I reread my last post and think I sound rather fierce. I will nonetheless stand by that post. The first week in a classroom sets the tone for the whole year. One big riddle of education, wrapped in a mystery, trapped inside an enigma, must be the number of teachers who walk away within the first five years of entering the profession. Studies indicate that 40 to 50% will abandon teaching within those five years.
That’s the current wisdom anyway. I believe the study’s a few years old. I would not be surprised to discover that the percentage has risen above 50%.
Undoubtedly, some new teachers are pushed out, but many flee the scene despite formidable student loan debt. Support and mentoring programs can help keep teachers in the system. For the next few weeks, I intend to focus on mentoring, rather than the many things within the system that are breaking or broken.
Somehow this blog of gloom and doom has acquired over 8,000 registered users. I suspect many or most of you are experienced educators. If you know a newbie, though, please feel free to pass on this URL.
I started with classroom management yesterday because everything starts with classroom management. Brilliantly written lesson plans might as well be toilet paper in the absence of effective classroom management.
Eduhonesty: Incidentally, I have a real gripe with current education classes. So many new teachers tell me they were taught how to design lessons and lesson plans, but not taught more than rudimentary fundamentals of classroom management. When education schools emphasize making lessons, instead of managing students, they do their own students a grave disservice. For one thing, in many schools nowadays, teachers are all teaching the same preprepared lesson plan anyway.