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Celebrating and Supporting New Teachers

Shelly Allen
VP for Advocacy

Every year as school comes to an end, I find myself reflecting on all of the major events of the year.  We usually have numerous end of year celebrations including special recognitions for all of our NEW TEACHERS.  This year those celebrations turned into virtual experiences and I can’t help feeling like our NEW TEACHERS missed out on some of the most important feedback and encouragement by not being able to finish the year face to face with their students and colleagues. 

According to a 2018 Georgia K-12 Teacher and Leader Workforce Status Report, almost half of the teacher workforce had ten or fewer years of experience working in Georgia public education and 44 percent of teachers leave the profession within the first five years.  A challenge we all face this year is how to keep our newest teachers encouraged and engaged within our professional community.  At a time when school has been disrupted, we must try to connect and support each other in new ways. 

Here are some ideas to get started:

Call or Text a NEW TEACHER – Just a quick call or text to a new teacher offering words of encouragement or just checking in would be a nice way to show that you care.  Maybe you could share your favorite summer activity or a back to school idea you’ve been thinking about.  

Volunteer to be a Mentor – We need more mentors!  Share your experience and support your colleagues this year.  Contact your school leadership to let them know you would like to volunteer to be a mentor for NEW math teachers. 

Participate Together in Online Professional Learning Sessions – Have you been participating in any of the online math professional learning sessions?  Thankfully many of the conferences that were planned for Spring and Summer have been moved into an online format.  I encourage you to reach out to a new teacher and invite them to join you.  I am learning so much by participating in the NCTM 100 days of Professional Learning https://www.nctm.org/100-Days-of-Professional-Learning/

Encourage Membership in GCTM – My membership in GCTM was encouraged while I was an undergraduate so I have always had the support of the GCTM organization but there are math teachers across the state who may not know about this great resource yet.  You may even decide to gift a membership to GCTM for a new teacher.  One of my favorite birthday gifts recently was my membership renewal to GCTM. 

What are some other ways we can support our NEW MATH TEACHERS?  Share your ideas with us:  advocacy@gctm.org

Image above:
Amanda Woods on the first day of her first year of teaching.

Image to the left:
Augusta University Middle Grades Education 2019 Graduates - All started their first year of teaching this year

Front Row:  Audra Warren, Amanda Woods, Lydia Albert;
Back Row: Hannah Sourdiff, Roby Gillespie, Elizabeth McLaughlin, Clarence Kendrick, Mason Vaughan

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