For the 2006-2007 NEW Teachers’ Collaborative, we are fortunate to have a Researcher-in-Residence who will explore the value added to the first-year teachers’ experience by their participation in our collaborative group. By having research that attends to how seriously we at The Teachers’ Loft recognize and respect the specific needs of teachers as they enter the teaching profession, we hope to further improve programming and make more visible the impact on the Next Educational Wave of teachers and teacher leaders.

What Teachers Have to Say about The Teachers’ Loft

Professionally I see it as something that’s really important for first year teachers…the freedom of the group, the freedom of speech… the group is really important and the diversity of where everybody’s coming from, the different school systems and the different backgrounds everyone has, it’s just really nice to have a space for collaboration between all these different teachers.
-Urban Elementary School Teacher, 2006 – 2007 New Teachers’ Collaborative Participant

I think it was a good jumping point for just going into the teaching profession because I’m coming straight from college, so it was kind of a nice way of [gaining] professional knowledge. It made things seem more real and more solid, and to be able to hear about other districts and just to kind of see that really across the board it’s the same…It’s nice just to know that it’s the same and you’re not totally crazy for what you do.
-Urban High School English Teacher, 2006 – 2007 New Teachers’ Collaborative Participant
I found this to be a good support group for the difficulties, especially at the beginning of the year. The difficulties of being a first year teacher and not always having a place to go within my school to get the support that I really needed, and this is a good place for that. A really good place to vent frustrations in a place where there are other people who could sympathize and empathize with what I was going through. You know, other people going through difficult times and just being able to relate to that.
-Urban Middle School Science Teacher, 2006 – 2007 New Teachers’ Collaborative Participant

I decided to become a teacher and work specifically with students in urban schools to do my part to ‘level the playing field,’ so to speak. I thought that my social conscience and desire to devote myself to a career that mattered and added, versus a career that detracted, was a wiser choice. I’ve worked in corporate America before, where people actually cared more about computer chips and profit than they did about social responsibility and people, and it infuriated me. I knew all along I couldn’t be a part of something that seemed as meaningless as upgrading cell phones or selling bigger television sets. At the same time that I am proud to say I am a teacher, I do not know that I am a good teacher for my students. This job has made me doubt my capabilities as a human being more than anything I have ever done in my life.
-Urban Middle School English Teacher, 2003 – 2004 1st Year Teachers’ Collaborative Participant