November 21, 2016

7 Things the New-To-Your-School Teacher Wants You to Realize

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I have been very blessed to teach at one school throughout the entirety of my career. I started there as a student teacher 11 years ago and I never left. However, most teachers don't tend to do this. Most teachers end up teaching at more than one school throughout their career. So I pooled a group of my friends and colleagues to find out what it is like. I created a list of 7 things that teachers new to a school want other teachers to realize...


1. Please be patient with me. I am NEW! I don't know how things work here. I don't know people's names. I don't know who does what, why, & how. I promise I will learn but you have to be patient with me. It is going to take me some time to figure things out.

2. I'm sorry but I need you to explain things to me. I don't know how semester exams are done or the requirements for my teacher duty. Yes, I know they explained that on the first few days of school but I was so overwhelmed that I missed it. Can you please be gracious & tell me again, without being condescending & rude? I am really not trying to be difficult. I just need more explanation.

3. Just because I am from another school doesn't mean I'm a first year teacher. I know how to teach. Please don't treat me like I am an inexperienced or incompetent teacher. Understand that if I do things differently, that doesn't mean that I'm saying what you are doing is wrong and what I am doing is right. We all teach differently and have our strengths. Please respect this and don't expect me to conform to how you teach or do things. Over time, I may see some ways that I can incorporate your ideas into my classroom but for now, I'm good. I've done this a time or two.

4. Please try to include and invite me into your social groups. I will be hesitant because I don't know anyone but I would love someone to be friendly and encourage me to be involved. I will be working with you for the next year so I'd like to get to know you all. It is rather intimidating to have to learn an entire new environment and job so quickly but it would be great if you approached me instead of me having to approach you.

5. Listen to my ideas even if you don't agree with them. I have ideas, strategies, and experiences that I am willing to share but please welcome my input. We don't have to do things my way but I really appreciate someone willing to listen to my point-of-view. Just because I talk about how things were done at my old school doesn't negate the way you do things here. It is just my personal experience that I am sharing with you.

6. Be positive about your school, students, colleagues, administration, & school system. No one wants to be around someone that is complaining. I will avoid you like the plague if you are negative from the begining. I am excited to have this job and I want to start off on the right foot, which doesn't mean being negative.

7. Don't judge me immediately. I am not comfortable in my environment yet so I'm not really being myself. I haven't let you really see who I am and what I'm about yet. This will take time. I'm also really overwhelmed about moving schools and learning all these new procedures. Please give me until Christmas to show you who I am.

These are just a few of the things that my new-to-my-school friends suggested. Sadly, we aren't all willing to accept new people but imagine if that new person is you. Give them time to figure things out & try to overlook any initial negatives you might see. Making new friends and learning a new environment is not easily done so just try to be nice to the new kid! We teach this to our students but sometimes teachers don't necessarily practice what they preach! 

Have you taught at more than one schools? If so, what things helped you feel like you belonged? What are your suggestions? I'd love to hear them! Comment below. 

6 comments:

  1. Thank you for posting this. As a second year teacher at my current school, I can really relate. Being a first year teacher in a small, tight-knit community is also particularly difficult at times. It can seem like everyone already knows everyone, and you are out of the loop! It is important to help new teachers get involved with the community outside of school as well!

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    1. Melissa, you are so right! Small communities where everyone knows one another is really tough. We teach our students to be welcoming of new students but sadly, teachers aren't always the most welcoming of other teachers. Good luck! I hope you are having a great 2nd year and feeling more comfortable in your new school. :)

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  2. I'm the "old lady on the block" in my 29th year. Thanks for writing something I can share with my other colleagues who just don't see this!

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    1. Thanks Theresa, I have to be honest that I really didn't see it myself until I befriended a teacher in her 2nd year at my school. Seeing my school through her eyes kind of made me sad. I hope that teachers can be more welcoming of new people and give them a chance. I hope this post helps further that!

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    1. Sadly, it is! I hope that teachers like me that have been at their school for a while will read this & realize that we don't tend to be the most welcoming. It is really tough to change schools.

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