Education Opinion

The New Teacher Chat Is Back!

By Lisa Dabbs — August 23, 2018 3 min read
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Hello, New Teacher community! We’re Back! Meet Amanda Becker, a first-year 10th grade English Language Arts teacher, and Lisa Dabbs an Education Consultant and former school principal who specializes in supporting new teachers. Last year Christine Pinto was part of this blogging journey. Now Amanda will be joining the blog and we can’t wait to see how this next six months develops 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 know Amanda and re-connect with Lisa.

Amanda is a first-year teacher at Mustang High School in Mustang, Oklahoma. She entered the field of education after many years working as a visual and performing artist. She became interested in teaching as she researched education when her daughter became old enough to attend school. Excited by the potential to effect positive change in the lives of young people, she believed that her creative background could be a positive asset in her approach to teaching. She also comes from a family of educators and has seen the profound impact educators have on the lives of their students. They encouraged her to pursue becoming a teacher - so she did!

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 succeed. 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.

Amanda is currently finishing up her Master’s in Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum at the University of Oklahoma. She has four full days of professional teaching under her belt and has relished in applying much of what she learned in her Master’s program into her first few days in the classroom. Amanda’s goal as a teacher is to provide a meaningful and joyous learning experience to all students. She draws from her creative background, combined with researched-based best practices, to meet the diverse learning needs of all students.

After leaving the structure of the school building, Lisa found a whole new world on Twitter! 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 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, Lisa created the New Teacher Chat and the #ntchat hashtag. 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 7 years and you can read more about it on Lisa’s blog. As our journey together here continues we’ll be sharing updates to the re-launch of New Teacher Chat as a monthly chat on Twitter starting in September 2018. Stay tuned!

Although you can more often find Amanda’s face staring at a book rather than a screen (she is an English teacher, after all), she is excited to become connected to a wider community of educators via Twitter. She understands that as a new teacher, this year will be marked by learning and growth not only for her students but for her as well. The experienced voices of seasoned educators are needed and welcomed as she sets out on this new journey. She hopes that her dialogue with Lisa will encourage other teachers in the important work they do.

We are a community of learners and we want you to be a part of The New Teacher Chat blogging collaborative here at EdWeek Teacher. We want you, the new teacher, to be part of the journey. We want to hear from you. What’re your challenges and successes? What do you need more of? 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 will be an ongoing conversation where we’ll share the challenges, success, and lessons learned in the first years of teaching. Along the way, we’ll share tips and resources that we think you’ll find helpful.

We look forward to connecting with you as we begin this journey together!

Show a newbie some love and connect with Amanda on Twitter; her handle is @ateacherstory.

Lisa can be found blogging about her passion to inspire educators to thrive at lisadabbs.com. You can connect with Lisa on Twitter at @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.