Problems Facing New Teachers Term Paper

Pages: 18 (4855 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 35  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Teaching

¶ … New Teachers

Discussion and Analysis of Problems Facing New Teachers

Introduction number of studies note that issues and problems facing new or novice teachers have become an important area of concern in modern education. One of the main reasons given for this concern is that "The more known about the difficulties which student teachers encounter and the sources of their concerns, the better the chances for eliminating the problems and enhancing every student teacher's chance for success. (Smith, 2000, p. 633) Therefore, understanding the problems and possible solutions to these problems that face new teachers is seen as an important aspect in developing and furthering creative educational praxis.

Another reason given is that "...many problems faced by student teachers could possibly be an omen of future conflicts "(ibid) In other words, problems that are identified and dealt with timeously can provide the groundwork for better teacher interaction and teaching methodologies in the future. There are also numerous other reasons for this concern - such as the fact that teaching has become a very complex endeavor involving and demanding numerous facets of the teacher's expertise and knowledge.

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The central trajectory of this paper is therefore to discuss the various problematic areas that face the new teacher. This will include the assessment of general and practical issues which affect novice teachers. A major part of the paper will be directed at a discussion of solutions to these problems and to related techniques and methodologies, as well as theoretical solutions that have been suggested.

2. General problems

Term Paper on Problems Facing New Teachers Assignment

The problems faced by the new teacher can range from basic unfamiliarity with practical and administrative issues, to more complex and vexing problems relating to classroom adaptation, teaching techniques, as well as confidence and issues of self - esteem. Simply stated, the most essential problem facing new teachers is lack of experience and often a resultant lack of confidence that may impede and restrict the all important issue of communication and that vital connection between the teacher and the students.

Studies attest to the commonly held view that modern teaching has become increasingly complex, diverse and demanding; hence placing more stress on the new teacher.

One of the central problems facing the new teacher is often a lack of confidence in the face of the demands and requirements of the modern teaching environment. Most teachers enter the profession well aware of the effect and influence that teachers can have on the future of their pupils.. As Henry Adams stated: "A teacher affects eternity: he can never tell where his influence stops." (Eison, 1990, p. 21) This is often a daunting prospect for many new teachers who have no prior experience. "The truthfulness of this observation is known to experienced teachers; its implications can be profoundly intimidating, however, to new or inexperienced faculty. " (ibid) This realization can often reduce the initial enthusiasm of the novice and result in feelings of despair and inadequacy. Therefore the inculcation of the necessary confidence is an essential foundational problem that many new teachers have to face up to.

There are a many studies and guidelines written by experienced experts on essential tips and suggestions for the new teacher. However there are relatively few studies which deal with the essential problems of self-confidence. Confidence must be projected to involve and communicate with the students and there are various core issues that the new teacher can pay attention to and develop in order to gain this confidence.

These aspects include the following issues aimed at the novice teacher: the organization, structure, or clarity of their work and presentation, as well as the inculcation of teacher-student rapport. Other factors which add to the general problem areas include the teaching and communication ability of the teacher as well as the extent of the workload that the teacher has to carry and the level of course difficulty. (ibid)

Among the aspects that can help the teacher over the initial confidence hurdle when faced with a class for the first time are the following suggestions from Eison. The teacher should, speak expressively or emphatically, use humor, varies facial expressions, stress important points, shows concern for student progress, encourage questions and comments, moves about while lecturing, praise students for good ideas, ask questions of class, be friendly and easy to talk to. (Eison, 1990, p. 22)

Eison emphasizes three crucial but fundamental guidelines for new teachers based on "activity." The first is to speak actively." Become an expressive, enthusiastic speaker who captures students' attention both verbally (e.g., humor) and nonverbally (e.g., facial expressions, movement). "(ibid)

He also encourages new teachers to teach actively. This means that the teacher should actively engage pupils and encourage comment and participation in the classroom. This aspect is also crucial in establishing modes of communication and reciprocity between student and teacher. Eison also emphasizes "active care" as a primary guideline for new teachers.

By this he means to Demonstrate a visible concern for your students, recognize publicly their academic achievements and growth, work hard to insure that students recognize that you are an approachable human being." (Eison, 1990, p. 22)

Other aspects that can help the teacher to establish a good rapport with the students is to prepare directed educational goals and objectives when planning a lesson. This serves a number of purposes. Firstly, it will help the novice teacher to be more confident in that he or she will be teaching with clear and precise guidelines and this will provide focus and allow for logical and easy to follow lessons. In other words, the beginner teacher should not have a vague notion of what is to be taught in a particular lesson. "A more useful approach is to formulate specific instructional objectives for each class session." (ibid)

Another aspect that the new teacher should consider is building in opportunities within the lesson plan for experiential learning. This aspect could include elements such as " teaching specific critical thinking, writing, or speaking skills,... examining one's attitudes and values, and... identifying the significant personal implications that can be found in the course content. "(ibid)

Another pointer that it is particularly important is that teacher should keep track of each student's progress as."Few things will enhance a teacher's self-confidence more than visible signs of students' satisfaction and growth." (ibid) useful guideline which many new teachers fail to follow is to reduce lessons to the most significant and interesting elements. Many novice teachers attempt to introduce or add too much scope and detail in a single lesson. Many experts are of the opinion that often " less is more," in the sense that too much information and data may confuse the student and lead to a loss of contact and direction in the class and hence to a loss of confidence for the novice teacher. Experts stress that the content of the lesson should introduce and interest the student and not overwhelm them with mountains of detail.

Active learning is of course an essential component of good teaching practice. This view is supported by many experienced professionals such as Patricia Cross (1987) who states that "When students are actively involved in the learning task, they learn more than when they are passive recipients of instruction," (Eison, 1990, p. 22) Active learning techniques are an aspect that many novice teachers need to inculcate.

A active learning strategies provide students with the opportunity to do such things as completing short, in-class writing activities, engaging in extended class discussions, taking field trips, completing laboratory exercises or self-assessment activities, conducting debates or role-playing exercises, participating in games and simulation activities, using computer-assisted instruction activities, making individual or small group presentations, taking tests of either the graded or ungraded variety."

Another very important area that the new teacher should focus on is the dynamic interchange between teacher and student. This is a particularly difficult area for the new teacher as it necessitates an experienced grasp of the subject matter - which the novice might not yet have - and a certain in-built flexibility in the teaching plan, which the novice may not as yet feel comfortable with.

Another aspect that many new to the teaching profession are not initially comfortable with is admitting that one does not know everything. Eison offers the following insight in this regard.

One measure of instructional effectiveness is the number of questions that students ask. Anticipate that student curiosity and creativity will often be greater than most instructors' knowledge and experience; there will be times when student questions will stymie even the most senior instructor.

Other expert advise includes the use of peer observations to improve instruction

Eison and Helling also suggest that new teachers should develop the art of teaching through involvement and creating discussion through questioning. (Eison, 1990, p. 23.)

Other aspects that the novice teacher should be aware of are the necessity to teach student to think critically, as well as learning to recognize the differences in learning styles that different students may have. A particularly difficult area that often… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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