University of Wisconsin Oshkosh alumnus John Dewitt ’14, of Milwaukee, recently shared lessons learned as a new math and AP statistics teacher at Nathan Hale High School in West Allis.
In a Dec. 7 colloquium on campus, Dewitt, a secondary math education grad and former stand-out Titan athlete, presented “Teaching, Coaching and Running: Advice for Teachers and Coaches in their First Year.”
In his own first year of teaching at Hale in 2014, Dewitt taught AP statistics, became the head track and field coach for a Division I program and was one of the youngest qualifiers for the Olympic marathon trials.
Dewitt said new teachers should be on time and act professionally in how they dress and present themselves because the first year sets the tone for years to come.
In that first year especially, teachers should have a “growth mindset” that includes a willingness to learn and ask questions and to build relationships with fellow staff members as well as the students.
During each day, a teacher’s success depends “10 percent on what happens in the classroom and 90 percent on how you respond,” Dewitt said.
Finally, he recommended that teachers should not get down on themselves when they have a rough day. “You are not defined by one day,” he said.