New Teachers Should Get An Induction Year

Teaching is one of the toughest jobs around.

When new teachers graduate and begin teaching, sometimes the environment and the responsibility and the finesse that goes along with teaching well can be extremely overwhelming.

That is why the idea of an induction year has been introduced in such places as Switzerland, France, China, New Zealand, and Japan and has been met with success across the board!

So, what is an induction year? It is when a novice teacher, instead of going straight into heading their own classroom, can instead shadow and be mentored by a seasoned, more experienced teacher for a year or two.

To have a thorough and successful induction of a new teacher, a few factors must be put in place:

  • Trained or seasoned mentors who can provide invaluable feedback and advice
  • An environment to observe and analyze classroom best practices
  • Limited workload as to not overwhelm and encourage observation
  • Cooperative planning time with senior teacher
  • Opportunities outside the classroom to further education: seminars and literature on a variety of teaching-related topics

Sounds like a great way to prepare new teachers, right? So why aren’t all countries adopting this way of educating and supporting their teachers?

It comes down to resources. It takes time to be mentored and to mentor someone. For this induction to work properly, there needs to be time in a day to discuss teaching and the challenges that come with it. Without this meaningful discussion, the new teacher will lose a lot of valuable feedback.

It also takes a good mentor, not just a seasoned teacher, to truly teach a new teacher. And to be a good mentor, training is likely required, adding to the time spent dedicated to this induction venture. It has been shown that induction is most effective over long periods of observation and analysis and critique.

Learning Life Lessons from Organized Sports

The life lessons your children will learn from organized sports are invaluable. Kids are taught how to actively partake in team building exercises, while learning the value of participation, goal setting, and responsibility. Concepts such as competition and commitment are instilled in children, allowing them to carry some of those lessons with them for the rest of their lives. Below is a list of some important developmental characteristics kids are taught when partaking in team sports and activities.

Socializing and Getting Along with Others

Kids of different backgrounds are often put together in the same teams. Children who go to different schools, or live in different towns are placed together to learn and grow. Team sports foster social behavior among kids, despite any differences between them. Interacting with kids of different personalities or skills, and social or ethnic backgrounds provides kids with invaluable life lessons they can carry with them well into adulthood. Kristin Chessman of She Knows suggests enrolling kids into organized sports in order to foster in them an understanding of diversity.


Winning isn’t everything, but it is important. Life is somewhat about competition. In competition, an individual either wins or loses. Placing kids in an environment where they can potentially feel the euphoria of winning, or the heartbreak of losing is important for character development. If children hope to compete and succeed, they will inevitably need to understand how important effort is in order to achieve their goals.

Hard Work and Dedication

Once your children are a bit older, they’ll realize that it is difficult to succeed without hard work. Kids eventually realize that hard work can make them play and perform better on and off the pitch, court, or rink. Developing a hunger for success can only be created by understanding that goals are met with exceptional effort. Participation is simply not enough.

Breaking Entitlement

It’s in kids’ nature to feel entitled – especially when it comes to fun. Nothing is a more entitlement-breaking experience than having to sit on the bench during games. In organized sports, children learn a very difficult lesson: kids with more skill naturally earn more playing time. According to Annette Christiansen of Education Week, the concept of earning playtime is a difficult, but absolutely necessary lesson. This will push kids to practice and work harder in order to achieve their goals.

Problem Solving

Organized sports presents an array of problems that require millisecond decision making. Observing the manner in which another team plays, and adapting to that style is an important manner in which kids learn on the field. Figuring out how to defend against certain attacks, or how to penetrate an opponent’s defense allows kids to apply problem solving skills in competitions. This stirs kids to use creativity to solve problems as well.

If you liked this post and would like to read more on child development news and information, check out my twitter @TerryFebrey. Thanks for reading !

Get Your Child Active with these Valuable Tips

The CDC recommends that children and adolescents spend up to 60 minutes a day undertaking aerobic physical activity. Reports have shown however that children often fall short of this goal. According to the American Heart Association, the obesity rate among children and teens has risen dramatically over the past twenty years.

Among children ages 6-11, about 15 percent of children are overweight. Among children and adolescents between the ages of 12-19 on the other hand, 16.1 percent are overweight. Children are naturally more active than adults. However, as they approach adolescence, children become increasingly less active. Now more than ever with the advent of video games and computers, children are becoming less attracted to the draws of physical activity in the outside world. If you’re looking to get your child more physically active throughout the week, try some of these tips from Sarah Henry of WebMD.

Enroll them in Sports

An obvious choice to getting your child more active is enrolling them in a sports program. Sports like basketball, hockey, and soccer are great ways for children to engage in physical activity while also socializing with other children. Teamwork and collaboration are important aspects to any character building process, therefore making team sports a great way of promoting proper physical and mental health.

Have them Perform Other Activities

If for whatever reason your child is not adapting well to team sports, or simply dreads the sport you put them into, get creative. Conventional sports may simply not interest your child, so it’s important that you try something different. Martial Arts, swimming, and wrestling are some great activities that stray away from the traditional organizational fabric of conventional sports. Other activities like dancing, rock climbing, and biking can be especially good ways of promoting physical activity.

Make Exercise Part of their Routine

By making exercise and physical activity as important as going to school, working, eating, and sleeping, it will be difficult for a child to ignore the importance of exercise. Instilling in them that sense of routine makes it much easier for children to pursue regular physical activity, even once they’ve strayed from the nest. Yet for this to work, it is vital that you:

Join In

Children love playing with their parents. Playing with your children has lasting social and emotional benefits. Encourage your child’s physical and mental wellbeing by actively engaging with them in physical activity. Whether this means taking your family on a hiking trip, or simply playing catch with them in the backyard, parents can act as catalysts to their own children’s physical activity. This is vital to the development of children.

Don’t Forget to make it Fun!

For young ones with developing attention spans, fun is priority number one. Make sure that you don’t turn a physical activity into a chore. Therefore, don’t be forceful, and make sure they (and you) are having fun.

If you like this post and would like to read more on youth physical and academic education, check out my twitter @TerryFebrey for more. Thanks for reading!

Lessons From A Mentor

mentor terry febrey

Not everyone is lucky enough to say that they have had the beneficial experience of having a dedicated and knowledgable mentor. However, those of who have been lucky enough, will tell you how absolutely essential their mentor’s advice and guidance was to their own success.

Here are the best bits of direction you could hope to get from a mentor:

Do not be the first to name numbers.

When is comes to salary negotiation or parlaying a numerical amount, it is generally thought that the person who gets to counter an offer has the upper hand. You do not want the possibility of saying you want a salary of a certain amount when the employer has budgeted for more – then you lose that difference!

Be bold and enthusiastic.

It is absolutely true that first impressions last a lifetime. So, when meeting important individuals for the first time, you do not want to let those opportunities pass. After a job interview, consider saying something like, “I am very interested in the position. What else can I do to show you that I am a great fit for the job?” That may be the difference between hiring you and the person walking in just after you!

Short and concise is key.

When it comes to the professional world, time is money – we all know this. So, when communicating via email, in person, over the phone, make sure you stay on topic, and get to the point as soon as possible. No one wants to read an email three paragraphs long unless it is from an old friend. No one wants to have a rambling conversation in person or over the phone that goes on and on without a point or resolution. It is always best to stick to the point, keeping it short and sweet. No one will ever fault you for that.