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Motivating E-mails Help First-Year Teachers Get Through the Difficult Months of October, November

Motivating E-mails Help First-Year Teachers Get Through the Difficult Months of October and November

According to Ellen Moir, CEO of the New Teacher Center, October and November are the two most difficult months for first-year teachers, comprising what she calls “The Disillusionment Phase.”

Moir defines this phase as a realization of “The extensive time commitment, the realization that things are probably not going as smoothly as they want, and low morale contribute to this period of disenchantment. New teachers begin questioning both their commitment and their competence. Many new teachers get sick during this phase.”

In order to help teachers combat this especially difficult time, veteran teacher Roxanna Elden has developed a survival kit that includes weekly e-mails to motivate first-year teaches, says NPR.

“’The aim is to say what I always wish someone had said to me in a meeting,’ says Elden, 36, who has also written an advice book for teachers, called See Me After Class. She added that she hopes the emails, which allow teachers to write back, will create a safe place for those who might not have one,” the article said.

Elden says that first-year teachers are susceptible to exaggerated thoughts that can have a lot to do with why one in ten teachers leave the classroom by the end of the first year. She hopes that her motivating e-mails filled with personal advice and stories can help get teachers over the hump and act as a mentor for those who might not have one yet.

Elden shares with teachers anecdotes of the struggles she experienced over a decade ago in her first classroom:

Elden's worst day of her first fall in the classroom happened in late October. Her students were acting up, so she assigned them a long list of math problems even though she knew homework shouldn't be given as a punishment. Later she realized it was Halloween and that she had most likely only ruined the night for the kids who would do the homework — the ones who had been behaving anyway. It was the last straw: She broke down crying in her car.

But Elden persevered, and she hopes her advice can help others do the same.

Read the full article here.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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