Course Title:  Issues and Challenges of Being a New Teacher

School of Education

University of Massachusetts

3 graduate credits

Instructor: Mary Grassetti


This online course is designed to assist new teachers in improving their educational situation for themselves and for their students.  The goals of this course will be to offer opportunities for teachers in their first years to become critically conscious of their assumptions about teaching and learning, to foster the attitude that teaching is intellectual work, that requires dedication to and a love of learning, a respect and caring for students, a concern for equity in the classroom, and a moral imperative for excellence in teaching.  Moreover, participants in the course will develop themselves into reflective practitioners.


The primary objectives of this course were developed to help new teachers acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to become effective teachers.  Therefore, the course will focus on the teacher as a person, classroom management and organization, organizing and implementing instruction, assessing student learning in the context of teaching, writing in subject areas, technology in education, and the teacher as a researcher. 


Students will be required to complete all readings and participate fully in online discussions. Online discussions will focus on real problems of practice from the participants teaching situations.  Participants will keep a reflective online journal in which they must regularly record their ideas, conjectures, reflections, and classroom experiences.  Additionally, participants will be required to respond to other members of the class through online chat rooms and discussions boards.  The major assignments for the course will be a teaching portfolio that demonstrates their growth as a first year teacher, developing a classroom website and a classroom management plan, and writing case studies using their classroom experiences as text. 

Students will log on to the course site at least 2x per week to complete various assignments as well as meet in person (3x) once in the beginning, middle and end of the semester.  Additionally, students will have scheduled meeting times to meet in chat rooms and to work in groups on line