learned that sometimes my students need more than a teacher. Sometimes they need afriend that understands the pain they are feeling.
Question 2 Commitment - If you could offer some words of advice orencouragement to a young teacher just beginning his/her journey in the classroomwhat would you say?
My advice to new teachers has been to be consistent and to never be afraid to ask for help. Most young teachers have a high level of enthusiasm. With that often comes a highlevel of frustration when things do not go their way. I simply tell a new teacher, thingsare not always going to go as planned. In fact, they should count on things happening inthe classroom that will backfire, blowup and overwhelm them. Be prepared to adjust, butnever give in or give up. Teaching can be the most isolated profession that I know. Rarelydo teachers get the opportunity to view 'good teaching.' Rarely are teachers a part of acomprehensive mentor program. A young teacher needs to be proactive, ask for help andseek out advice from veteran teachers. But, within their classroom walls, a young teacher needs to keep a consistent level of energy each day.I often conjure up the imagery of a sculptor when describing what it takes to be a teacher.Rome was not built in a day. A great Roman-era sculpture was not created with onesingle, powerful swing. No one could recognize
as Michelangelo began work onhis famous sculpture. But, in the end it is a priceless work of art. So it is for the student ina class that is struggling. That student needs to know that every day their teacher will bein their corner with the same persistence. Young teachers often have "great days" and"terrible days." The key is to string together many "good" days.Habits are the key to building consistency in a young teacher. One habit that I stress is toget contact information, such as email, work and home phone numbers, and evenaddresses of students and parents. Developing good habits of contacting parents regularlyeliminates many issues down the road. Students have one version of the things. Parentsshould not only hear their child's version. Parents need to hear directly from the teacher.This is positive public relations and it opens a pathway and an invitation to the parent toreciprocate communication when it is necessary.