Fri. Jun 14th, 2024
Anita Anwar

In the initial years of teaching, novice teachers need guidance and support; starting with personal and emotional support, task-based or problem-based support as well as self-reflecting on their teaching practices. Orientation to the organizational culture becomes a great help to mingle with co-teachers and understand the overall environment. Mentoring as part of a situated learning process, focused collaboration with colleagues working in similar situations for additional professional support is needed in their early career.

Personal and emotional support:

Novice teachers face emotional challenges starting their careers, adapting to a new workplace and colleagues. On the other hand, Fatigue is another constant for new teachers. For instance; efforts on planning every lesson from scratch, teaching using different methods with unfamiliar material drains energy. At this emotionally challenging time, a more experienced colleague can play an important role by providing advice and mentoring them to reduce stress. It helps new teachers to stay the course long enough to have the opportunity to become more effective teachers.

Problem-focused support:

Novice teachers also need assistance in undertaking preliminary tasks and experiencing teaching and learning-related problems. For instance, planning SLO oriented lesson plans, designing activities, preparing learning aids, selecting the right pedagogy, classroom management, understanding students learning capacities, creating a learning environment, structuring parents’ teacher meetings and many more. Planning and executing such tasks under the supervision and guidance of a veteran teacher can yield a better result.

Orienting new teachers

 The week before school, beginning teachers receive a formal orientation to the curriculum and school. Orientation is an opportunity to give an overview of curricular and school philosophy, share special emphases for the year, and point out important features of curriculum materials. Some schools include advice on setting up the classroom and classroom management. Also helpful are booklets or other handouts that document is ready for some important information, such as school policies or a calendar of key events. This orientation supports new teachers a lot. Principals and other school leaders must extend their roles beyond performance evaluation to include instructional support and not just help with classroom management. Administrators can work closely with mentors and other teachers to focus on novices’ instructional growth.

Networking new teachers:

For reflective practices group meets twice a month with an experienced teacher who is extensively trained to facilitate members’ exploration of the problems of novice teachers. In some school setups, regional teacher centres convene new teachers for one to two workshops, in which they can exchange views on problems, breakthrough their isolation, and get safe advice from experts. Establish learning communities so that beginning teachers have a network of support through their mentors and other colleagues to share ideas and problem-solve with peers who understand classroom challenges. 

Group observation and advice:

All teachers are asked to periodically prepare and deliver the best possible lesson to their students while being observed by many colleagues. While this may feel like an especially pressured situation for a new teacher, most novices find that the advice and critique from the rest of the faculty are helpful for their professional growth.

School leaders can promote instructional development among beginning teachers in several ways: firstly insist on quality mentoring. Principals can facilitate mentoring by creating time for new teachers and mentors to meet and to observe in one another’s classrooms Principals should ensure that mentors receive training and have expertise in the same content area and grade level as the new teacher. School Leadership can also directly encourage mentors to focus on improving new teachers’ instruction rather than on merely providing moral support. Secondly, integrate new teachers into school-wide learning opportunities. Beginning teachers can learn from collaborative work in departments or grade-level teams and school-wide professional development. Principals should establish regular meeting times for such work. Lastly, promote learning during evaluation. Principals can help new teachers acquire and learn to apply content-specific pedagogical knowledge through classroom observations, post-observation conferences, and other direct consultation. Principals can also connect new teachers to external sources of professional development that address their challenges, such as setting consistent expectations for students or integrating assessment into instruction.

Novice teachers’ experiences upon entering the teaching profession do influence their intentions to remain in the teaching profession and are therefore of importance in retaining teachers. The costs involved educating more beginning teachers, the hiring process, full support and mentoring, orientation programs, and teachers’ professional development.

3 thoughts on “Mentoring Novice Teachers”
  1. Ms Anita, You clearly reflected the issues of Novice teachers, and a good mentoring program can retain their motivation, polish their skills in the teaching and learning process.
    Regards

  2. Ms Anita, You clearly reflected the issues of Novice teachers, and a good mentoring program can retain their motivation, polish their skills in the teaching and learning process.
    Regards

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