Patricia Dickenson

Felton, CA

Interests: 21st century learning,...

  • Posted 6 Years ago
  • 1.4k

New Teachers

I am a coach.  My role is to support teachers in their profession.  I provide advice, expertise, and a shoulder to cry on. My path to the classroom began over a decade ago. I did not have a credential or a clue what it was like to be a teacher.  All I had was a wish to change lives and make a difference.  I did not enter the classroom with a mentor, curriculum guide or training. I brought my yoga mat, bean bag, hot lamp and soon the real training began.  I learned the most about this profession from the mistakes I made and the struggles I encountered.  Every time I hit a "road block" it was an opportunity for me to learn something new.  

The path to the classroom has changed tremendously since NCLB.  Most teachers have gone through a credentialing program, possibly a masters' degree, and student teaching. The cost as well as time committment is certainly a serious undertaking. Here in California, new teachers enter the classroom with a pacing  guide, structured curriculum and mentor. There is training, professional development, and new teacher support groups.  Although new teachers are given much more "support", they are also under much more pressure and higher expectations.  The expected learning curve is only a few months no longer a year or two. Here in California, a principal can decide if they will rehire a non-tenured teacher for the upcoming school year. 

As a teacher you are also a student, you are always learning and growing with the students you teach. Our profession should be built upon a premise that we are a community of learners and together we can achieve. We need to reach out and support our newest members of this profession.  Not only are they learning how to plan a lesson, mentor a student, reteach a standard, and foster a love of learning, but also be a teacher.      

3 Comments

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Patricia_Dickenson

27 Oct 11, 12:55 AM

What I love about my job is that I can be there to give support, offer suggestion and be a sounding board for frustrations. Yesterday I worked with a teacher to help her implement groups in her class for the first time, I walked by her room today and she was smiling in the doorway because the students were on task and working cooperatively. I can also be there to help a new teacher take a risk and not be afraid of failing.
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Meg_Cohen

25 Oct 11, 02:37 PM

Hi Patricia, your comments reminded me of what I read in this month's Educational Leadership themed "Coaching: The New Leadership Skill." I agree; with increasing pressure and higher expectations for new teachers, coaching and support is more important than ever. Thanks for sharing!
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Richard_Lange

24 Oct 11, 06:33 AM

Patricia,

I enjoyed reading your blog. Your quote here says it all, "As a teacher you are also a student, you are always learning and growing with the students you teach." Why not post some of your comments in the New and Student Teacher EDge site. I'm sure the members there would love to read about your program. http://groups.ascd.org/groups/detail/127764/new-student-teachers/

Richard
http://twitter.com/#!/MentorTeachers
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