Hey, New Teachers, It’s OK To Cry In Your Car

Reblogged from nprEd

Like many first-year teachers, Luisana Regidor has a lot on her mind. There are lesson plans to write and papers to grade as well as a dozen other things: evaluations, observations, fundraisers, class trips. It’s overwhelming.

“Last Wednesday, I left here and I got in my car and I just cried,” says Regidor, who teaches U.S. history at Schurz High School in Chicago. “Everything was hitting me at once.”

Regidor, 31, says other teachers warned her that the first year could be rough, but in September she was full of ideas and energy.

“Then, six weeks in, it happened,” says Regidor. “Last Wednesday, I definitely felt like I should probably throw in the towel and do something else.”

Regidor isn’t alone in that feeling or its timing. One in 10 teachers will leave the classroom by the end of their first year, and teachers are particularly vulnerable in October and November.

Ellen Moir, CEO of the New Teacher Center, which runs mentor programs in roughly 200 districts nationwide, has decades of anecdotes to show that October hits hard. She even has a name for this time of year: The Disillusionment Phase.

“As they get six or seven weeks into school, they realize how tough it is to be a really good teacher,” says Moir. “They need someone saying, ‘You are not horrible. You are not a fraud.’ ” Read more>>