Presentation on theme: "Joseph Rasmus Wilkes University EDUC 522 M. Pawlik."— Presentation transcript:
Joseph Rasmus Wilkes University EDUC 522 M. Pawlik
Roberson, R & Roberson, S. (2009). The role and practice of the principal in developing novice first-year teachers. Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies,Issues and Ideas, 82(3) 113-118. Retrieved July 10, 2009, from ERIC database.
Imagine this scenario: You and your family are embarking upon a much anticipated family vacation to a far-off distant, exotic destination. Upon settling in your seats on the 747 jet destined for an island paradise, the pilot of the plane enthusiastically imparts his excitement concerning this flight over the intercom. He further indicates that this flight---your flight is the very first commercial air flight that he has ever piloted subsequent to obtaining his commercial pilot license. Intuitively, he attempts to assuage the audiences’ nervous reception to his announcement by reassuring you and the other passengers that regardless of the aircraft, “Regardless of the number of passengers…whether you fly with one passenger or one hundred…” “all piloting is the same!” “Right?” The situation appears grim. Chaos seems imminent. Due to the situation, you become overwhelmed by fear, anxiety, and trepidation.
This situation and the feelings that it inspires could be easily relied upon to describe the perceptions and emotions of the novice teacher who enter the public school gates unequipped for the challenges that lie within. This is not an unusual experience as previously described, rather it is a commonplace reality that characterizes the dissonance and uneasiness experienced by thousands of new first year teachers as they enter the schoolhouse gates for the first time every year. It is customary for incumbent teachers to be handed a roster, a textbook, and a key to the classroom and off they go.
According to Roberson and Roberson (2009): In teaching, new entrants, fresh out of professional training, assume the exact same responsibilities as 20 year veterans. In doing so, they are undertaking a remarkably complex endeavor, involving as it does the simultaneous management of multiple variables, including student behavior, intellectual engagement, student interaction, materials, physical space, and time. While novice teachers have had terrific intellectual preparation and outstanding student teaching experience, their limited experience generally yields an equally limited repertoire of classroom strategies—far more limited than the variety of teaching challenges a new teacher invariably encounters. (p. 113-114).
Just like the pilot who needs to collaborate and apprentice with a practicing and experienced pilot in order to prepare his “wings” for flight, a novice teacher, despite the arsenal of tricks that our enthusiastic new teachers glean from their educational program of study, they need an induction program that will afford them with the collaboration and apprenticeship experience necessary to: “ promote high levels of classroom practice, ensure academic success of all students, and encourage new ways of being in schools for novice and veteran teacher alike”(Roberson & Roberson, 2009, p. 114).
So what if we fail to address the problem?....... New Teacher attrition increases exponentially! Research evidence indicates that the yearly turnover rate in education is 13.2 % and moreover, 29% of new teachers leave the field within three years and 39 % after five years. Roberson and Roberson (2009) have observed that, “questions left unanswered can create uncertainty, anxiety, and frustration for novice teachers and can lead to early exit.” Research indicates that 30 percent of beginning teachers do not teach beyond two years and almost 40 percent leave the profession in their first five years” (p. 114).
Practices that strive to improve the socialization and enculturation process for novice educators must be identified and implemented to not only acclimate new teachers, but moreover to ensure the best possible learning outcomes for our children. This presentation attempts to examine the principal’s role in addressing the demands of the inexperienced faculty that they welcome into the classroom. In, The Role and Practice of the Principal in Developing Novice First-Year Teachers. Roberson and Roberson (2009) examine the principal’s role in addressing the demands of the inexperienced faculty that they welcome into the classroom. Specifically, the article examines: (1.) the alarming attrition and retention rates of “novice” educators; (2.) The principal’s leadership role in the assimilation and development process of faculty; (3.) strategies to aid the principal in retaining and developing new teachers to promote high levels of classroom practice, ensure the academic success of all students, and encourage collegiality amongst novice and veteran teachers; and (4.) the necessary aspects that should be included in a “new teacher induction plan” to ensure success for the transitioning teacher and his/her students.
In order for school principals to cultivate appropriate and meaningful induction programs that not only acclimate novice teachers to the managerial aspects of their profession, but also the prepare them for effective interaction with all school community stakeholders, the principal must understand the issues which underscore the novice teacher’s insecurity and performance apprehension. Roberson and Roberson (2009) cite the findings of McCann and Johannessen who identified five major areas upon which novice teachers tend to preoccupy themselves that include: Relationships (with students, parents, and colleagues, and supervisors), Workload and time management, Knowledge of the curriculum, evaluation and grading, Issues of autonomy and control (p. 114). Principals must provide their new “inductees” with opportunities for dialogue and interaction which will both allow the teacher to discuss the aforementioned concerns and also afford the principal with opportunities to discuss data-driven best practices, learning outcomes for students, differentiated instruction, teaching pedagogy, classroom management strategies, assessment strategies, and school culture.
In addition to understanding the issues that plague new teachers as they transition into the classroom, it is equally imperative that principals clearly communicate their expectations for their incumbent faculty. With the interest of maintaining the continued stability and academic success of his or her school culture, the principal must clearly convey his/her expectations to incoming teachers so that they are clear on the performance standards within the school context. Relying upon the 1998 findings of Brock and Grady, Roberson and Roberson (2009) indicate that most principals expect their first year teachers to demonstrate proficiency in: (a) a professional attitude, (b) adequate knowledge of subject areas, (c.) good classroom management skills, (d) excellent communication skills, (e) a belief that every child can learn, and (f) a desire to help students (p. 114). Just like the student who relies upon the assessment rubric in order to determine how to cultivate an assignment, the new teacher, likewise, needs criteria for good performance, so that he or she can navigate choices in order to be “make the grade” and contribute and sustain the viability of the school community into which they are entering. In providing new teachers with a blueprint of expectations, the principal is thus fortifying his/her “weakest link,” which only makes perfect sense, for a school is only as good as its weakest link. When they do not receive principal support and guidance, they often encounter problems in teaching and/or leave the school or the profession entirely. Similarly Roberson and Roberson (2009) have observed that, “questions left unanswered can create uncertainty, anxiety, and frustration for novice teachers and can lead to early exit.” (Roberson & Roberson, 2009, p. 114).
Novice teachers naturally look to the principal for leadership and direction for two reasons. First, the principal is the primary contact person for the new teacher through the hiring process and has provided the teaching opportunity Second, the principal is the authority figure for the school and must be pleased with the work of the novice teacher. Beginning teachers also have expectations of principals, including: (a) communication of the prevailing criteria for good teaching; (b) the importance of communication with the principal and the need for scheduled meeting times; and (c) the importance of classroom visits, feedback, and affirmation Novice teachers see principals as knowledgeable of quality teaching not only because they originated in the classroom and have teaching experience, but also because principals are the chief teacher appraisers and make judgments on the novice teachers’ ability to teach. Therefore, novice teachers want communicative interaction with principals. principal’s classroom visits, Feedback (formal or informal), or words of encouragement and affirmation, novice teachers want to hear what principal have to say about their performance and efforts in the classroom
According to Roberson and Roberson (2009): What new teachers want in their induction is experienced colleagues who will take their daily dilemmas seriously, watch them teach and provide feedback, help them develop instructional strategies, model skilled teaching, and share insights about students’ work and lives. What teachers need is sustained, school-based professional development guided by expert colleagues, responsive to their teaching, and continual throughout their early years in the classroom. (p. 115)
Recognizing new teachers’ need for guidance, tutelage, and communication concerning acceptable teaching behaviors, principals must align novice teachers with experienced mentor teachers who can model appropriate behaviors, cultivate teaching acumen, and acquaint them to the operational facets of the school environment. There are “numerous ways in which principals initiate, facilitate, support, and assess the many components of mentor’s training and delivery of services to novice teachers at their site” (p. 49). Principals should: Ensure that novice teachers and mentors are well matched, Provide release time for mentors and novices to work together, Focus mentor and novice teacher collaboration towards the improvement of student learning, Create incentive and school structures that support common planning time for novice and mentor teachers, and Reward novice teachers for participating in professional development.
Novice teachers benefit exponentially when enrolled in a comprehensive and supportive Induction Program. A strong induction and retention program for new staff members that involves them in an existing learning community must include three significant activities: An induction program that assigns a strong coaching mentor who can grow professionally as much as their mentor; An induction program that supports and extends innovative practice through active research; and Induction program that supports collegial discussion and learning amongst experienced staff, new staff, and the principal through rigorous study groups
Roberson and Roberson (2009) offer a multitude of meaningful and sensible strategies that principals can employ in order to facilitate growth, development, and success of new teachers which include, but are not limited to: (1) Give new teachers one teaching assignment—teaching the same thing several times allows new teachers to plan specific curricular content, to refine lesson plans, and compare interactions among several classes; (2) Assign new teachers to content that they know best----otherwise new teachers will be at a pronounced disadvantage (3) Avoid assigning novice teachers to outside and/or extracurricular activities—the additional demands for these activities compete with the time needed to prepare lesson plans, grading, and other critical teaching tasks, (4) Assign novice teachers and mentor teachers in the same department and in close proximity to facilitate interaction. Providing new teachers with opportunities to share and solve problems—working with other teachers prevents isolation and provides meaningful experiences for comparison, and (5.) Providing new teachers with opportunities to be observed and to observe other teachers, especially master teachers—this helps the novice teacher to begin to generate stores of experience needed to deal with the verities of teaching (p. 114-115). The aforementioned strategies can have a significant impact upon the performance of new teachers, performance of students, and the culture of learning of school provided that the residing principal embraces and endorses them. With all that is at stake: faculty attrition, stability of school culture, the learning outcomes of learners, standardized test scores, and/or your professional reputation, wouldn’t a principal rather engage a new incumbent teacher upon their arrival rather than upon their dismissal. The answer seems simple!!!!!
Roberson, R & Roberson, S. (2009). The role and practice of the principal in developing novice first-year teachers. Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 82(3) 113-118. Retrieved July 10, 2009, from ERIC database.