"Why it is important to have your new science teachers be part of the NU-Teach program"
by Dr. Susette Taylor, Lincoln Southwest High School
From an administrator's perspective, the NU-Teach program, and particularly, Jim Rynearson, provide valuable support to our newest science teachers. I think often new teachers hesitate to ask for help, especially in the area of curriculum content and teaching pedagogy. I suppose they think if they ask for help, then somehow they are not as good as they should be, or that the administrator will question their ability to teach. They are quicker to ask for behavioral support of students in the classroom because this is a more acceptable request for help when starting out.
However, research shows that if the curricular content, teaching strategies, collaboration with other teachers, and building relationships with students is solid, then behavior issues often take care of themselves because students will develop intrinsic motivation for learning. Of course, classroom management strategies with routines and procedures are essential, but a new teacher’s focus must always be on teaching pedagogy and developing strong relationships with students in order to be an effective teacher.
The bottom line is student learning. The best route to enhance student learning is to provide support for enhancing teaching pedagogy. I believe the NU-Teach program works diligently with new teachers in these efforts.
More details at: http://go.unl.edu/vp0