Teachers Network
Translate Translate English to Chinese Translate English to French
  Translate English to German Translate English to Italian Translate English to Japan
  Translate English to Korean Russian Translate English to Spanish
Lesson Plan Search
Proud New Owners of teachnet.org... We're Very Flattered... But Please Stop Copying this Site. Thank You.
Our Lesson Plans
TeachNet Curriculum Units
Classroom Specials
Popular Teacher Designed Activities
TeachNet NYC Dirctory of Lesson Plans

VIDEOS FOR TEACHERS
RESOURCES
Teachers Network Leadership Institute
How-To Articles
Videos About Teaching
Effective Teachers Website
Lesson Plans
TeachNet Curriculum Units
Classroom Specials
Teacher Research
For NYC Teachers
For New Teachers
HOW-TO ARTICLES
TEACHER RESEARCH
LINKS

GRANT WINNERS
TeachNet Grant:
Lesson Plans
2010
TeachNet Grant Winners
2009
TeachNet Grant Winners
Adaptor Grant Winners
2008
TeachNet Grant Winners
Adaptor Grant Winners
2007
TeachNet Grant Winners
Adaptor Grant Winners
Other Grant Winners
Power-to-Learn
Math and Science Learning
Ready-Set-Tech
Impact II
Grant Resources
Grant How-To's
Free Resources for Teachers
ABOUT
Our Mission
Funders
   Pacesetters
   Benefactors
   Donors
   Sponsors
   Contributors
   Friends
Press
   Articles
   Press Releases
Awards
   Cine
   Silver Reel
   2002 Educational Publishers Award

Sitemap

NYC Helpline: How To: Develop as a Professional

Professionals as Problem Solvers by
Theresa London Cooper

After twenty years of teaching, I believe what I have always believed – problem-solving is essential to being an effective and efficient professional. During my first year of teaching there were few mentors and a great deal of my learning took place through my initiative to solve the problems I encountered.

There are a number of ways to be a problem solver. It is important to identify the problem, brainstorm solutions, choose an intervention, and try it. I use several strategies that work for me.

  1. Ask three before me. Before I asked my administrator for help, I asked three other people or tried three other strategies. I made a mental note of those strategies that were successful and shared them with other colleagues.

  2. Listen carefully. As a new teacher, I did a great deal of listening. I still do. I listened to experienced paraprofessionals, veteran teachers, speakers in seminars and most importantly, to my students. Listening to their needs helped me understand how to teach them.

  3. Ask questions. It is almost like being a detective. Asking the right questions helped me get the information I needed. Being specific about your problem helps you focus your questions.

  4. Research. I spend many hours surfing the Internet to gather information I need. I have created my own reference materials by gathering information from the Internet. Teachersnetwork.org has a wealth of information. Visit the For New Teachers page or try using the Google powered search.

  5. Connect with a seasoned colleague. Throughout my career, I sought out veteran teachers who were willing to share some of their pearls of wisdom. Some of these teachers were in my building, some I met at a seminar, and some I met while standing on line at the bank. Take time to engage others in conversation. You never know who is standing next to you. Professional conversations often yield a great exchange of ideas.

  6. Attend seminars. From my first year of teaching to this day, I have always spent time gathering information to build my content knowledge. But that is not enough. You must also findways to implement the ideas. Application is an important part of the problem-solving experience.

    The UFT Teacher Center is currently sponsoring The Urban Educators Forum for several Saturday meeting from 9AM – 1PM. I attended last year. The speakers were provocative and I learned a great deal regarding critical issues to our profession. Call 212 475-3737 to get more information.

  7. Read. Although I did not always have time to read the New York Teacher from cover to cover, I established a routine of browsing through the paper. I found many of the articles helpful and the advertisements made me aware of workshops that, after attending them, would invariably answer many of my questions. I have always read the notices posted over the time clock and on the UFT bulletin board. I have received free materials for my class and joined several organizations that have helped me hone my skills.

These strategies amount to one thing, being open, to you colleagues, to the people around you, to everyday research tools, and to your surroundings in general.

Do you have a comment or question about this article?  E-mail Theresa.

 

Come across an outdated link?
Please visit The Wayback Machine to find what you are looking for.

 

Journey Back to the Great Before