George Lucas Educational Foundation
New Teachers

Helping New Teachers Beat the Back-to-School Jitters with Twitter

September 4, 2012

Every Wednesday at 5 p.m. PT, 8 p.m. ET, I host New Teacher Chat (#ntchat) on Twitter. It's a time for new and pre-service teachers, as well as supportive administrators and experienced teachers, to gather online and have discussions about topics that are practitioner focused and supportive for the soon-to-be teacher.

A recent topic was one that is always near and dear to my heart -- back to school -- tips to make your first day/week/year great.

This time of year can be particularly stressful for new teachers as they embark on the first steps of their careers. Our chat about starting the year, which armed new teachers with supportive strategies to avoid the back-to-school jitters, was engaging and collaborative.

5 Questions to Spark the Conversation

The chat started with my posing five questions to engage our participants in the conversation. These five questions helped frame the conversation in such a way that new teachers could not only see the advice from experienced educators, but also chime in with their own insights.

Let's break down the questions, then, I’ll share what I think were some of the best tweets captured in the chat. Be prepared to be inspired by some great ideas!

  1. Share three things you will do to prepare yourself for the first day of school

  2. Share three things you will do to help to get to know your STUDENTS in the first week of school

  3. Share three things you will do to support a POSITIVE CLASSROOM ENVIRONMENT in the first week of school

  4. Share three things you will do to support collaboration and engagement with PARENTS in the first week of school

  5. What will you do to take care of YOURSELF in these first few weeks as you head back to school?

So what do you think of the outcome of this Back to School chat?

I felt it was a vibrant conversation that was met with great enthusiasm. All of the participants left with a sense of the back-to-school excitement and the knowledge they have a virtual team of supportive colleagues behind them.

The work of supporting new teachers to step into the first year of practice isn't easy, but it's essential. Helping them avoid some of the back-to-school jitters makes the transition from university pre-service student to full-fledged teacher less intimidating. And doing this in a collaborative structure, such as an online chat, will always be a must.

Now it's your turn!

Join us in this collaboration and add your own responses to one or all of the questions. You might just be able to support a new teacher who is about to begin their first year in the profession.

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  • New Teachers
  • Classroom Management
  • Media Literacy
  • Professional Learning

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