Teaching has a long and noble history. From the ancients, like Plato and Aristotle, to the educators of today, teachers have made a huge impact on the world around them. Almost everyone remembers one or more teachers fondly, and some people credit a particular teacher with their success in life. Teachers are hugely influential, many times in a positive way but sometimes in a negative way, too. Teachers can inspire their students to greatness — or they can inadvertently give inaccurate information that will stick with their students for a lifetime.
Being a teacher is a special calling. It takes a kind yet firm heart. It also takes a person who basically believes in the goodness of all people. A cynical teacher can cause a borderline student to lose faith and give up. On the other hand, a positive and perceptive teacher can help a student turn her life around and begin to meet her potential. Just having a positive attitude is not enough, though. A classroom teacher relies on many special skills. Lee Iacocca said, “In a completely rational society, the best of us would aspire to be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something less, because passing civilization along from one generation to the next ought to be the highest honor and the highest responsibility anyone could have.” Teaching can be a stressful and sometimes a thankless job, but when a teacher finally does see that he is making a difference, he receives a reward like no other.
As a new teacher, you will be faced with many challenges and, hopefully, will reap many rewards. The Everything® New Teacher Book, 2nd Edition with CD is designed to be a tool that can help guide you down the path of effectiveness, leading to the ultimate goal of a truly rewarding career. Though it is designed for the novice, more experienced teachers will also find it useful in their day-to-day careers.
Teaching is truly a cumulative activity. The advice in this book is drawn from the accumulated experience of many teachers. You can trust that the information you find here is based on what really happens in the classroom. It is not “pie in the sky” theory but realistic and effective practice. Most of the information in this book can be used from day one. In fact, much of it should be implemented
One of the main reasons that new teachers have such a tough time in the beginning is that they do not feel comfortable in their position. Because of their lack of experience, they make some very common mistakes, like making friends with students or being lax in terms of discipline. In fact, most new teachers start to worry about keeping discipline before they even enter the field. It is one of the more difficult challenges that a new teacher faces. This book aims to steer you around those common errors and keep you from making them in the first place.
As a new teacher, you will be in survival mode for the first few weeks of school. However, after things calm down and you begin to feel comfortable in front of your students, you may begin looking beyond the latest house-keeping task to the big picture, which includes the school at large. As with any new career, you will be faced with a new vocabulary and customs. The school culture is like no other industry because of the unique nature of its “product”: educated children. This book is designed to give you some insight into the inner workings of the school system. You will learn about the trends and ideas that abound in education today. Just knowing what these terms and ideas mean can help you converse intelligently with your coworkers and administration.
Not every person is cut out to teach. However, if you feel the calling and you work to improve yourself, you can be an effective teacher, the kind of teacher who truly makes a difference in her students' lives. As Henry Adams said, “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”