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Retired teacher writes book to pass her knowledge to new colleagues


Shannon Hazel with her new book

“What every new teacher needs to know” is the tagline for Shannon Hazel’s new book with her goal being to assist new teachers through their challenges.


Hazel has written the new book “New Teacher Confidential: What They Didn’t Tell You About Being a Teacher” with release of the new 127-page book being March 24. She explained “it’s definitely not a memoir” but more of a how-to book on what new teachers can expect and how to deal with challenges that arise.


“It’s meant for teachers in their first few years of teaching or in the faculty of education,” said Hazel.


The objective of the book is to “smooth the transition” of people into teaching with tips and lessons they may not have received. She said there are a lot of things new teachers don’t realize when they begin and she wants to ease that transition.


“It can be a shock when you hit the ground running,” she said. “It’s a real challenge to navigate at first.”


Teacher retention is an issue, Hazel pointed out, and “if you talk to people in the profession, they can tell you why.” She said teachers are public sector employees who essentially work for the government and regular changes in the position cause stress. There are curriculum changes, new demands and uncertainty in where a teacher could be working, the latter being particularly in the early years of a career when a new teacher has low seniority.


“You don’t have control over your destiny in the first few years of teaching,” said Hazel.


Navigating the home/school relationship and properly communicating with parents is another challenge new teachers have to contend with. Another issue facing new educators is “change fatigue” including having to deal with new roles, new curriculums and avoiding burnout as they balance between their careers and personal lives.


“That’s a reason for teacher retention issues,” said Hazel.


“New Teacher Confidential: What They Didn’t Tell You About Being a Teacher” also advises new teachers about minimizing undesirable behaviours and increasing student success.


“We’re constantly putting new things on our plates without taking things off our plates,” she said.


Hazel said she has wanted to write a book since she was in her early 20’s and now that she has retired after a 25-year career, she made writing one of her first priorities. She started writing the book last August and finished it in December, using her own experiences as the foundation of what she wrote. The self-published book will be available on Indigo and Amazon websites.


“I’m hoping to get it into some local book stores as well,” said Hazel.


A book launch will be held at Caffeine & Co. in Amherstburg April 10 from 4-6 p.m. Hazel said she expects a lot of her teaching friends to attend, but added it is open to everyone.


The book has received several positive reviews, including from former Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO) president Sam Hammond, Greater Essex County Teacher Local president Mario Spagnuolo and Greater Essex County District School Board director of education Vicki Houston.


Retired teacher writes book to pass her knowledge to new colleagues

By Ron Giofu

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