The First-Year Teacher: Be Prepared for Your Classroom


Karen A. Bosch & Morghan E. Bosch

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  • Chapters
  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Copyright


    Since we have received such positive feedback from new teachers about this book and we believe the material is timeless, we have decided to revise each chapter and add new information, resources, and teacher experiences. In addition, we have added a chapter (Chapter 3) to help the newly hired special education teacher be prepared for an inclusive classroom and the co-teaching experience.

    In this new edition, we have added more recent citations of research done in the field of beginning teachers; more tips for teachers gathered from teachers in the elementary, middle, secondary, and special education classrooms; and feedback received from the many readers of the book over the last few years.

    Since assessment has become such a hot topic and teachers are being asked to provide evidence of their teaching effectiveness, we have presented information on teaching with assessment strategies, and planning lessons with assessment as a component. We have added more opportunities for teachers to explore the term reflection, as it remains the best process in reaching personal and professional goals of teaching excellence. Improving teacher effectiveness and student learning becomes even more important in the quest for high-stakes accountability, achieving standards of quality in education, and fulfilling the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation as well as the Common Core curriculum.

    We hope that by making these revisions to The First-Year Teacher, its relevance and helpfulness will become even more evident to the aspiring, beginning, or even seasoned teacher, who wants to improve and ensure effectiveness in the classroom today, tomorrow, and in the future.


    By first-year teacher, we are referring to an educator who is

    • new to the profession,
    • returning to the profession,
    • new to a school district,
    • changing grade levels,
    • changing from elementary or secondary to middle school level,
    • noncertified, or
    • a graduate of an alternative teacher preparation program.

    In addition, this text can be used for the following:

    • Instruction—The text can be used to prepare education students for the classroom and for clinical experiences.
    • Remediation—The text provides guidelines to becoming a more effective classroom manager.
    • Assistance—The text can guide the efforts of mentor and mentee programs.
    • Support—The text can assist administrators in planning in-services and special programs for beginning teachers.
    • Guidance—The text can standardize the management procedures at grade level or school level.
    Main Features

    The First-Year Teacher has several features that make it unique in responding to the challenges of the first year of teaching:

    • This book is unique in that it moves the teacher chapter by chapter through the first year. Chapter 1 prepares a teacher for the job market. Chapter 2 is designed to move the new teacher into the classroom. Chapter 3 is for the special education teacher destined for a co-teaching experience. Chapter 4 should be read before the parents or guardians come to meet you. Teachers need information on how to work with parents or guardians and gain their support. Some of the first opportunities for teachers to meet parents or guardians are at school-scheduled visitation nights, open houses, and parent-or-guardian-teacher conferences. Chapter 5 is considered an on-the-job training program that is a step-by-step classroom management plan for the first month. This chapter can be read day by day during the first thirty days in the classroom. Chapter 6 is designed to promote teacher efficiency and save you time doing your job. It is to be read over the long-awaited winter (holiday) break. Many new teachers have reported that you must spend a few months in the classroom before you can deal with time-saving techniques. Chapter 7 will help you end the first year, be reflective, and prepare for the next teaching year. A college professor using this book in a teacher education program commented that it is nice to have a book that provides a teacher with a dry run of how to begin a school year and takes them through this experience one chapter at a time.
    • The contents of The First-Year Teacher are research based. We conducted many studies using surveys designed to identify the problems, concerns, needs, and feelings of first-year teachers. We chose twenty-five newly hired, first-year teachers to field-test the 30-day management plan. These teachers, elementary through high school, met with me several times throughout their first year to strengthen the plan and provide a fresh look at the concerns of a first-year teacher. Each school year, approximately ten first-year teachers volunteered to read the book and use the 30-day management plan. We collected valuable feedback that is reflected in this revised text.

      We feel privileged to have the opportunity to get not only into the heads of new teachers but into their hearts as well. This book and its contents continue to be written for teachers and by teachers, both new and veteran, to help prepare others for the first year of their teaching careers.

    • The emphasis in this book is on teacher preparation for the first year and subsequent years. The book offers suggestions, ideas, and advice from practitioners and experts in the field. It provides lesson plans for accomplishing teaching goals. It shares journal entries and experiences that only a first-year teacher could know, which enables readers to identify with other first-year teachers and with the book's contents. The content is relevant, meaningful, and useful in helping beginning teachers by addressing their fears and frustrations, answering their questions, and giving them hope. It supports the teacher through the first year and from the beginning to the end of the year.

      A teacher who was recently hired to begin her first year reviewed the manuscript and said, “I am reading what I need to know. I think I will call this book my GPS for traveling through my first year.”

    • The 30-day—first month—management plan provides a framework that first-year teachers can follow. For some, it can be a checklist of activities to develop concepts and goals through a planned, developmental approach. For others, it can be a map to follow to help them feel less alone and inexperienced.
    • The First-Year Teacher serves as a support for first-year teachers in their transition from campus to classroom. It is useful for the career switchers in their move to the classroom. It can help those teachers who are returning to the classroom after an extended period of time. It can offer a fresh beginning for a teacher in need of change. Six first-year teachers were asked to keep journals, and their journal entries are interspersed throughout the book. Interestingly, classrooms have changed over time; however, the first-year teachers are still saying the same things and expressing some of the same thoughts.

    The general theme for The First-Year Teacher is PREPARATION. The book introduces the reader to a range of topics that were identified as essential by first-year teachers. The seven chapters provide new teachers with a plan and a focus for meeting their needs and the students’ needs. A coding system in Chapter 5 is another unique feature of this book and was developed specifically for teachers working in special education, middle school, secondary, and culturally diverse classrooms. This coding system allows the teacher quick access to classroom-specific information:

    • special education
    • middle school
    • secondary
    • culturally diverse learners

    The codes make it easier for a teacher to access specific strategies and tailor the 30-day management plan to meet specific classroom needs and student challenges.

    Many beginning teachers have expressed the need for one more college course or text to prepare future teachers for the transition from campus to classroom. It is our hope that this book will provide the missing link between teacher preparation programs and the first-year teaching experience, as well as the crucial link between teacher effectiveness and improved student learning.

    About the Author

    Karen A. Bosch PhD, is a professor of education at Virginia Wesleyan College. Dr. Bosch is the coordinator of the Education Department and the director of teacher education at Virginia Wesleyan College. She is the recipient of the Virginia Wesleyan College's Batten Distinguished Faculty Award for excellence in teaching, scholarship, and having a passion for inspiring others. Most recently, she received the Samuel Nelson Gray Distinguished Teaching Award recognizing those who set the pace of excellence. Dr. Bosch has written The First-Year Teacher (1994, 2000, 2010) and Planning Classroom Management for Change (1999, 2006). As an educational consultant, she has conducted seminars and workshops on classroom management, lesson planning, and effective classroom teaching. She has presented her research and her teacher preparation programs models at conferences nationwide. Dr. Bosch is a former public school teacher and administrator.

    Morghan E. Bosch BS, MS, CAGS, is a special education teacher in the Virginia Beach City Public School System and an adjunct instructor at Virginia Wesleyan College. Ms. Bosch is currently in the dissertation phase of her doctoral program in special education at Regent University. In addition to The First-Year Teacher, Ms. Bosch has written a chapter, “Literacy in K–12 Content Courses,” in the book Beach Ball Banter (2012) and coauthored The Autism Guide for Norfolk Public Schools (2009). She has given numerous presentations, such as “Social Skills and Children With Learning Disabilities” (2012), “Vocational Preparation for Students with Autism” (2013), and “Autism and Employment” (2013). Ms. Bosch started Beach Buddies, an extracurricular program that partners special education students with general education peers to create mutual friendships. She has received the School Bell Award and Community Service Inspiration Award for building connections between the community and special education population.

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