Photo of teacher in classrom with students raising their hands.

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Wisconsin Teacher Quality

The following poem provides encouragement to new teachers:

A New Teacher's Mantra: I Will Survive

by LaVerne Jackson-Harvey, Ph.D.

When we do something new
There is always that time of fear and inhibition
Fear of failure
Fear of not being prepared
Fear of meeting my students
Fear of change
Fear of the first day with my class
Inhibitions run deep
As a new teacher
I will be responsible for imparting my knowledge to my students
I will be responsible for managing my class
I will be a lifelong learner
I have to be a time manager, disciplinarian, leader, counselor, and motivator
Observer, assessor, organizer, referee, paper pusher, classroom manager,
Cafeteria and bus monitor, trainer, event planner, genuine, caring, nurturer
To name a few and
Write a Professional Development Plan
How will I survive
and stay afloat
I know with time things will get better
But what about now
I don't want to rock the boat
I need help understanding
The school, my students and classroom cultures
Help me to be an effective teacher
Through struggle comes strength
Mentor me and help me survive
Mentoring can make me stronger and help:
Lessen my isolation
Provide strategies to teach each child
Set high expectations
Set high standards
Support my needs
Model professionalism
Classroom management assistance
Provide emotional support
Help me believe in myself and my capabilities
And be the best teacher I can be
I will be successful
Mentoring will help me to survive!!!

Reprinted with permission from LaVerne Jackson-Harvey, Ph.D.