Advice to a new student teacher from someone who has seen new teachers succeed and seen some make mistakes

Advice to a new student teacher from someone who has seen new teachers succeed and seen some make mistakes

from a National Blue Ribbon principal.

  1. Stay under the radar for potential political, social, or other extremes and potential offensiveness to the professionals who are already established there.  New teachers need to be noticed for ONLY the following: their enthusiasm and care for the kids, willingness to work hard, and ability to listen to the professionals and take advice. 

  2. In a polite way, greet everyone, including, colleagues, office staff and custodians with “Good Morning!”  Greet each of the students as they enter the room. 

  3. Be the first one to offer help if there is a student or colleague in need.

  4. Be a possibility thinker.  That means that new teachers who are faced with challenges do not complain to anyone.  They try to figure it out; they ask for information and advice.

  5. New teachers prepare, prepare, prepare for the lessons they are asked to teach.  Also, they prepare to assist the cooperating teacher with his or her lessons.  Always try to be helpful. Always seek information about the State standards, curriculum expectations in the school, technology available to use in lessons.

  6. New teachers avoid judgments about any others in the school.  New student teachers or teachers are not there to make friends, critique colleagues, or see how potentially ridiculous someone is doing something.  New teachers avoid comments that would sound critical.  The new teachers are in the school to learn and demonstrate their learning and to do better and better in their teaching each time. 

  7. New student teachers ask if they can take in service (not graduate) courses in the district.  Sometimes, courses are available to all.  If so, this is a great opportunity to learn.  New teachers also notice the best teaching in the cooperating teachers’ classes and compliment it, ask about it and learn from it. 

  8. New teachers demonstrate enthusiasm for this profession every day, so it is noticeable by all.  What new teachers need is for the established professionals in the school to notice and report to the administrators, “we got a good one here.”  They will all report whatever they see each time; this is what they do.   New teachers make sure they all see a hard-working new teacher.

  9. New teachers do not know who is related to whom, who goes to the same exercise club or pool, or plays tennis/ basketball.  New teachers realize that everyone is connected to everyone else in ways that new people do not know.  So new teachers are careful not to gossip or give cause to colleagues to wonder what the new teacher would say about them when they are not in the room.  Refer to advice number 1. 

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