July 23, 2023: Great Beginnings
Induction. Onboarding. Orientation. There are a lot of words that can be used to describe the process of helping someone new to a career, industry, or line of work, to become acclimated and ready to take their place within that field.
This week was that week for my school district, and for the last seven years, I have been lucky enough to be part of the team that facilitates these summer sessions for the teachers who are joining us. We had close to 300 teachers participate in our sessions. Some were just out of college and ready to begin the career they have been dreaming about. Others are older and have changed careers and are ready to embrace this new opportunity. All came to our sessions with a passion for making a difference, an eagerness to learn from those around them, and lots and lots of questions.
As part of their multi-year Induction Program, they will receive support, take classes, have mentors, and grow as professional educators. These sessions are the first step, designed to help them begin this journey on a positive and productive note. Based on the feedback they share as they leave, they are grateful for the support and feeling better equipped for the exciting first days of their new career.
I also think, that those of us who facilitate these sessions, those of us who mentor and coach these new teachers, that we get as much out of the process as the newbies do.
- It keeps us fresh, as we need to stay current on ever changing trends and research within our field, in order to effectively assist the new teachers.
- It keeps us humble. There is much we do not know and admitting that we don’t know and saying, “Let’s find out together” can be refreshing.
- It keeps us curious. Mentees ask great questions and help to remind us that we are all lifelong learners.
- It keeps us enthusiastic. Working with those who are new to the profession can remind us of the newbie we once were. Seeing their enthusiasm can feed our own passion.
To all those educators out there who are at the beginning of your career, as you get ready to start the new school year, welcome to the team!