Helping Lateral Entry Teachers Be Successful

Lateral entry teachers are at a disadvantage when they enter a classroom. Most have no experience with classroom management. There are many aspects that affect the way that someone is able to reach his students. If classroom management is lacking, then the instructor is not going to be able to teach as effectively.

In order for a lateral entry teacher to be successful, he should receive more education than a two-week training session before he is thrown into a classroom. One solution is to provide evening classes over the summer months that lateral entry teachers are required to take before stepping into the classroom. This class can discuss the different methods of assessment, and the challenges that a first year teacher will face.

Another solution is to provide a more vigorous selection process, which actually requires the candidate to teach for a short period the preceding spring. This would give the candidate a chance to decide if teaching is indeed the right fit. It would also give the principal a chance to assess the classroom management skills of the lateral entry teacher and provide help where needed.

A good mentoring program is absolutely essential. The mentoring program should include regular meetings, as well as regular classroom observances. If a school is considering hiring several lateral entry teachers, they may consider hiring a teacher to serve solely as mentor to the new teachers. This teacher can be available to answer questions about lesson planning, student behavior and the best way to deal with parents.

In addition lateral entry teachers may need to be excused from the extra jobs that many teachers have. The planning commitment, as well as the course commitment will take up a lot of extra time. By excusing the lateral entry teachers from chaperoning and other duties, it may help to prevent the teachers from burning out the first year.

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