Interviews with new teachers reveal what they want most:

Encouragement: Feedback that builds on their strengths, not just cautions to “do better” or “try harder.”

Fairness: Not being placed in the toughest schools, given the most challenging students, or being the first asked to make last-minute room or grade level changes

Honesty: Discovering that teaching is harder than it looks and that relationships are more important than they ever imagined

Support: Being seen, heard, and helped, and not being ridiculed by other staff for their enthusiasm or idealism

Value and status: More respect from media and the public, plus some of the perks their friends realize starting out in other professions

Discretion and autonomy: Freedom to respond to students’ needs and interests—especially when bound to scripted curriculum

© 2016, Dr. Jane Bluestein

From The Beginning Teacher’s Survival Guide: Win-Win Strategies for Success by Dr. Jane Bluestein (2021). A great gift for someone just starting out in education or coming back to the profession, as well as for anyone having a particularly challenging year. 

Related resources:

What I Learned When I Started Teaching
Why I Teach 
Assuming Your Professional Identity
Great Expectations: Good News for Beginning Teachers

Podcast: “On the Right Foot: Support for Beginning Teachers” with J. Victor McGuire

Also see Why Teachers Quit, a 6-part excerpt from this book with more detail about the realities new teachers encounter when they embark on their new career. This excerpt includes six challenges facing people in the teaching profession:

Part 1: Financial Realities
Part 2: It’s Harder than it Looks
Part 3: Lack of Support
Part 4: Difficult Students, Difficult Parents
Part 5: Value and Status
Part 6: Issues of Autonomy and Discretion

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