Communication Problems

By Anthony Rebora — October 24, 2005 1 min read

New teachers in one big city district felt they would have been better equipped for their jobs if they had had more opportunities to meet and work with current teachers during the hiring process, according to a recent report.

The report, prepared by the Boston Plan for Excellence in Public Schools, surveyed first-year teachers in Boston on their hiring and teaching experiences.

While directed to policymakers, the report’s findings suggest that education job seekers should factor in the level of communication within a school when deciding on a job.

When asked how the hiring process could have better prepared them for their jobs, the teachers surveyed predominantly cited the need for greater interaction with potential colleagues and the day-to-day life of the school.

“Respondents identified wanting to spend more time in a school while in session, participating in classroom observations, shadowing teachers, and sitting in on meetings,” the report says. Such experiences can help teachers “better align expectations with reality” and give them a more well-rounded view of the school.

Similarly, ninety percent of the teachers surveyed cited working with colleagues as the most valuable form of training they received during their first years.

Among the greatest difficulties faced by the teachers, according to the report, were insufficient communication and support from school leaders and lack of clarity about the norms and expectations of the school.