Problems Facing New Classroom Teachers Today Research Paper

Pages: 13 (3887 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Education - Special Education  ·  Written: December 7, 2017

In this regard, Hughes and Valle-Riestra point out that, “Families are the primary social systems whereby children develop as individuals and increased levels of family involvement can positively influence developmental progress in children” (p. 41).

Therefore, it just makes good sense to encourage the active participation by parents in the education of their children, and this encouragement can assume a number of forms depending on the unique needs of students and their parents. Certainly, educators cannot compel parents to actively participate in their children’s school activities or help with homework assignments, but they can provide them with the resources they require for this purpose, again depending on their specific needs. The potential also exists that some parents may not fully realize the significant role they can play in helping their children become better learners in the classroom or know how best to achieve this goal. Consequently, any informed philosophy of education must include the importance of family-centered practices. In this regard, Hughes and Valle-Riestra also note that, “Resources and supports that are provided in an early childhood special education program need to be family-centered so family-based practices will have the child, the parent, and family strengthening and competency-enhancing consequences" (p. 41). Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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This guidance sounds straightforward, of course, and its legitimacy is self-evident, but providing family-based practices can be a particularly challenging enterprise when new teachers are confronted with a diverse group of young learners from a number of different socioeconomic levels and cultures. Despite the challenges that are involved, an informed educational philosophy must embrace the need to become a truly effective communicator, not only with peers and administrators, but most especially young learners and their family members. As Hughes and Valle-Riestra (2012) emphasize, “For true collaboration to exist, professionals have a significant responsibility to share all information in a way that matches the family's style of understanding and processing information” (p. 84).

Research Paper on The Problems Facing New Classroom Teachers Today Assignment

Because the abilities of young learners exist along a continuum, an educational philosophy must also take into account the need to master the fundamentals before progressing to higher level activities. When young learners receive a “C” in a math class, for example, this does not mean that they have generally mastered 70 percent of the curriculum; rather, it means that they most likely failed to learn 30% of the coursework, and these learning deficits are cumulative over time. By the time students enter college, these learning deficits typically mean that they will spend an inordinate amount of time and money on remedial courses just to catch up to their peers. The ongoing needs of students and their families are also noted by Hughes and Valle-Riestra (2012) who advise:

Strong emphasis should also be placed on the process of learning and development, and not just the end products; developing a universally designed curriculum framework that is flexible and comprehensive; working collaboratively with families; and embrace the practice of heterogeneous grouping that meets a variety of ability levels and individual needs. (p. 60)

This educational philosophy is congruent with a growing body of research that confirms the linkages between early learning experiences and later academic and career outcomes. In sum, my educational philosophy most closely resembles a progressivist model based on the need to provide student-centered educational services. For instance, according to Sadker and Sadker (2017), “Progressivism is based largely on the belief that lessons must be relevant to the students in order for them to learn. The curriculum of a progressivist school is built around the personal experiences, interests, and needs of the students” (Philosophy of education, para. 3). Although all of the master’s program coursework contributed to the development of this educational philosophy, there were some components of the graduate program that were of particular value to my professional growth and development as discussed below.

Components of the graduate program that were of particular value to professional growth and development

The real-world fieldwork and classroom teaching experiences were especially instructive in helping me refine my delivery and tone. The overarching desire to communicate a sense of enthusiasm and love for learning to young people can cloud teachers’ perceptions about what their students need so it is critical to remain alert to both verbal and nonverbal cues to ensure that students are actually paying attention and actively absorbing what is being taught. Moreover, these real-world experiences confirmed that young learners will frequently test their limits with novice teachers just to determine how much they can get away with since this is a golden opportunity for them. Consequently, gaining real-world classroom management experiences was invaluable in enhancing my professional growth and development. Rather than a whip and chair, I now recognize that there are some classroom management strategies that are highly effective in promoting and sustaining an environment that is conducive to learning, and these real-world experiences provided me with the confidence I need for the future.

Most importantly, perhaps, the several opportunities to teach in both general and special educational classrooms at various levels were also of particular value in my professional development and growth, especially in view of the types of problems that new teachers routinely face (and as discussed further below). In addition, the several seminars, most especially the ones concerning school violence and prevention, identifying and reporting child abuse and neglect as well as child safety considerations, that were included as part of the coursework were also of special value in my professional growth and development. Finally, the experienced, dedicated, knowledgeable and highly professional faculty members in this master’s program were of invaluable assistance to me in guiding my studies, answering my countless questions and shaping my philosophy of education.

Analysis of the problems facing new teachers and the effective supports

According to Manna (2017), one of the most significant challenges facing new teachers is effective classroom management. Maintaining an environment that is conducive to learning is, of course, one of the fundamental problems facing any educators, but most especially those who are just starting out in their teaching careers. While some intrepid new teachers walk confidently into their classrooms, as noted above, many others would prefer to be armed with a whip and chair, especially until they gain some real classroom experience. The reality of this problem for novice teachers was confirmed in a study by Goodwin (2012) who reports that a clear majority (85%) of new teachers feel they “are particularly unprepared for dealing with behavior problems in their classrooms” (p. 84). In fact, a survey of 500 new teachers with 3 or fewer years experience determined that these educators were more than twice as likely to report classroom management as their biggest problem compared to teachers with more than 3 years of experience (Goodwin, 2012).

Certainly, many people experience some level of “the jitters” when beginning a new job of any type, but classroom teaching differs from most jobs in that it requires a combination of theatrics, humor, creativity, dedication, compassion and expertise that is required by few other occupations. Moreover, the focus of teaching also differs from most other occupations, with the quality of the education of the next generation of leaders at stake. In other words, young learners are not so many “widgets” that simply walk in one schoolhouse door and out another and optimizing this developmental period in their lives is critical to future academic and professional success.

Fortunately, and as mentioned above, the practicum experiences provided by the master’s program went a long way in my professional development with respect to classroom management strategies, and these experiences have added to my confidence level in ways that would not be possible otherwise. This real-world experience was especially significant because many new teachers report that they failed to receive sufficient preparation in most preservice programs, especially with regard to consistently disruptive student behaviors (Goodwin, 2012). In fact, many new teachers report abandoning their carefully crafted evidence-based lesson plans in favor of lecture and rote memorizations after being exhausted by consistently unruly students (Goodwin, 2012).

Virtually all new teachers report needing additional support in classroom management methods, but there are other problems facing new teachers as well including a lack of support for lessons and unit planning from the outset (Goodwin, 2012). In fact, more than 40% of 8,000 new Teacher for America teachers recently reported that they received few resources and little or no guidance from their schools or districts concerning lesson planning. Moreover, many of these respondents complained that even when they did receive support and resources from their schools or districts, they were either inappropriate for their students or unit planning (Goodwin, 2012). While veteran teachers report appreciating the additional autonomy and freedom of being solely responsible for curricular planning activities, new teachers are less experienced with respect to what works best or why, leaving them searching for answers that may not be forthcoming (Goodwin, 2012).

When added to the administrative burdens that are part of teaching, these constraints sometimes combine to cause frustrated new teachers to either transfer to other school districts or even… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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