Education Opinion

The New Teacher Chat: Empowering New Teachers to Thrive

By Lisa Dabbs — November 20, 2017 3 min read
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Hello New Teacher community! We are excited to introduce ourselves. We are Christine Pinto, a second-year kindergarten teacher, and Lisa Dabbs, an Education Consultant and former school principal who specializes in supporting new teachers. About a year ago we were introduced to each other by a mutual friend. Now here we are looking forward to this blogging journey with a vision to give new teachers a voice so they can be successful! In this first post, we want to share a bit about ourselves to help you to get to know us.

Early on, Christine became a teacher because she wanted to positively contribute to the childhood of students. Her thought was, kids spend so many years in school; they deserve to be involved with meaningful learning experiences, which will hopefully translate to positive memories of school later on in life. Her students’ happiness is important to her and knowing that they have excitement in coming to school feeds her teacher heart.

Lisa became an education consultant after 14 years of serving as an elementary school principal. During that time she recruited, hired, trained, and mentored over 200 new and veteran teachers at her school sites. Her passion to serve her school community was what drove her to coach her teachers to success. As an administrator she observed that the journey of her new teachers was a huge challenge! She also soon discovered that the power of mentorship in a new teacher’s career was key to supporting them to thrive and that no teacher, should have to go through their teaching days alone.

Christine’s first year of teaching felt like a whirlwind filled with a variety of experiences. While able to apply some of what she learned in her college teaching courses she wasn’t as prepared as she’d hoped. So right at the start of her career she discovered there was an EduWorld on Twitter, and it was there that she started to build her professional learning network (PLN).

After leaving the structure of the school building, Lisa too found a whole new world on Twitter! Like Christine, she learned how to reach out to the education community via Twitter chats and hashtags to find ideas, answers and connect with other educators with common passions. For Christine, it meant connecting with those working with students in the early grades. For Lisa it was not only about connecting to other fellow administrators but about creating a space to impact the new teacher community.

In 2010 after months of observing ongoing education chats on Twitter and finding none for new teachers, Lisa created the New Teacher Chat and the #ntchat hastag. A weekly chat with topics dedicated to providing practical support and resources to the new and pre-service teaching community. The chat ran weekly for over seven years and you can read more about it on Lisa’s blog. As the blog moves forward, we’re hoping they’ll be interested in re-launching the New Teacher Chat on Twitter as a monthly chat in 2018. Stay tuned.

Christine enjoys having her students explore with technology to take their learning to new horizons. Since her students are 1:1 with Chromebooks and her school is part of a Google For Education district, she had her kids start creating and demonstrating what they know with Google Apps. Christine began to share what her Littles were doing with technology and noticed other educators wanted to learn with her. She founded the hashtag #GAfE4Littles to start a community that discusses how primary students can produce meaningful work with technology. Christine moderates a regular #GAfE4Littles Twitter chat and has an archive of former chat discussions along with details on how to participate in the chat.

At The New Teacher Chat blog here at EdWeek Teacher we want you to feel a part of our community: A community that serves you as a new teacher. We invite you to be part of the journey and we want to hear from you. What are your challenges and successes? What do you need to learn more about? How can we support you to know that your needs matter? Every week here on the blog, we’ll share a topic that we hope will be meaningful to you in your work. It’ll be an ongoing conversation where we’ll share the challenges, success, and lessons learned in the first years of teaching. And along the way, we’ll also share tips and resources that we think you’ll find helpful.

We look forward to connecting with you and hope you’ll join us as we begin this journey together!

Christine shares what she is doing in her classroom at christinepinto.com. You can connect with her on Twitter @PintoBeanz11.

Lisa blogs about her passion to inspire educators to thrive at lisadabbs.com. You can find her on Twitter @teachwithsoul.

The opinions expressed in The New Teacher Chat: Advice, Tips, and Support are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.