Encouraging New Teachers
Support needed for new teachers
*Between 40 and 50% of early career educators leave the profession within their first 5 years.
*Before the pandemic, 25% of new SC teachers left after their first year!
*The number of new college graduates with a bachelor’s degree in education has decreased to 4%. (Pew Research Center, September 22)
*October and January are particularly difficult for first year teachers. (Ellen Moir, California NewTeacher Project)
*New teachers begin the year with few/no staff connections, empty classrooms, and little experience in managing a classroom.
Pathways to teaching have changed Teachers come to the classroom from different backgrounds: *As a newly graduated college student *With a career change through alternative programs such as PACE (Program of Alternative Certification for Educators), Teachers of Tomorrow, or Teach for America *International Teachers recruited to teach in a culture often very different from their own
What are their needs? At a recent Heart4Schools training, Nathalie Bennett and Spencer Quinlin, Charleston County School District Teachers of the Year, suggested the following ways to help.
One Time Support: Most Needed supplies
New teachers walking into an empty classroom typically need pencils, tissues, Clorox wipes, Expo Markers, copy paper, colored paper, math manipulatives, books for the classroom, prize box items, snacks, highlighters, reusable pens, student hygiene items.
Always ask, “What do you need?”
One Time Support Ideas
Supply donations, special notes, surprise drink or snack, homemade meal, field trip chaperones, fieldtrip sponsors, book drive, Career Day volunteer, PE or recess equipment donations, school event sponsors (PTA event, Field Day, Parent Night, Testing Celebration); help with Book Fair.
Seasonal Support Ideas
BEGINNING OF THE YEAR: Welcome Teams, First Weeks of School Volunteers, Welcome Back Supply Kit, Shopping Teacher Wish Lists
INTERNATIONAL TEACHER SUPPORT: local housing, daycare and school advice, household & kitchen furnishings, DMV & transportation assistance.
HOLIDAY SEASONAL SUPPORT: Classroom holiday celebration support, Testing Week – snacks and notes of encouragement; Cold/Flu Season – Bless You Tissues; Seasonal decorations for common areas
Ongoing Support Ideas
Adopt a teacher; support groups; stocking a teacher supply closet, snack room, or pantry; monthly staff breakfasts; volunteering (Reading Buddies, lunch/recess duty, in the classrooms, assisting prep); providing tutoring; helping with clubs; sponsorships and assisting with field trips and school events.