1st Edition

A Sense of Belonging Sustaining and Retaining New Teachers

By Jennifer Allen Copyright 2009

    Too often, new teachers enter the profession excited to make a difference in the lives of children only to find themselves disillusioned and overwhelmed with the expectations of the classroom. In A Sense of Belonging, Jennifer Allen shares her stories and journey in creating an infrastructure of support for new teachers within her school district. A Sense of Belonging provides research-based, practical ideas on how to support new teachers while honoring the innovation, idealism, and optimistic enthusiasm that they bring to the classroom. From supporting new teachers early in the year with administering and analyzing literacy assessments, through using student work to guide instruction, to offering ongoing help with curriculum planning, Jennifer shares strategies on:, fostering relationships with new teachers, starting before school even begins;, creating learning environments for new teachers to be reflective practitioners;, coaching new teachers in their classrooms and providing opportunities for them to observe their peers in action;, supporting new teachers beyond their first year through gradual release of support over their first several years in the classroom; and, facilitating professional development opportunities where new and veteran teachers learn alongside one another. Jennifer believes, and her book demonstrates, that when schools embrace, encourage, and celebrate the work of new teachers, they establish a supportive environment that fosters excellence and improves retention.

    Introduction; Chapter One: Relationships; Chapter Two: Observing the Coach; Chapter Three: Administering and Analyzing Assessments; Chapter Four: In-Class Support: Establishing Structures; Chapter Five: Meeting as a Group; Chapter Six: Peer Observations; Chapter Seven: Using Student Work to Guide Instruction; Chapter Eight: Curriculum Planning; Chapter Nine: Study Groups: Where New and Veteran Teachers Learn Together; Final Words: I Believe


    Janet Allen is one of the most prominent and outspoken literacy advocates in the country. A former elementary school teacher and university instructor, hundreds of teachers attend her seminars each year. Her books Words, Words, Words: Teaching Vocabulary in Grades 4-12 and Yellow Brick Roads: Shared and Guided Paths to Independent Reading have been praised by elementary and secondary school teachers, education professors, adult literacy advocates, and ESL instructors. Dr. Allen lives in Orlando, Florida.