Posted: Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Collaboration, Team Planning Enhance Teacher’s First Year

Marion Reeves teaching in front of a classroomWe introduced you to first-year teacher Marion Reeves back in August. She told us about her high expectations for her students and introduced us to her mentors. This month, we went back to her eighth grade social studies class at Sevier Middle School to ask her about the challenges and victories she’s experienced during her first semester of teaching.

“One thing that really surprised me was the amount of collaboration and support from the teachers, especially with planning,” she said. “They built in time for us to sit down as a team and plan together to ensure that we’re supporting each student.”

Marion Reeves collaborating with two male colleaguesMarion said she had to learn that her Type A behavior is not always the best teaching style. “I’m very organized, and I like things planned to the minute,” she explained. “I had to let go a little and adjust when a plan didn’t work. For example, when the power goes out or we lose Wi-Fi, I know we have to regroup and work through it.”

Marion Reeves in the hall talking with a female studentHer mentor, Macio Edmunds, speaks very highly of Marion’s teaching abilities. “Marion is wonderful in the sense that she’s a first year teacher, but it seems like she’s been here a long time,” he said. “She is wiling work together and to learn from her peers and everybody wants advice from her. That’s unusual for a first-year teacher.”

During the second semester, Marion’s goal is to hold her students accountable for what they need to know to be prepared for high school. “They think they’re ready for high school when they come into eighth grade. I want them to understand that they are accountable for their assignments and studying as they prepare for a less structured environment in high school.”

She has high expectations for herself, too. “It’s really easy as a first-year teacher to get overwhelmed with everything. I look forward to reviewing my time and planning. I want to make sure I’m not overwhelming myself so I can do meaningful things with my students that allow me to enjoy being a teacher every single day,” she said.


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