Dear New Teacher,
Welcome to EdCourageMentor! Before we explain how we are going to improve your life as a teacher (and human being), we want to give a little bit of background about why we exist.
There are many misconceptions about teaching. You’ve probably heard teaching romanticized by the uninitiated: the cushy hours, the Summers off, the ease factor of the job. Little do these uninformed realize the sheer hours that teachers put in planning, grading, teaching, assessing, counseling, coaching, attending meetings… It’s exhausting merely listing the myriad of roles that a teacher fills. Furthermore, what other job do you know where the employee has to plan their bathroom trips in advance? More insulting, however, is the oft-repeated adage that “those who cannot do, teach.” This could not be further from the truth: some of the teachers I’ve encountered have been some of the most talented, innovative, forward-thinking people I’ve had the privilege to know. They could have done anything; they chose to teach.
There are many reasons that you may have decided to teach. You were inspired by an impactful teacher in your life. You want to change lives. You love the content of your field and want to educate others about it. You have a passion for social justice. You view teaching as a noble endeavor. You think education can be transformative. You think teaching is fun. You enjoy the challenges presented by teaching. You have a passion for working with children. You’ve been told you have a knack for teaching. You love learning. Do any of these resonate with you? Regardless of your impetus to teach, here you are now; the classroom is your oyster.
Be forewarned, however: Teaching is not for the faint of heart- it is an act that is simultaneously audacious and thrilling. Every day in your classroom, up to forty sets of eyes will be watching you, forty sets of ears will be hanging on every word you say, forty brains will be recording your every move. You hold the awesome responsibility not just to teach your students content but to impart the knowledge and skills to take on life as a successful human being. I say this not to scare you, but to prepare you honestly for some of challenges that lie ahead.
But here’s the good news: there is no job more challenging or important if done right.
And here’s the even better news: you don’t have to do it alone. In some schools, you are lucky enough to be placed with a supportive mentor teacher, who will take under her/his wing (hopefully that is you!). Most teachers are not that lucky. This is a large factor in the attrition rate of teachers: the average career-span of a teaching career is a paltry 3 years (although most people don’t become teachers with the intention of leaving the field).
Fear not! That’s where we come in: your EdCourageMentor. We were all new teachers once, and although every experience is unique, we have shared many of your struggles. We are sharing the things we wished we would’ve heard as a new teacher.
This is so much more than a blog, this is a community of teachers supporting teachers. Although we are virtually based, we are here for you, physical human beings, providing advice, encouragement, useful resources, self-care tips, classroom management and instructional strategies, humorous teaching anecdotes- anything that will allow you to grow as a teacher and continue to find joy in your career. We will learn together, reflect on our practice, and support one another.
It takes courage to shape the heart and minds of youth. Let’s do this together!
Welcome to the EdCourageMentor community- we are happy to have you here!
Your EdCourageMentor Team