • Help the new teacher with names of reputable contacts for car repair, housing repairs, physicians, dentists, etc. as needed.
  • Give new teachers a tour of local businesses they may desire for personal needs (barber, beautician, nails, hardware, etc.).
  • Provide a “buddy” that might be compatible with the teacher. Sometimes the trained mentor will not be the best buddy.
  • Call Welcome Wagon, or provide gift certificates from local businesses.
  • Place new teachers in a classroom that is already clean – but not stripped bare.
  • Have an afternoon “tea” for new teachers to discuss problems and successes, or just chat.

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