What Big Challenges Do New Teachers Face?

  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

The biggest challenges new teachers face are in three key areas: support, discipline, and classroom management. These questions will help you focus your efforts to overcome the challenges.


  • Is there a new teacher orientation program?
  • Are school policies and procedures in writing for new teachers?
  • Does a new teacher have an assigned mentor teacher? Do they meet weekly?
  • Does a new teacher’s administrator check in with her frequently?
  • Are colleagues available weekly for team or grade-level meetings?
  • Do teachers plan together or assist a new teacher with planning?


  • Are a new teacher’s students respectful toward one another and their teacher?
  • Does she have rules in place that she reinforces?
  • Are there logical consequences for students who don’t follow the rules?
  • Does a new teacher’s class move around the building in an orderly way?
  • Does she know how to handle difficult students and situations? Does she know when to ask for support?

Classroom Management

  • Is a new teacher well-organized? Does he follow a schedule?
  • Are systems in place that make the school day run smoothly?
  • Does a new teacher work effectively with assistants and other adults in the classroom?
  • Is time used effectively? Is pacing appropriate for a given class?
  • Does a new teacher advocate for his students?
  • Is a new teacher sensitive to diverse learners?
  • Are all students treated fairly without regard for race, gender, socioeconomic status, and so on?
  • Is a new teacher able to multitask?

This article is excerpted from 130 FAQs and Practical Answers From Scholastic's Teacher Helpline by Ruth Manna.

  • Subjects:
    New Teacher Resources, Teacher Tips and Strategies

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