Roxanna Elden, one of the wisest and most entertaining writers and speakers on life in the classroom, has just announced a great free resource for new teachers.
Here’s part of her announcement:
According to the US Department of Education, half of all new educators quit within five years. In lower-income schools, half quit within just three years. With teacher shortages growing in many states, it’s more important than ever to help rookies through the October-November low point known as “the Disillusionment Phase.”
With this in mind, Roxanna Elden, author of See Me After Class: Advice for Teachers by Teachers, has created a new tool: the “Disillusionment Power Pack.”
Teachers who sign up will receive emails for one month beginning the day they subscribe. The emails include journal pages from the author’s first year of teaching, stories behind the stories she now tells in speeches, and insights meant to help teachers through the time frame when new teachers’ great ideas are falling apart and kids are no longer on their best behavior, but the end of the school year is nowhere in sight.
New teachers often feel like the weak link, but are too self-conscious to voice their self-doubt to mentors or colleagues. Even meetings meant to support new teachers can feel competitive, with participants more eager to share successes than confess mistakes. Says Elden, “For better or worse, there is no good way to ‘out’ yourself as a struggling teacher your first year. And yet, what teachers need most is for someone to be straightforward about how tough teaching can be. Especially when you feel like the weak link. Especially when everyone around you is sharing success stories.” Elden has addressed this issue before, including in her TED-style talk on The Myth of the Super Teacher, viewed over 40,000 times internationally, and in an NPR interview on how teachers can survive the October Blues.
She says that in October of her own first year, she needed to hear not from another rookie or award-winning master teacher, but from someone who’d powered through self-doubt and low points to become a successful teacher. In other words, she needed to hear from a future version of herself.
“The Disillusionment Power Pack is the series of emails I’d send to the first-year-version of myself, the teacher crying in a Burger King parking lot wondering if my students would be better off with someone else in front of the room.”
You might also be interested in The Best Advice For New Teachers.