[0.10] Series Title Sequence
New Teacher Survival Guide
ACT One : Intro / Teaching can be isolating
Beat 1: Intro to Asia
SEE Wide shot of Asia's street early in the morning and Asia getting ready and leaving for work. Asia Franks: I get up at 5:45 every morning. Usually in the morning if I’m thinking of the lesson, thinking of what needs to be copied, what needs to be handed out, who needs to make up what homework assignment… Just all of that is going through my head.
SEE Asia grabbing a coffee and getting on the subway. EVERY DAY, ASIA FRANKS RIDES THE A- TRAIN TO WORK IN NEW YORK CITY.
SEE wide shot of the colorful school building. Establishing shot of the Bronx. See her entering the school. SHE’S MIDWAY THROUGH HER SECOND YEAR AT THE URBAN ASSEMBLY SCHOOL FOR APPLIED MATH AND SCIENCE IN THE BRONX.
See her interacting with students -- Asia Franks: This school is very focused on preparing for college, which is one reason I like this school.
Asia: SOT – Jason, Nagela and Angela, forms, please... and take out your homework.
. See Asia greeting students outside the classroom. THE DEMANDS AND STRESS OF BEING A NEW TEACHER HAVE, AT TIMES, PUSHED ASIA TO THE EDGE.
Asia Franks: I’ve had a couple days where I’ve cried. The beginning of 8th grade was very difficult. I at one point wanted to quit and my sister was like, “What are you thinking?”
BEAT 2: THE PRICIPAL’S PERSPECTIVE
SEE Shots students in hallway. SEE Shot INT of building (flavor school) mural texts: follow your dream. See shot of Ken Baum, sound-up Ken Baum Sound-up
ASIA’S PRINCIPAL, KEN BAUM, KNOWS THAT NEW TEACHERS OFTEN FEEL OVERWHELMED.
Intv Ken Baum
Principal Bronx Middle School for Applied Math and Science
Ken Baum: My first week of teaching, I thought I would go in and the first week what I had thought about doing, would happen. And then I was talking to kids who weren’t listening, and I didn’t know what to do or who to turn to. I felt alone.
. NOW AN ADMINISTRATOR, BAUM HAS CREATED A MENTORING PROGRAM TO SUPPORT NEW TEACHERS
See Ken Baum and David Krulwich
Ken Baum: We don’t want teachers alone. We want them meeting with other teachers, sharing the exact same experiences. We want people really discussing their craft and their frustrations.
ACT TWO : HOW TO CREATE A GOOD MENTOR RELATIONSHIP
BEAT 1 ASIA AND HER MENTOR: SPECIFIC LEARNING GOALS
SEE ASIA PREPARING CLASS ASIA’S MENTOR IS DAVID KRULWICH, A VETERAN MATH TEACHER
SEE David entering Asia's classroom with a laptop. David helps her to fix her computer. Sound up of them talking together.
Asia: Mr. Krulwich, this one doesn’t turn on... Thank you.
HER MENTOR PLAYS MANY ROLES.
HE’S A SOUNDING BOARD AND A SYMPATHETIC EAR. MOST IMPORTANTLY – HE GIVES ASIA SPECIFIC ADVICE TO IMPROVE HER TEACHING.
Asia Franks: At times you feel like a lesson is not going to go right, or you feel very insecure about the way you’re going to teach it, and that quick email or phone call is the most helpful thing.
See Asia preparing, going over her lesson plan
ASIA’S BEEN MEETING WITH DAVID SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE SCHOOL YEAR.
Asia and David fixing the computer
Asia's mentor at the Bronx Middle School for Applied Math and Science David Krulwich: This year, I’m working with her a lot on, sort of like next steps. Things like differentiating her instruction for students who struggle to understand, or adding more difficult assignments to push the higher level kids in her class.
INTV David Krulwich
ASIA TAKES OWNERSHIP OF THE MENTORING PROCESS BY IDENTIFYING SPECIFIC AREAS WHERE SHE WANTS TO IMPROVE.
Asia Pre-class INTV
SEE Asia cutting paper, copying, sharpening pencils printing, typing assignments.
Asia: My current challenges are knowing which students are going to struggle the most, and which can finish more.
(GRAPHIC) TIP #1:
SET SPECIFIC TEACHING GOALS WITH THE MENTOR.
NEW TEACHERS SHOULD IDENTIFY ONE OR TWO ACHIEVABLE GOALS FOR THEIR MENTOR TO FOCUS ON.
David Krulwich: Just like a teacher has to tailor things to individual students, a mentor has to always be thinking about what that one teacher’s frustration is right now, what that one teacher’s strengths and weaknesses are and figure out specifically what is the best thing to work on right now because they can’t work on everything all at once.
Actuality: see students entering the classroom
BEAT 2: MENTORING TEAM: STRUCTURAL AND STRUCTURED MEETINGS
SEE: Asia sharpening pencils, preparing for class
SEE shot of kimberly writing on the board. ASIA IS ALSO PAIRED UP WITH KIMBERLY MELGAR, WHO TEACHES THE SAME SUBJECT.
SEE: shots of Asia asking Ms Melghar for advice. Asia Franks: Because she’s taught 8th grade before, I’m usually asking her for little pieces of advice in the morning just to make sure again, that what I’m teaching is the correct thing or I’m going to teach it the correct way.
Ms. Melgar: points to white board
Ms. Melgar: When you create a triangle… you have to go in an draw the line..and create angles…
Ms. Melgar: I would definitely have to remind them about protractor rules...
(GRAPHIC) TIP # 2:
MENTOR MEETINGS SHOULD BE REGULARLY SCHEDULED AND STRUCTURED.
(Over de-focused team meeting) ASIA MEETS WITH HER SUPPORT TEAM TWICE A WEEK -- AND EACH MEETING IS FOCUSED ON SPECIFIC CLASSROOM ISSUES.
David Krulwich: How’s it going?
Asia: I was looking through the questions and I kept seeing things about the laws of exponents and I never use that terminology. But I wonder if laws of exponents.. well sometimes..
Melgar: When you go through a test prep, then you address that in test prep.
Asia: Ok, so address that in test prep.
SEE footage of kids working, not understanding.
GOAL-ORIENTED MEETINGS KEEP EVERYONE FOCUSED ON IMPROVING TEACHING PRACTICES.
Melgar: I’m a llittle confused, they could foil this out... but couldn’t ...
Asia: When I was walking around the class, I saw people doing the correct way, but when we got to the ticket, some people… I don’t know they suddenly forgot or they weren’t clear about it.
Melgar: So it was the co-efficent threw them off, not necessarily the distribution. The fact that there was a 2 in front of it.
Asia: Ok, Ok. So address it in test prep.
Actuality: see shot of journal
KEEP A JOURNAL OF SPECIFIC ISSUES TO ADDRESS WITH A MENTOR. ASIA KEEPS A JOURNAL TO TRACK SPECIFIC CHALLENGE TO DISCUSS WITH HER MENTORS.
David: Then spring break
Asia: and then spring break they get a nice packet of practice.
David: Sounds good, sounds good.
MENTORS CAN ALSO PROVIDE MUCH NEEDED EMOTIONAL SUPPORT.
SEE DAVID AND ASIA TOGETHER
Asia Franks: Sometimes, as a first year teacher, we just need someone to listen. I may not want advice, I may not want you to tell me what I could’ve done. I just want to vent and want you to listen.
BEAT 3 IN THE CLASSROOM: SHOW YOUR WEAKNESSES
SEE beginning of Asia's class.
SEE David entering her classroom. TODAY, ASIA INVITES DAVID INTO HER CLASSROOM
Asia: today, one of the most important...
ONE OF THE MOST VALUABLE PARTS OF THE MENTORING RELATIONSHIP IS DIRECT FEED-BACK FROM CLASSROOM OBSERVATION.
Asia: He comes in for formal and informal observations, which is where I get most of my feedback. All of his comments – it’s something I can physically do. And then when he comes to see me again, he can tell me if I worked on those things.
(GRAPHIC) TIP #4
INVITE MENTOR INTO THE CLASSROOM AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE.
NEW TEACHERS SHOULD INVITE THEIR MENTOR INTO THE CLASSROOM AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE – TO TARGET STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES.
Asia: So what you are going to do with a partner is, you’re gonna each get this cross shape, and then you;re going to turn it into a cube.
TO MAKE THE MOST OF THE VISIT, ASIA ASKS DAVID TO FOCUS ON AREAS WHERE SHE KNOWS NEEDS IMPROVEMENT.
See Asia handing out the cubes she made ASIA: Today, they are going to simplify algebratic expressions with exponents. The activity, they are going to make cubes that have expressions on them and they’ll work with partners to roll the cubes and then multiply and divide the expressions. I made the expressions on a template – some are easier, and then there’s a medium level, and then there is a harder level for the high students.
See Asia speaking to studentse
Asia: the first expression goes in the first column… multiplication. The second expression, and then you do your answer – this will be your answer sheet. This is what I’ll be grading.
DAVID CHECKS STUDENT WORK TO SEE IF ASIA’S LESSON IS BEING UNDERSTOOD.
INTV David Krulwich
See David taking notes, observing, checking on students
David: New teachers may not even know exactly what it is in their own teaching that they need help with or want help with, and they probably need to really think about when during the course of their class period, does something seem wrong, or seem like they want help.
David checking on the students
See students thinking, being confused.
Bell rings, students walk out of the classroom.
Asia: I’m collecting the answer sheets and I’m collecting the cubes…
Beat 3 IMMEDIATE AND PRACTICAL FEEDBACK
SEE David and Asia walk through the hallway and sit down
(GRAPHIC) TIP # 6
ASK FOR IMMEDIATE AND SPECIFIC FEEDBACK ASIA ASKS FOR FEEDBACK IMMEDIATELY AFTER BEING OBSERVED.
Actuality: David: So what do you think?
Asia: It went well...I think reducing the numbers, simplyfing the numbers is where they’re going to get stuck, and it’s going to prevent them from being able to finish. So I gotta get them over that hump.
See footage of kids not understanding and Asia trying to make them understand. David: Are the numbers always a problem or is it only when the numbers in the denominator is bigger?
Asia: Yeah, only when the denominator is bigger..
David: So they’re thinking of it as a division problem and not linking it back to the fractions that they done for three years.
INTV David Krulwich
David Krulwich: 8th graders are learning a lot of algebra and things involving exponents and variables but they hadn’t really worked on fractions a lot since sixth and seventh grades.
David I am thinking of two possibilities. One is, if they are not making the link back to reducing fractions, make them do it the same way they reduced fractions...
DAVID ALSO KEEPS ASIA FOCUSED ON THE CHALLENGE SHE SET FOR HERSELF: DIFFERENTIATING INSTRUCTION.
Footage of class, Asia, students playing with cubes ,
student working David: What did you do to differentiate?
Asia: OK, I had two groups that needed the low cubes that I made. Then I gave two groups high cubes, and everyone else medium cubes. All the medium people were able to get to ten, my two high groups were able to get to the back side, and my two low groups got to six or seven, which was fine.
David: We can think about for tomorrow, differentiating again, so that the groups that did some of the easier problems today moves to that next level tomorrow.
ASIA NOW HAS SPECIFIC ADVICE SHE CAN APPLY TO HER NEXT LESSON.
Asia: Tomorrow I definitely think they need some more. And everyone, I need to get to slow down.
SEE Round up of their conversation
David: Sounds good. Field trip on Wednesday?
Asia: Field trip Wednesday.
David: Sounds good.
BEING OBSERVED IS A GREAT WAY TO IMPROVE ONE’S TEACHING, BUT NEW TEACHERS SHOULD ALSO OBSERVE OTHERS IN ACTION.
INTV David Krulwich
VISIT OTHER TEACHER’S CLASSROOMS AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE.
SEE kids playing, kids getting out of school the school
There should always be opportunities to go watch other classrooms and go see how other teachers are handling similar situations. I think I learned much more from seeing other teachers than anyone one person’s advice could have given me.
INTV Aia Franks Asia Franks: Sometimes even if you think you can be a good teacher, one mistake in the classroom or one bad day really brings you all the way down. So, that mentor can really pick you back up, give you good suggestions, and when they give you a suggestion and it works, then you know I can really trust this person and their advice is worth listening to.
INTV Ken Baum Ken Baum: And just remember, it doesn’t have to be solved now. Take a long-term view, and you can always bounce back the next day.
GRAPHIC RESTATING THE TIPS:
SET SPECIFIC AND ACHIEVABLE GOALS.
HOLD REGULAR AND GOAL-ORIENTED MEETINGS.
KEEP A JOURNAL OF CLASSROOM ISSUES.
INVITE THE MENTOR INTO THE CLASSROOM.
ASK FOR IMMEDIATE FEEDBACK.
OBSERVE OTHER TEACHERS.
SET SPECIFIC AND ACHIEVABLE TEACHING GOALS WITH THE MENTOR
HOLD REGULAR MEETINGS FOCUSED ON SPECIFIC CLASSROOM CHALLENGES.
KEEP A JOURNAL OF CLASSROOM ISSUES
INVITE THE MENTOR INTO THE CLASSROOM AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE
ASK THE MENTOR FOR IMMEDIATE AND SPECIFIC FEEDBACK
VISIT OTHER TEACHERS’ CLASSROOMS AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE.