First Year Teachers- First Day of School
Join a new teacher teaching on his first day of school.
Male: What's it like to be a teacher? Ken: The word is getting out about teaching. Male: Summer is off. Ability to make a difference. Shana: The school has been a revolving door every single year. Male: So why is it after 4 years, nearly a quarter of all new teachers quit? Shana: If you don’t want to be here, I'm not one to try to keep you here. Jill: Your services will not be required for the 2009-2010 school year. Male: What's driving so many new teachers away? How does it affect our schools? Shana: You're talking about people’s lives. Male: We spent an entire school year capturing the highs and lows of what it’s like to be a brand new teacher. Ken: It isn't perceived by the general public that’s the kind of profession, honorable profession, exciting profession that it once was. Male: What would lead a new teacher to throw away the cost and effort of all their years of preparation? Will these teachers make it? Thane: I still hope. I guess growing up, my mom always say, you should be a teacher. It would be great for you. But I wasn’t able to realize that potentially, there's always something missing. And then I went on a trip out of this country for about 5 years. There are lot of emotions that took place on that trip, and that's where I really decided after meeting tons and tons of kids and talking about myself and my country and my culture and learning about theirs. I said, you know what, I love that look that kids have in their eyes when they learn something new. Male: It’s the first day of school at Edward Kemble Elementary and its Thane House’s first day on the job teaching first grade. Already, he's got problems. Thane: I guess the main fear is failure and having kids cry. I have to go find out who I have. Male: And now, after a mix up in the playground, some of his kids are missing. Thane: I'm off to find my kids. Male: The story of how and why Thane has become a teacher is important. Feeling unfulfilled in his prior work, he set out on a bike trip to find himself. For 5 years, he rode from Alaska to the tip of South America. Along the way, he mastered Spanish, met, fell in love with and eventually proposed to his wife Bernice. Together, they went on to cycle around the entire South American continent. Thane: Really was able to understand who I was and what I wanted. Male: He decided what he really wanted was to teach, specifically teaching Spanish speaking children back in his home state of California. After college, he got the job at Edward Kemble to teach in a special language program. Thane: And I’ll be teaching everything in Spanish. Male: So after a 5 year journey, discovered what he wanted in life, 4 years of college, 2 years of credentialing, what would possibly make Thane or any other new teacher like him want to quit? The facts prove an alarming number will. In the days before school started, we asked Thane why he thought 25% of new teachers don’t make it. Thane: I can't answer that from my perspective. I don’t know why they would leave teaching. I don’t think I’d be one of those. I've been wanting this for a long time. Male: But over the course of a year, Thane, or teachers like him will be put to their limits. Thane: If I can manage the classroom well, I’ll be a successful teacher. If you want to play, go play somewhere else. If I can get the kids to listen to me when I'm talking, I’ll be a successful teacher. Jose, I'm going to call your mom and I'm going to ask her why you come to school today to play. I'm going to ask her that, so be prepared for the answer. If I can take the strengths and weaknesses of all the kids and turn them into successes, I’ll be a successful teacher. Who else who wants to play? Come on, bring it on. If I can keep my job, I’ll be a successful teacher. If you guys come in to this classroom one more time and you are not ready to learn, I will kick you out of this classroom. I will call you parents and I will not be your teacher. Male: What's behind the statistics? Is it the schools? Shana: The reality of it is, it’s a tough school. And some people find out that maybe this isn't the place for me. Male: Is it the education or bureaucracy? Male2: What priorities does the state of California have to put schools last? Male: Is it the workload? Ken: We push too hard and we're going to push teacher like Thane right out of the profession. Male: For now, at the end of this first day, Thane’s spirit is still high. He found his kids after the mixed up. And once they warmed up to him, together they started the year long process of what they came to school for. Thane: I think they learn a bit today. So overall, it was successful. I'm happy.