Mentoring Beginning Teachers

Topics: Teacher, Education, School Pages: 7 (1824 words) Published: July 22, 2013
Chapter I
The Problem and Its Background
Every year a number of new teachers are employed to fill the vacant teaching positions in Philippine public schools. Most of these “new teachers” usually have had previous teaching in private schools. Yet, when they are assigned to public schools that follow a system different from that of the private schools, beginning teachers are confronted with various adjustment problems and challenges in their new environment. They find it hard to cope with the demands of classroom and time management, instructional strategies to apply, dealing with colleagues and superior, the duties and responsibilities they need to perform, and the personal and professional skills a teacher needs to possess.

Teaching in the public schools is a learning period for beginning teachers. They face many challenges and complex responsibilities as they perform their tasks. According to Cohran-Smith (2000, as cited by Glanz, 2004), teaching is a comprehensive process that includes presenting the knowledge in a comprehensible and easy manner, raising good questions, dealing with pupils and parents, administering and interpreting assessment results, meeting the varied learning needs of students, and recognizing and resolving problems of the practice.

In the United States, teaching in the public schools is one of the most challenging transitions faced by new teachers. It includes applying theoretical knowledge, developing effective instruction strategies, meeting students’ needs incorporating changing curriculum framework, developing high stakes assessment, managing the class, integrating emerging technology, and remaining sensitive to societal issues (Virginia Department of Education, 2000).

In the Harrisonburg City Public Schools in Washington (Providing Enriching Experiences and Resources through Sharing (PEERS, 2008), the following are the sources of problems of novices: 1) classroom organization that deals with administrative tasks, classroom management and discipline; 2) instruction, that addresses planning and organization, content knowledge, implementation, evaluation and resources; 3) student’s academic and behavioural differences, including relationship and motivation; 4) parents’ needs and relationships; 5) context, that involves relationship with colleagues and administrators, policies, daily schedule, curriculum and textbooks, and extracurricular activities; and 6) teacher’s personal and material needs.

Some educators have identified six environmental difficulties that beginning teachers face, namely: difficult work assignments, unclear expectations of the informal routines and customs for new teachers to learn, inadequate instructional resources and materials, social and professional isolation, role conflict between the role of being a new teacher and young adult, and reality shock caused by realizations, about the world of teaching and lack of preparation for the demands and difficulties in work (Gordon and Maxey, 2000).

Likewise, beginning teachers encountered difficulties in the major aspects of teaching skills such as instructional skills, classroom management, lesson planning and evaluation skills (Portacion, 2008). Furthermore, school activities, methods teaching and planning, relationship with co-teachers and school administrators, evaluation, classroom routine, materials and resources, professional growth, relationship with parents and community and discipline were the intricacies faced by new teachers in the public schools (Gonzales, 2000).

Some difficulties of beginning teachers during their initial stage in teaching were raised during the District Orientation Seminar for Teachers held at Baliwag South Central School on June 01, 2010. These were: enormous workload with a seemingly unjust compensation, poor pupil performance, and behaviour, inevitable peer pressure, big classes, demanding parents, and insufficient school resources. On the other hand, school heads...
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