What to (and Not to) Expect From a New Teacher


Using a professional teacher recruitment service can quickly bring talented educators to your institution. As they arrive, you will undoubtedly have high expectations as they start their work and integrate into your school community. Some schools expect very little and are perhaps too easily impressed by some staff, but others take the opposite approach and perhaps are expecting a bit too much from their new intake.

To help schools find a balance, we’ve prepared some tips on what to expect, and what not to expect, from a newly hired member of the teaching staff.

Expect Professional Conduct and Appropriate Dress

New incoming teachers may not have any idea about the exact procedures and expectations of your school day just yet, but any teacher worth their salt should know that they should conduct themselves appropriately and serve as a good example to others (especially the students). This means being on time for their first day, dressing appropriately, using polite and appropriate language, and so on.

Don’t Expect Them to Instantly Absorb Their Full Workload

When a school expects brand-new teachers to take in the full extent of their teaching, extracurricular, and supportive roles within your institution in the first day or two, then you are definitely expecting far too much. Many schools will take a full day or more — sometimes a full week — to conduct proper and full orientation for new teachers, demonstrate the routines on the campus, the schedule, the facilities and more.

Expect Flexibility and Adaptability

New teachers need time to get to grips with their job, of course, but it’s fine to expect the teacher to be flexible and adaptable enough from the beginning. Teachers who demonstrate a total lack of flexibility may resist procedures, duties and other responsibilities that you ask of them. A common scenario is that they may claim “in my previous placement, we didn’t have to…”

Coming to a new campus means new rules and new requirements. There’s nothing wrong with getting firm with those staff members who appear to resist the need to adapt.

Don’t Expect Them to Hold Back Suggestions and Ideas

An unfortunate phenomenon in some schools welcoming new teachers is for leadership and administration to be dismissive of a new teacher’s ideas and suggestions. Of course they need to adapt to your system, but when they have genuinely good and constructive suggestions for how to improve things in your establishment, you should listen to them.

Humility is being able to listen and accept that they are new and have things to learn about the way you do things in your school. However, that doesn’t turn to arrogance automatically when they have good ideas. If they are offered up constructively, it’s a positive sign that you have a new team member who will contribute to your school’s development very meaningfully.

Expect a Creative, Unique, and Engaging Teaching Style

New teachers may still have to hone their skills and technique as they progress through their careers, but you should expect a pleasing level of engagement and creativity from the moment they arrive. You of course need to leave room for improvement, and not come down on them too hard for getting the odd thing wrong, but showing your high expectations from the beginning sets a high bar for new teachers to aspire toward.

Don’t Expect Miracles

If members of your previous teaching team have left behind a lasting legacy of poor test scores and other academic failings, don’t expect brand-new teachers to swoop in and fix everything overnight. Real schools don’t work like the movies, nor is every teacher a Jaime Escalante. Even heroes like him needed years to turn around failing programs. Don’t expect miracles.


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. CascadeBusNews.com • CBN@CascadeBusNews.com

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