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Challenge 8. Reality shock and disillusionment

Those entering the teaching profession often have ambitious ideas about how their classes will be extraordinary, how they will emerge as the “coolest” teachers and how students will be enamored by the content. Classroom management problems, an angry parent or the arrival of a new student with severe learning difficulties who disrupts the learning community can all serve as dramatic reminders that the new teacher is not fully prepared yet to deal with some of the challenges of teaching. As a principal, you can play an important role in identifying and addressing potential signs of disillusionment among beginning teachers. In particular, the tool below lists several signs of disillusionment for you to look for, and the options note additional ways to address this issue.

Tool: Identifying the signs of disillusionment


Options:

  • Generate vignettes for use by new teachers to talk through major challenges with mentors, colleagues or yourself.
  • Model strategies for addressing challenges and de-escalating difficult situations.
  • Role-play dramatic teaching episodes and have colleagues work with beginning teachers to identify appropriate responses.