What Rookies Want

All humans fail sometimes. All teachers fail sometimes.

All rookie teachers fail sometimes. It stings more when you're a rookie.

Some rookie teachers have supportive colleagues, deans, and principals.

Like this one.

Friday was, by far, the most difficult day of teaching I’ve had so far.

...My dean of students saw me crying in my room after and she was highly displeased to say the least. She said, write down the name of every student who gave you trouble. It was easier for me to write down students who didn’t misbehave. That list was two students long, or two students short. Needless to say, my class heard from the dean and my principal for about forty minutes after school. Among their many repercussions for being disrespectful, students were required to write me an apology and hand it in for homework the next day.

Here are a few of my favorite lines:

“[…] I will cherish the hours you put into our day so that we can go on to live very successful lives.”

“I will learn to respect you and be grateful for what you do for me.”

“I need you because I need to be able to pass the school year. I regret everything that I have done to you.”

“I apologize and we shouldn’t be putting all the pressure on you because you are a new teacher. We should be appreciating teaching us what we have to learn so thank you.”

“I know that I have been acting very foolish lately and I have to change my behavior so that I can be a successful student in your class.”

This is by far the best one…

“Over the past few months I have talked back to you, said negative things about you, gave you attitude and many other actions. Now, I am going to do the right things and bring my behavior up by paying attention more and not talking back and not being disrespect.”

This sort of intervention by an administrator cannot work unless that person has an awesome relationship with the kids.

Without an awesome relationship, at best you can coerced faux apologies. And, more likely, the teacher is worse off, losing kid respect.

I was impressed with this dean and principal. Eeez nice!

I checked in with the rookie teacher, an MTR alum, a few days after she wrote her blog.

She said the following week went much better. Far from perfect, of course. Better.

There are no miracle cures in the K-12 sphere. At least none I know.

But there are some good stories.