Sunday, May 4, 2014

The New Teacher Experience — Video Reflection

I really enjoyed watching The New Teacher Experience. Although it was focused on teachers at the secondary level and I will be working at the elementary level it provided some great insight in what to expect for my first year teaching.

Both of these teachers experienced a lot of the same emotions and feelings I would expect feeling the first year in my own classroom and it was very interesting to watch how they handled various situations.

Ms. Saray Felix — High School Science Teacher

For Ms. Felix’s first year she was challenged with a class in an urban school setting with many students who were retaking the class for the second or third time. I appreciated how she focused a lot of her attention in the beginning of the school year setting the environment. She spent a lot of time focusing on showing her students she cared as well as setting up her expectations for them. One thing she did in terms of classroom management that I would like to implement into my own classroom was having the class work together to come up with their own set of rules and consequences for classroom behavior. This provides the students with a say and will hopefully encourage them to follow the rules more than if they were just provided for them. It will also hopefully set up an environment where the students will help keep each other accountable. One thing she struggled with was keeping the students engaged, at least with the board work at the beginning of class. Bored students lead to worse classroom behavior. I liked that her mentor pointed this out to her and that she was able to correct this mid year to help with some of the behavior issues.

Mr. Alex Torres — High School Math Teacher

Mr. Torres is a very passionate math teacher. I liked that he worked very hard to show the students how math applied to every day life instead of just how to do it. He really made an effort to connect to his students. He spent the first part of the school year focusing on a fun learning environment, but failed to set up the appropriate classroom structure. Towards the end of the year you could see students taking advantage of his lax classroom and not paying attention or talking while he was teaching. At one point he said he tried to implement rules but they didn’t work so he didn’t follow through. This tarnished his credibility with the students as an adult and someone to respect and listen to in the classroom. I liked that with the help of his mentor he was able to recognize this. He created a plan for the next school year to provide the students with more immediate feedback by reflecting at the end of each class how the day went. I really like the approach and think it is something I might try and implement in my classroom, perhaps not every day but once a week. He also realized the importance of setting his students up to respect everyone when one student didn't feel comfortable presenting to the class because no one was paying attention.

Phases of First-Year Teaching

I came across an interesting article written by Ellen Moir, “Phases of First-Year Teaching”. Interestingly enough while watching The New Teacher Experience  you could see the Ms. Felix and Mr. Torres go through these exact phases (Moir, 2011). 
  • Anticipation
    • The feeling felt towards the end of student teaching. The individual becomes very excited and anxious about starting their first year in their own classroom.
    • Romanticize the act of being a teacher with an idealistic goal of making a difference.
  • Survival
    • Experienced the first month of School.
    • The teacher realizes how much work it really takes to accomplish everything and just does anything they can to survive.
    • Mr. Torres and Ms. Felix mentioned this when talking about all of the meetings they had to attend (The New Teacher Experience.)
  • Disillusionment
    • After the first couple of months the new teacher begins to realize things aren’t going as well as originally planned.
    • At this point classroom management becomes a major issue.
    • Characterized by self-doubt and questioning their professional commitment.
  • Rejuvenation
    • After the holiday break teachers come back rested and ready to tackily the second half of the year.
    • They feel more prepared and probably spent the majority of their break preparing curriculum and teaching strategies.
  • Reflection
    • At the end  of the year, this is time to reflect on how the first year went and make plans for how to tackle the upcoming year.
    • Critical phase to implement changes and really evaluate how to put together a betting functioning classroom.
  • Anticipation
    • Excitement for the new year!
    • Feeling more prepared and ready to make this year better than the last.
I love that this outline really shows the ups and downs of first year teaching. I think it is great to go into the year prepared for whats a head so you do not burn out like many other teachers do. Even begging aware of these experiences going into student teaching will help to understand that not everything is going to be smooth sailing and it is ok to stumble here and there as long and you are learning from your mistakes and are constantly trying to improve!


Moir, Ellen. "Phases of First-Year Teaching." Home. California Department of Education, 17 Aug. 2011. Web. 4 May 2014. <>.

"The New Teacher Experience." Teaching Channel. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 May 2014. <>.

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