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Ramping up New-Teacher Support

A group of 50 new teachers in Massachussetts are getting some extra support in their first year in the classroom, according to the the Boston Globe.

Before ever setting foot in their new classrooms this fall, the teachers attended a two-day “New Teacher Academy” in which veteran educators gave them advice on what to expect during their first year.

The academy is part of a three-part program run by Bridgewater State College and Boston College that is funded by a multimillion dollar grant from the Carnegie Foundation. The program, named the Teachers for a New Era Partnership, also includes seven two-hour mentoring opportunities throughout a teacher’s first year of teaching, and subsidizes a three-credit graduate course for veteran teachers aimed at improving their abilities as mentors.

The academy was led by David Almeida.

“In their first year, teachers are expected to work like veterans, but they don’t send someone in to hold your hand,” said Almeida, an associate dean and professor in Bridgewater State Collge’s School of Education. “In school, they’ve learned in class, passed tests, and written papers, but now they must put it all into practice.’’

One of the attendees of the seminar, 24-year-old P.E. teacher Ryan J. King of Pembroke, hopes to bring the lessons he learned about classroom management and productive parent/teacher conferences to his own classroom.

“Here, they tell you to think about the student first, but you’re so focused on your first day and nervous that you forget,” King said. “I will try to lay out what I expect, the things I want to accomplish, and tell them how I look forward to a good year.’’

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