Shared concerns for a new school year

'Two Roads Diverged' photo (c) 2010, Kevin Gessner - license: am about to be the ‘new teacher’ again for the 4th time in my life. My usual feelings of nervousness and excitement are resurfacing as I am to report to my new school and new team next week! This time though, I find myself reflecting on not only my role as the ‘new teacher’ but also the role of returning teacher I have played to many ‘new teachers’ in the past. I have been thinking of the manner in which teachers may or may not have felt/acted as both a new teacher and a returning teacher. In this case I believe both share their own concerns and questions.


New Teacher to the School Returning Teacher to the School
Will they want to listen to my ideas? Will they participate and share things they have done?
Will they be willing to try new things? Will they want to change everything?
Will they be willing to teach me unfamiliar things? Will they be willing to admit they don’t know and accept help?
Will they support me in the beginning with school procedures? Will they not need any support?
Will they understand my questioning their procedures? Will they complain about our procedures?
Will I be included in the social circle? Will they accept invitations to visit at lunch and gatherings to get to know each other?
Will I be respected? Will they respect us?

I am sure there are more or even different thoughts and questions that both new teachers and returning teachers think about before the first day back, including topics such as PD, technology integration, assessment policies, etc. Some schools even try to help in this area by organizing different activities for all their teachers prior to the start of school.

I wonder to myself though, would I like to work on a new team, at a new school, if I was one of the returning teachers? Do I practice what I hope for in my new team? Overall, I believe both new teachers and returning teachers need to remain open; open to new people, ideas, strategies, and experiences. I am looking forward to school starting and continuing to share my ideas with you! Best of luck to you as your new school year begins.

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