How many started your first year and were hanging on by a thread? I have. The phrase "the 2nd year is better" or reading articles on "how to survive your first year" is created and used by veteran teachers. The traditional teacher development through college and alternative programs leave 1st year teachers unprepared to tackle all of the responsibilities of a teacher. Now add on the responsibility to relay content to students, 1st year teachers are left developing lessons, finding a classroom management strategy, and dealing with the behind the scenes work of a classroom.
While teaching prep programs integrate classroom field-based work early, the experience is not enough. There needs to be a complete transformation in teacher development. By definition, an apprenticeship is one where someone learns by working with another that is good at what they do. In a profession where specific skills are defined, the idea of working with one person makes sense. In education, seeing one teaching style and management may not be the best situation. The traditional model of student teaching for 8-16 weeks is not enough to prepare a 1st year to teach. A call for more time in the classroom in teacher prep programs is needed. More authentic, hands on experience can bring the theories in the classroom to life. Learning from multiple veteran teachers will allow for a 1st year to develop before stepping into the lead role of their own. Let 1st years stop "surviving" and let them teach!
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