Supporting New Teachers

Core Beliefs, Knowledge, and Skills for First Year Teachers

In the 2022-2023 school year, we will transform our system through the integration of academic and social-emotional learning, and establish a new path to reimagining schooling. To support the Chancellor’s instructional principles, new teachers will engage in and reflect on professional learning that supports the learning and well-being of our city’s incredibly diverse student population.

Four Core Beliefs serve as drivers for the knowledge and skills new teachers need to provide engaging, rigorous and culturally responsive education to students.

These beliefs are not intended to be absolute as there are numerous key mindsets needed to ground one’s career as a teacher. They serve as guidance for effective instruction while providing a foundation for resources and professional learning across the city.

Included below are resources that are aligned to this unifying set of Core Beliefs.

Belief One: Continuous self-reflection on my socialization and biases

I believe that critical and continuous self-reflection on my own biases (e.g., race, social class, gender, language, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, ability) and socialization is required to dismantle systemic inequities that persist in education.

Aligned knowledge and skills:

  • Assess my own identities and biases (racial, gender, linguistic, etc.) both in and out of the classroom.
  • Reflect on how my biases impact my expectations for student achievement and/or the decisions I make in the classroom, and the steps I can take to address those biases and their impact on students.
  • Continuously engage with students and their families to reflect upon and challenge biases that surface with me.

Belief Two: Families and students bring valuable assets to my planning of educational experiences

I believe that every student and their family comes with invaluable assets including knowledge, culture and language, which are critical components of education and therefore should be involved in the development of learning experiences. 

Aligned knowledge and skills:

  • Build rapport and develop positive relationships with students and their families.
  • Create opportunities to incorporate students' and families’ knowledge, culture, language, and experiences in the instructional strategies and curriculum in ways that affirms and validates them.
  • Dialogue with students, and their families, about their successes and needs and how they can be affirmed by the classroom and school.
  • Assess the state of rapport in your classroom and school.

Belief Three: Ensure my students' academic success, promote their sociopolitical agency, and honor their funds of knowledge

I believe every student deserves challenging grade-appropriate work, as well as the supports each needs to successfully engage such work independent of their teacher in order to enact their own self-agency.

Aligned knowledge and skills:

  • Unpack relevant standards to identify the knowledge and skills students should be learning, practicing, and aspiring to master.
  • Develop deep content knowledge and know how it relates to students’ lives.
  • Assess to monitor student progress and identify misconceptions related to content.
  • Align the standards (and embedded knowledge and skills), learning outcome, lesson materials, and learning task.
  • Use learning outcomes to communicate high expectations and a clear purpose for challenging tasks.
  • Design learning experiences to include multiple ways students can exercise their own self-agency (e.g., different ways of demonstrating their learning, offering different perspectives).
  • Use student data to select, design, revisit, and revise needs-based supports for individual students, and gradually release them as appropriate.
  • Provide feedback that invites conversation with students, ignites reflection of their learning, and creates an opportunity for them to own their learning.

Belief Four: Critical reflection and ongoing professional learning

I believe that I must engage in critical reflection of my instructional practice, embrace feedback, invest in ongoing professional learning, and commit to making the necessary changes to my practice to better serve students.

Aligned knowledge and skills:

  • Analyze student learning data to identify what to strengthen, adjust, or adapt in my practice to impact student learning.
  • Deepen knowledge of developmentally appropriate practices.
  • Know how to reflect and ask for support and resources.
  • Leverage the collective knowledge of the students, families, and teachers in my school community to deepen my own learning.