Challenge 1. Difficult work assignments
There are several factors that can lead to difficult work assignments for beginning teachers. It can be challenging for them to work with significant numbers of low-achieving students, students with special needs and students with serious behavioral problems.* In addition, it can be difficult to have large classes or multiple classes to prepare for (at the middle and high school levels). Finally, it can be challenging if a new teacher is assigned to teach a curriculum that is unfamiliar to them or a content area or grade that they are not certified to teach.
To help alleviate challenging work assignments caused by difficult students, principals can use the tool below. In addition, school leaders should examine the following:
*See the tool Helping beginning teachers deal with difficult students.
- The number of students in the beginning teacher’s class(es)
- Whether it is feasible to assign an instructional aide to the new teacher’s classroom
- Whether it is possible to reduce the beginning teachers’ number of course preparations
- Whether the new teacher has regular access to a mentor or other colleague with expert knowledge of the curriculum they are teaching
- Whether the new teacher has the subject matter knowledge and professional preparation to teach their assigned class(es)