What New Teachers Should Know...
By Ryan Tibbens
Check out the CONTEST at the end of this article!
A new teacher recently asked for advice, claiming 'impostor syndrome.'
This was my response:
"Fake it 'til you make it, and don't be too upset if you never really feel like you make it (just trust student feedback and results). Ask for help; beg, borrow, and steal. Then steal more. Make the kids laugh in class and nervous when the grades are due. Make parents and principals confident; make students curious and aware. Make time for yourself. Find your favorite beer or wine, and keep it on hand. Find your favorite students and build bonds, but never let them or anyone else know that you have favorites. Tell yourself you'll go to bed early, and don't be surprised when it's 2am. Tell yourself you'll get up early, and don't be surprised when kids arrive at your classroom door before you do once in a while. Specialize in something. Attend as many conferences and as much professional development as you can in the first five years and then semi-regularly after that. Watch 'The Dog Whisperer.' Get on a first-name basis with the main office secretary and custodians as soon as possible (they run the school). Always be yourself: kids sense phonies like bees sense fear. Oh, and apply for other, better jobs ASAP."
ENTRIES ARE CLOSED -- Are/were you a teacher, coach, classified employee, or school administrator? Were you an observant student? We're offering a $20 Amazon.com gift card to the person who submits the best ORIGINAL advice to beginning teachers. Keep entries under 200 words and appropriate for classroom discussion. ReadThinkWriteSpeak must receive at least eight entries to activate the contest and prize, so tell your friends. Contact us using the form below, email, or private messages in Facebook or Twitter. Top submissions will be posted and voted upon in mid-July. All entries due by 7/10/2019.
6/25/2019 08:17:17 am
That's spot on.
6/25/2019 11:36:39 pm
I'm curious what they learned in four years of college...
6/25/2019 11:41:49 pm
I might be hard pressed adding anything of value to 120 credit hours of instruction (what is that in real seat-time, something like 30 hours per credit, plus out-of-class time?).
6/30/2019 11:01:53 pm
You don't think practicing professionals have useful advice to share with people who otherwise only learned from textbooks and lecturers? I certainly want my doctors to have received practical, effective advice from other doctors instead of only via anatomy videos or direct instruction. Same for counselors, attorneys, plumbers, and just about everyone else. I want them all to know the 'tricks of the trade,' regardless of age. A man with as many ideas as you surely has something to share with new teachers.
7/2/2019 04:27:00 pm
I'm averse to dispensing advice in this format.
7/2/2019 05:59:04 pm
In other words, I'm ethically opposed to tips when there is no real training to provide important context. Maybe it's akin to refusing to supply beds to a CBP detention center.
7/3/2019 11:10:26 pm
Fair points about feedback and coaching. While I'm perfectly happy being left alone, when observations and evaluations do occur, I would prefer a bit more constructive criticism. I already know what I'm doing well; where I need help is spotting the little things that could be improved, the things that could be tweaked or tuned to provide maximum results in exchange for small to moderate changes. Still, at this stage of my career (and even early on, to be honest), I'd prefer being left alone to being preached at and criticized by an administrator who couldn't do it better. More (and better) instructional coaches could go a long way toward improving our craft, but I don't see that fitting in the budget. ;)
7/3/2019 11:34:21 pm
Why is it in most organizations in which I have worked, my supervisors have generally known more about how to do my job better than I—often even after the 10,000 hour threshold—but this doesn't seem to hold true in public education?
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