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Log in to Witsby: ASCD’s Next-Generation Professional Learning and Credentialing Platform
May 1, 1999
Vol. 56
No. 8

Web Wonders / Supporting New Teachers

Beyond the classrooms and halls of their schools, new teachers may still feel overwhelmed by the realities of their new profession. Where is a new teacher to turn at 2 a.m. when she's wondering whether teaching was the right decision? Here's a collection of Web sites that offer 24-hour guidance, encouragement, and teaching help. Chances are, they won't mind a late-night visit nearly as much as your mentor would.

Help and Advice for Teachers, from Teachers

Beginning Teacher's Tool Box (http://www.inspiringteachers.com), by the veteran teachers of Inspiring Teachers Publishing Group, offers everything from an "Ask Our Mentor a Question" section, where you can e-mail questions to a veteran teacher, to "Tips for New Teachers" (click "archives") that include inspiration, humor, and the top 10 things to do before school starts. Check out the Beginning Teachers Message Board where you can ask for, or offer, advice.
The goal of Teachers Helping Teachers (http://www.pacificnet.net/~mandel)—"by teachers, for teachers"—is to provide basic tips to beginning teachers—things that can be immediately implemented in the classroom. It offers lesson plans and features like "Poem of the Week" and "This Week's Stress Reduction Moment." This site has a list of educational Web sites organized by subject area and topic.
New teachers should definitely check out the "Mentor Support Center" from Teachers.net (http://www.teachers.net). This feature (click "chatboards") brings together educators in category-specific chatboards and chatrooms—there's one specifically for beginning teachers. The site also includes lesson plans, live meetings, a list of useful resources, and a newsletter.
Designed to encourage new teachers and those studying to be teachers, I Love Teaching.com (http://www.iloveteaching.com) offers the experiences and wisdom of a veteran teacher. Click "Tid-Bits" for a list of things a rookie teacher wishes she had known before stepping into the classroom.
A Homepage for New Math Teachers (http://www.clarityconnect.com/webpages/terri/terri.html) has information that all new teachers can use, including how to connect with students and tips on classroom management. Whether for class ideas or just for fun, check out the monthly math problem and the archive of "Most Loved Problems."

Words of Advice and Inspiration

What to Expect Your First Year of Teaching (http://www.ed.gov/pubs/FirstYear/) is a great resource for new teachers. It's a compilation of award-winning first-year teachers' experiences, challenges, and successes. It includes tips on how to have a successful first year, advice from veteran teachers, and a discussion about the things for which no training could have prepared them.
"Great Expectations: Helpful Hints for Beginning Teachers" (http://www.positiveparenting.com/jane4.html) is an essay from Positive Parenting On-Line about what new teachers should know, should do, and shouldn't be afraid to ask. It is a practical look at ways that teachers can approach their first year with realistic expectations and how they can grow from those early experiences.

Guides That You Shouldn't Live Without

What list of Web sites would be complete without a site with, well, a list of Web sites? Of all the lists of education Web sites, Kathy Schrock's Guide for Educators (http://discoveryschool.com/schrockguide/) is probably the most comprehensive. It has a wide range of topics and is organized so that you don't have to be an Internet wiz to find something you can use.
Every teacher, beginning or veteran, should know how to use the resources of the U.S. Department of Education. The New Teacher's Guide to the U.S. Department of Education (http://oeri.ed.gov/pubs/TeachersGuide/) contains a wealth of information to be had, free of charge, if you just know how to find it. This comprehensive guide will tell you; it'll probably even help you find things you didn't realize that you needed.

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