How do you support new teachers?

October 1st, 2009

How do you create a sense of community for new teachers in your school? How do you support new teachers’ instructional decisions? What are some successful ways of looking at literacy assessment with new teachers and with the entire school staff?

These are just some of the questions teachers and administrators grapple with during the discussion of Jennifer Allen’s book, A Sense of Belonging. Join the discussion today and read what your colleagues have to say about creating a sense of belonging in their schools.

For example, Dayle Timmons, a literacy coach in Florida, shared her school’s practice of bringing together teachers who don’t usually work together. Dayle writes: “Every other Wednesday our children leave an hour and half early so for 4 consecutive Wednesdays we have teachers meet in study groups around a text. Well before the starting date we give teachers an overview of each of the titles that we have selected. Then teachers have a week to sign up for one of the groups. The Principal puchases all of the books….This has been a particular favorite of our teachers although we aren’t quite as structured as Jennifer’s Study Groups.”

Jill Dillard, another participant in the discussion, shared her experiences as a new coach in her school: “I like Janet’s idea of letting her teachers observe her so I’ve been trying that. In other classrooms I’ve just joined in the lesson…sometimes on a wing and a prayer…but so far so good. I’ve been at this job for three weeks since I was hired part-time after the fulltime coach quit. Perhaps word is spreading that I’m okay. I’m using a ‘soft’ approach, eating lunch with a different grade level each day I’m there and trying my best to learn and understand the conversation here.”

Now it’s your turn: sign up for our Ning community and join our book study group! Jennifer’s book is now available, so order your copy today!

Entry Filed under: Leadership & Mentoring

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. dayle timmons  |  October 3rd, 2009 at 9:47 am

    I particularly liked this book because it includes such a comprehensive list of strategies to use with beginning teachers. The book is practical and each strategy has bunches of “tried and true” stories. In makes me want to suggest this book to every policy maker becauce if these practices were a natural part of teacher support across the country, we would be keeping new teachers (even with what we are paying them) instead of losing half after 5 years!
    dayle timmons
    Literacy Coach

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