Supporting the New Teacher on Your Team

Actionable strategies for ensuring that the new teacher on your team feels welcome, comfortable, and prepared.
We have all been there. You have just been hired for your first teaching job. You may have met your team during the interview process, but odds are that you haven't, not all of them at least. The wheels in your head can't stop spinning with all the fresh and new ways that you are going to change the world and impact your students for the better. You are ready to take the world by storm, but first, you are a little nervous about meeting your team.

Do you remember it? I do clear as day. I had an awesome team, with a great mentor, but still there are a few things that I wished they would have told me or done when I first got started to make the transition just a little bit smoother.

Make First Contact

I was super nervous about meeting my team, as I was hired by admin only. I really wish that someone would have reached out to me as soon as they knew I was their new teammate. Instead, I was greeted by an, "Oh, are you Alyssa?" the first day I as in my classroom setting up. 

Don't be that teammate. Instead, reach out with a simple text, email, or phone call just to say welcome. It would be even better if you are able to set up a meet up before school gets started, but any type of contact is appreciated. 

Ask If They Have Any Questions

I had a boat load of questions about how the school worked when I first started, but  never really felt like it was the right time to ask. I wish that someone would have offered up the time. Really, if I am going for a perfect situation, I wish someone would have asked me about once a day for the entirety of the pre-planning week if I had any questions, because something was always coming up. 

A related topic is to ask what their goals are. I know that as a first year teacher I was really confident in teaching ELA, but worried about math. If someone would have asked me about this in the beginning it would have saved a lot of heartache on my part, and I would have gotten the assistance I needed right away instead of after my first observation. 

Make a List of "Just Knowns" for Your School

Actionable strategies for ensuring that the new teacher on your team feels welcome, comfortable, and prepared. You know what I am talking about, the stuff that no one things about, because that's just the way it is. For example, at my school it was unspoken rules that every Wednesday after school was saved for school wide meetings, you always chip in for a baby shower, and sunshine dues were collected at the beginning of each semester. 

None of these things were earth shattering, but they would have been nice to know from the beginning instead of finding out along the way. 

Go Out of Your Way to Be Inclusive

Going to happy hour? Invite them! Heard about a new training that you are interested in? Tell them about it! Getting together to plan ahead? Make sure to include them. 

Moral of the story, while you may think that they know they are invited, they may not want to feel like they are inviting themselves. 

Be Supportive

Teaching can really suck at times, and not everyone knows it going in. Be there for them with a Dr. Pepper and a chocolate bar, a pat on the back, or a note with encouraging words. Just knowing that you are there and have been through it and survived can mean the world! 

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