10-second review: One-third of new teachers will leave the profession in three years and one-half at the end of five years. One of the major causes is the failure of individual teachers to match their expectations of teaching and a belief that other teachers don’t have their problems. How can we help new teachers become secure in their profession?
Title: TM McCann and L Johannessen. “Mentoring Matters.” English Journal (May 2009), 108-111. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).
Summary: The authors suggest inviting new teachers to join them over lunch, ask about what they are doing in class, share materials and lessons and ask their views on instructional issues.
Comment: One of the pest pieces of advice I can give to new secondary English teachers is to provide an immediate activity in the first ten minutes of class: a daily spelling test; a 10-minute essay that can be quickly marked for grammar at night; a problem in sentence structure, usage or punctuation the student tries to label and correct. It’s important for students to settle themselves immediately at the beginning of class.
Another useful piece of advice is to give students an index card when they enter the classroom. In the last five minutes of class, they either summarize the class on the card or ask a question. RayS.