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    By AZ Teacher

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    I supervised out district's new teacher mentor program for 15 years...Here's what I experienced.

    New teachers have just gone throught the interview process where they have to sell their capabilities. ( I can do this...I'm going to be a great teacher...You should hire me...I know what I'm doing...) It's hard for them to then show their weaknesses and needs. It's hard to admit that they don't have all the answers. Do any of us? Biggest obstacle to helping teachers was getting them to open up to asking for help or accepting suggestions for improvement. This is sometimes complicated by veteran teachers who mentor new teachers and think they know it all. It must be a collaborative relationship where teachers learn from each other.

    Second, biggest mistake is not establishing discipline from the beginning. Yes, they often want to be friends with students or become the students' favorite teacher. Experienced teachers know this is a fine line to walk. Establishing rules, procedures, routines and high expectations firsts allows for a safe classroom where outcomes our reached and everyone finds learning can be fun.

    I also found that new teachers don't take time for themselves. The first couple of years of teaching are very demanding. If you don't take time to feed your own spirit and have a life outside of classroom you won't find joy in your teaching; you'll burnout.

    All of the other things mention by others do occur with some teachers; everyone seems to have their own strengths and weaknesses. For some it is planning, or taking on too much too soon. For others it is other things.

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