I'm a New Teacher: How Can NSTA Help Me?

According to the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, almost half of America’s new teachers leave the profession within the first five years. Therefore, it is vital that new teachers receive the support necessary to succeed. NSTA provides encouragement to beginning science teachers through programs such as the New Science Teacher Academy.
NSTA member Navneet Riar, a first-year high school biology and chemistry teacher, has discovered first-hand the advantages of being an NSTA member. Since joining right out of college, she has attended two NSTA national conferences and benefited from a number of NSTA resources that have helped her navigate the challenges of being a new teacher.
Riar: My first priority coming out of graduate school was to attend an NSTA conference. I joined NSTA when I was still a student teacher. I applied for a travel scholarship and got it. So, it was much cheaper for me to attend the conference. And, as a student teacher, NSTA had special workshops for new teachers and a meet-and-greet session at the conference. The conference was a really nice introduction to the organization. My first conference was the 2013 NSTA National Conference on Science Education in San Antonio. I also went to the one in Boston this year.
I was still student teaching when I attended the conference in San Antonio, and I wasn’t sure what I was going to end up teaching. Therefore, I attended a bunch of different workshops and sessions; I went to some for high school chemistry and some for biology. I also went to marine education sessions, which is good because I’m teaching marine science this year.
There are so many teachers at the conference and you say to yourself, ‘Wow, all of these people really like teaching.’ It’s a good motivator.
A huge help to me was an article in “The New Teacher Toolbox” section of The Science Teacher journal, titled “Your First Conference.” I followed the article’s suggestions and brought a bag for all of the free stuff handed out in the exhibitor’s area. The advice in the article was super helpful. I find lots of great tips in “The New Teacher Toolbox” column each month.
What other NSTA resources do you use?
Riar: I posted a question on the NSTA Learning Center before I started teaching asking how I should spend my summer getting ready. I received really good advice. Fellow teachers told me to spend time mastering content. That was really good advice, especially since I ended up teaching chemistry my first year, which I had less experience with.
In NSTA Reports and online, there is a freebies section that I regularly look at to see if there is anything I can quickly grab and use. This is especially helpful for new teachers who are looking for low-cost, quick, and easy finds.
I really like being a member of NSTA. Hopefully I can start getting involved more. It’s a great place to network and get to that next level in your career.
Not a member of NSTA? Learn more about how to join.
Jennifer Henderson is our guest blogger for this series. Before launching her freelance career as a writer/editor, Jennifer was Managing Editor of The Science Teacher, NSTA’s peer-reviewed journal for high school science teachers.

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2 Responses to I'm a New Teacher: How Can NSTA Help Me?

  1. Cynthia says:

    I am looking at your NSTA Reports newspaper that comes to my house. There is a section that is titled “Science Teachers’ Grab Bag” Freebies for Science Teachers.
    Many are not free. The Rock Cycle and Water Cycle will cost you.

  2. Christy A Frank says:

    The article “I am a new teacher, how can NSTA help me?” was very informative and I will be using several of the resources.

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