Asking For Help

help keyboard computerThe scariest thing a new teacher faces – other than an out-of-control classroom – is the prospect of having to ask someone for help. Many novices would rather suffer in silence than reveal to a colleague that they are experiencing problems in the classroom.

An even scarier proposition for a new teacher is asking a supervisor for assistance, whether it is a department chair, assistant principal, or principal. The novice is hesitant because s/he thinks s/he will be exposed as an inferior educator, and be fired on the spot. This (of course) is not the case. So, the novice keeps muddling along… feeling inadequate, overworked, frustrated, and miserable. It is ironic that the people they avoid asking for help are the ones best equipped to provide the assistance they need.

In years past, the novice could shut the door of their classroom and keep the world out for a long period of time. Administrators in most school districts would only visit classrooms three or four times a year. Teachers could bribe their class to “be good” when the administrator visited – masking the problem for weeks (or longer). In today’s classroom, administrators are in classrooms weekly. Students use social media to tell stories of “bad” teachers. Websites such as “Rate My Teacher” exist to tell the world about poor teaching. State tests and other common assessments expose learning gaps – data is used by almost every school district to measure the effectiveness of (and compare) educators.

So who should teachers turn to for help?

Join Middle School Administrator Shannon Holden on Tuesday, December 1 at 5 PM Eastern Time as he categorizes all of the people and resources available to help novice teachers survive their first year. Shannon will also establish a hierarchy of people to approach when faced with specific issues. This information is of vital importance – 51% of new teachers do not make it five years in the teaching profession. We hope to see you for this helpful webinar!

shannon holden

This post was written by Shannon Holden, middle school assistant principal. Shannon Holden has been a high school and middle school teacher and administrator, and a new teacher coach, in North Dakota, Texas, and Missouri for 20 years. Follow him on Twitter @newteacherhelp.