Effective alternative certification programs will provide survival training to all teacher interns in their certification program. Survival training can be done effectively through face-to-face contact or a learning management system. Survival training will help provide access to mentoring and educational resources necessary to prepare teachers for their first year of teaching. When adequate resources and a support group are put into place for the teaching intern, their first year of teaching will be more enjoyable. Although alternative certification programs differ greatly, each program should have a minimal amount of survival training for each intern.
Survival training will allow teachers to be more adequately prepared for their first day of school. Letting interns know what to expect, strategies to minimize anxiety and the basic skills needed to plan curriculum will help them be more successful in their first year of teaching. Without survival training, you may allow your teaching interns to become frustrated and burnt out during their first year of teaching. This will help offset the main goals of alternative certification, which is retention and placement of teachers in hard to fill disciplines. Survival training is crucial for any intern making the leap from one profession into the classroom.
Survival training may include:
- An introduction to effective teaching behaviors
- Ethical guidelines to follow
- Introduction to lesson planning
- Introduction to classroom management
- How to reach out to parents
Survival training will let you know the most effective teaching behaviors you can implement in your classroom. The way first year teachers present material and explain concepts will have a huge impact on the effectiveness of their teaching. Survival training will prepare first year teachers for any surprises that may arise. Ethical guidelines and legal issues such as bullying and school violence need to be addressed in survival training. Interns need to understand what the legal ramifications are for certain actions in the classroom. Survival training will also prepare first year teachers for the development of lesson plans. One of the most important concepts to master in the first year of teaching is how to plan and implement creative lessons each week. Classroom management issues and recommendations are usually covered in an effective survival training seminar. Survival training will help prepare teachers to build productive relationships with parents to further enhance their child’s education.
Survival training – recommendations from administrators, sophomore teachers and principals:
- Be cordial and friendly with custodial staff – a productive relationship will be needed.
- Reach out to parents beginning on the first day of class – this will help to build a relationship with parents before trouble begins in the classroom.
- Get to know each student individually – may help to offer after school tutoring or to attend extracurricular activities.
- Find a mentor – will help answer questions and provide valuable resources for first year teachers.
- Learn how to manage stress – you are only human.