The Power of being a New Teacher
It’s certainly one of the most intimidating things crossing paths with teachers who have been at your institution for a few years and who seem to know everything and have it all under control. They know the ins and outs of the system and if you ever feel lost, then you most probably are. So why is it a good thing?
If you are still unable to fully grasp the basics of the system your school/institute has in place, then obviously something needs to be addressed or changed. Whether it is the training manual you received, the mentor and his/her guidance (or lack thereof), the resources, the admin, etc., you have the power as a new teacher to see things with a fresh mind and see it in an objective manner. If you can bring it under the attention of your senior management or Director of Studies, your input will be incredibly valuable. Never forget it.
Power in Progress
What do I mean with your input being incredibly valuable? It’s quite simple – It helps contribute to the continuation of progress. If your management is open to listening to you, you will most likely find your opinions and input appreciated and taken at full value. You can see what is working and what isn’t. You bring new and fresh ideas to the table as a new teacher. If you struggle adjusting and understanding any of the systems, it could mean that there needs to be a closer inspection of the mentors and programs they have in place. Do not be afraid to voice your concerns. Without it, there will not be any advancement in the school or institution’s system. This ultimately leads to stagnation and that is something you do not want happening! A happy teacher makes for happy children and satisfied parents. If the parents see progress in class and that there is innovation and satisfaction amongst the teaching staff, they will be more than eager to pay for their children’s tuition fees in learning a second language.
Out with the Old, In with the New
As confident as those senior teachers are, they won’t always be there. Their contributions aren’t useless, and has definitely played a vital role in ensuring the continuation of the institute and its successful retention rate of students. However, with each new group of teachers, the “improved” version of the old ideas with be built upon and so on and so forth. This is how progress is ensured. Only once you speak up about your views and concerns, can you achieve an optimal learning and teaching environment.
A progressive learning environment will contribute to the overall success of the school/institute in the long run. Don’t be complacent with the system. Don’t be intimidated by your position as “newbie”. In a few months or so, other new teachers will come along and will also have different views about the system.
Persuading Management as the Newbie
Now I know that talking to higher management can sometimes seem like a daunting task. The people who check your progress and confirm your pay check isn’t necessarily the same people you head out with on a Sunday night after class to go party with until dawn.
My advice here would be to consult any senior teacher in the staff, preferably your own mentor if the school has assigned you one.
Being able to approach a senior teacher or mentor about critical issues in your school takes a lot of the stress off of your own back and as they have substantially more influence, it is more likely that your views will be regarded seriously. It’s hierarchy, yes, but it’s the name of the game. As long as such a hierarchy is not abused and overused, it can be a helpful structure for fresh, new teachers who ultimately will only benefit from extra guidance and tips!
As a new teacher at a school, you may stumble a bit and struggle now and again, but your fresh view, added creativity and ability to be objective counts for quite a lot if you are keen enough to utilize it! Progress in teaching leaves everybody richer.