Thursday, September 07, 2017
For Newbie Teachers Its Sink Or Swim With No Lifeguard To Save Them.
The DOE has empowered principals to hire who they please and even with the elimination of the useless and money sucking Children First Networks, Superintendents have so far failed to oversee school hiring to ensure that all students have a certified teacher in each subject area. The DOE policies like Fair Student Funding, tight school budgets, and the use of Danielson as a weapon against veteran teachers have resulted in many schools hiring "the cheapest and not the best teachers" for their schools. The result is a lack ofr veteran mentors for this inexperienced staff..
In many schools, the teaching staff is composed of young and inexperienced teachers and there are few veteran teachers to mentor or guide these inexperienced teachers on the skills necessary to survive in the New York City classroom. When I started teaching, I was mentored by a senior Science teacher and in my first couple of years, as I struggled and ready to quit, many veteran teachers dropped in to provide advice and support. The teacher room was a godsend as I could ask the veteran teachers questions and get answers on classroom management skills, pedagogy, and tap their extensive knowledge of the different teaching techniques that worked for them and of course, the ones that did not. Having a veteran staff was invaluable to a "newbie" like me and helped me become a better teacher and stay in the profession.
By contrast, the lack of veteran teachers in the schools means that new teachers are thrown into the New York City classroom and told its "sink or swim". Well, without veteran teachers mentoring the "newbies" ,many sink. Meaning they leave the NYC classroom and maybe even the teaching profession.
While novice doctors and lawyers are mentored by a senior colleague and don't operate or appear in court without first, assisting the veteran for a year or more so as to gain the necessary experience and confidence to eventually learn their craft Nobody in their right mind would want a "newbie" doctor to operate on them or a "newbie" lawyer to defend them in court. Yet, in NYC far too many "newbie" teachers are thrown into the classroom without the proper tools and subject to a steep learning curve that makes guinea pigs out of our children. No wonder we have a low "college and career readiness" rate.
The bottom line, the NYC school system has too many inexperienced teachers and with fewer and fewer veteran teachers to mentor them. Therefore,too many of them sink and take student academic achievement with them because the lifeguard, in the form of the veteran teacher is no longer on duty to save them.