How can I make the most
of my second and third years of teaching?
As a second or third year teacher,
you now have a foundation of experience from which to build more sophisticated
understandings of students and learning. Like all teachers, you will revisit
certain questions year after year.
Your challenge as a professional
educator will be to increase the depth of your understanding and complexity
with which you consider those questions. For example, Grossmail, et al.
(2000), studied the growth of teachers from their last year of pre-service
education through their first three years of teaching. They concluded
The pedagogical tools provided by
teacher education, along with a reflective stance toward teaching, provided
these teachers with a vision of teaching writing that has stayed with
them. In the second year of teaching, concepts and ideas began to resurface
in important ways. Tools that seemed superfluous during the difficult
first year of teaching suddenly found use as second-year teachers reconstructed
their understandings and practice. (660)
As you move from your first year
of teaching into your second and third years, your focus will most likely
become more and more student-centered. Second
year teachers are more likely to focus on issues such as getting
students to think critically and meeting the needs of diverse learners. You can use the Assessing the effectiveness of your teaching tool to focus on your areas of strength and weakness.
The New Teacher Center at the University
of Santa Cruz publishes the Continuum
of Teacher Development that might serve as a helpful reference
in reflecting on your development. Their continuum addresses the following
Developing as a professional educator
- Engaging and supporting all students
- Creating and maintaining an effective
environment for student learning
- Understanding and organizing
subject matter for student learning
- Planning instruction and designing
learning experiences for all students
To view the last four continua, contact
the NTC directly or view their
products and services online at www.newteachercenter.org.
*Grossmail, P.L., Valencia, S.W., Evans, K., Thompson, C., Martin, S., & Place, N. (2000). Transitions into teaching: Learning to teach writing in teacher education and beyond. Journal of Literacy Research, 32, 631-662