Beyond Delivering Lessons
When community members suddenly become teachers and are immediately placed in a learning environment, there is little time for professional training. Being thrust into a new role can cause “identity” confusion/difficulties for new teachers. If teacher training is available, it often assumes that trainees have a general idea of who and what a teacher is. It also assumes they know their roles and responsibilities.
As a result, these trainings usually focus only on “nuts and bolts” issues such as classroom organization, lesson planning and basic methodologies. They ensure that the lessons are delivered as well as possible. Of course subject lessons are important, but the teacher‘s broader role in protecting children and ensuring students‘ well-being is also highly important. Unfortunately, that aspect of teacher identity is rarely discussed. Teachers who have had difficult experiences, who have not chosen to be a teacher, and who have other ambitions in life may be even less prepared or motivated to fulfill this role.
Beyond delivering lessons, teachers‘ responsibilities include making sure that children and youth have:
A feeling of belonging in the learning environment
A sense of control over their lives
Feelings of self-worth
Positive relationships with teachers
Positive relationships with peers
An intellectually stimulating environment
Teachers who focus only on lesson delivery are rarely aware that these other responsibilities connect with student well-being. Providing support for new teachers, therefore, includes directing teachers to look at these critical elements of student well-being.
Communities can play an active role in providing additional support and encouragement for new teachers. Review the section on The Role of Parents and Community under the Student Well-Being module for more details.
For more detailed information about student well-being, explore the Student Well-Being Module.
Click here for Healing Classrooms Tools for Teachers and Teacher Educators.
Click here to learn more about supporting new teachers.