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May 2012 | Volume 69 | Number 8
Supporting Beginning Teachers
Gary M. Chesley and Janice Jordan
Beginning teachers and their mentors voice discontent about what their teacher preparation programs left out.
Our judgment came slowly, after watching scores of beginning teachers struggle in their first few years—unable to manage student behavior or motivate students; unsure how to plan for short-term or long-term instruction; unable to distinguish an objective from an activity; insecure about differentiating lessons to meet a range of student needs. As district administrators, after hearing too many young teachers lose their confidence and bemoan their struggles, we could only reach one conclusion: Teacher preparation institutions need to transform their programs to reflect the realities of 21st century schools.
Universities must form new partnerships with schools, with the goal of better preparing preservice teachers to deal with the increasing demands for skillful classroom management, student motivation, lesson design, assessment construction and interpretation, intervention strategies, and differentiation. Only through radical retooling will teacher preparation programs produce graduates who can meet the professional expectations found in high-performing schools.
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Copyright © 2012 by ASCD
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