Princeton – April 28, 2011 – edWeb.net, a professional social network for the education community, has announced a new online professional learning community for new teachers called “New Teacher Help.” Novice teachers are under more scrutiny than ever before. With standardized testing, emerging technologies, reduced budgets, and increased accountability, there is a sense of urgency for new teachers to develop the skills necessary to survive and thrive in the classroom.

This innovative online professional development program will present a series of monthly webinars within an online networking community on edWeb.net that will provide a collaborative way for novice teachers to connect and share perspectives and experiences. Through this program, new teachers will:

• Learn ways to “set the tone” for a productive year of student learning.
• Develop a repertoire of instructional strategies that result in higher levels of student engagement and achievement.
• Establish themselves as the “authority figure” in the classroom.
• Deal with students and parents who try to question their authority.
• Discover resources that they can turn to for assistance when necessary.
• Develop techniques to increase communication and build relationships with students, parents, veteran teachers, administrators, and school support staff.
• Access resources that will help them prepare students for standardized tests.

The free monthly webinars and live chats are presented by Shannon Holden who has been a high school and middle school teacher and administrator for 20 years and speaks frequently on the subject of reducing the high attrition rate for new teachers.

Teaching is difficult, and new teachers often lack the support they need to make their early years more enjoyable, effective, and successful. The “New Teacher Help” community is a place where they can find support from an experienced and entertaining mentor, and share experiences with other new teachers all across the country.

The “New Teacher Help” community on edWeb.net provides tools including a blog, discussions, a shared calendar, a document library, a wiki, bookmarks, and messaging to help new teachers collaborate, get to know each other, and create an ongoing support network.

Topics covered in the series of webinars include: Dealing with Difficult Parents; Making a Good First Impression; Career Killers; Classroom Management Tips; The First Week of School; Your Teaching Evaluation; Using the Lines of Communication Available to You; Things You May Not Have Been Taught in College; Being a Successful Coach; Building Relationships with Students, Parents, Administrators, and Colleagues; Your Mental Health; and Make Yourself Indispensible.

Lisa Schmucki, founder and CEO of edWeb.net, commented, “We’re especially excited about this new online community and the support it can provide for new teachers. Shannon Holden is terrific. He’s built his own website to help teaches – NewTeacherHelp.com – and we are so lucky to have his experience, practical advice, and sense of humor to help new teachers cope with all they face starting out.”

New teachers can join the community at www.edweb.net/newteacherhelp. Sponsorship opportunities are available for organizations that would like to be recognized for supporting this important initiative.

About Shannon Holden

Shannon Holden has been a high school and middle school teacher and administrator in North Dakota, Texas, and Missouri for 20 years. Holden built a website, www.newteacherhelp.com in 2009 to help reduce the 50% five-year attrition rate for new teachers in the educational profession. In his spare time, Shannon speaks to college students, teachers, and administrators across the country about classroom management, maintaining positive relationships with parents, instructional strategies that engage students, and implementing technology in the classroom. For more information, contact Shannon Holden at texholden2@yahoo.com.

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