4 Ways to Get Started
By Ciera Searcy - Open Up Resources ELA Community Coach
Being a new teacher can be both an exciting and stressful time. You’re excited about meeting your students and making your classroom your own, meeting your colleagues, and diving head first into the curriculum and content area that you will be teaching.
This year is different. Instead of setting up our classrooms in the traditional way, many teachers are setting up virtual or Bitmoji classrooms. Some may be teaching face-to-face and grappling with the reality of no small groups or student collaboration that many of us have grown to love. Let’s imagine dealing with all of these things and being new to the profession.
This year, more than ever before, we have to wrap our arms around the new teachers and support them.
So one might ask, "How can I help?" Here are 4 ways we can support new teachers this year.
Here’s a list to get you started:
- Introduce yourself. It means so much to a new teacher for you to just peek your head in the classroom, give them your number or email, or just introduce yourself and say “I’m here.” Think back to when you were a first year teacher. I’m sure you can remember the colleague that first came into your classroom to welcome you to the school. Try to be that person for a new teacher this year.
- Share resources. If you’re creating a tool or have an extra teacher’s guide or are making copies and you have one to spare, offer it to a new teacher this year. This doesn’t take much time, but it helps a lot. The teacher can tweak it and make it their own, they don’t have to use it "as is," and it will take a load off them to have one less thing to worry about.
- Give a friendly reminder. It can be difficult at first to juggle new schedules or deadlines. If you know there’s a deadline coming up, give the new teacher the heads up. Trust me, they will appreciate it.
- Just be there. If the new teacher needs some advice, the location of the teacher’s lounge, a sounding board, just be there to support. How many can remember being a freshman in college? I can remember so many of us wouldn’t go into the cafeteria until we had a friend to eat with. It may seem silly now, but people literally need people. If we have learned anything from the COVID-19 pandemic, we know now that we need each other. You may find that while you’re there supporting them, they may have something to offer you as well.
So this year, let’s be there for our friends that are new to education. They need us to encourage and support them. Remember, we’re in this together.
Chrysler Elementary School - Detroit, MI
Ciera Searcy has been a teacher for 10 years. Although she has taught all subjects in 2nd through 4th grade, teaching English Language Arts has always been one of her favorites. Ciera is a Detroit native and Literacy Coach for Detroit Public Schools Community District where she is also a part of the Enhanced ModEL Detroit Curriculum Team. She is so excited to be a part of the Open Up Resources Community and to work with teachers all over the United States!