SOE News

Alumna Cindi Rigsbee: Beginning teachers need more than grit

Alumna Cindi Rigsbee asserts that grit is no substitute for teacher support.

What do new teachers need? They need grit. They need stamina to stay with a tough job. But they also need strong support.

So says Cindi Rigsbee (A.B.Ed. ’79, M.Ed. ’03) in a blog post featured by EdWeek.

In the article, Rigsbee shares how she resigned her job after finishing her first year of teaching. Looking back on that time, she knows that she needed more support to be successful.

“When we expect a first-year teacher to perform like the 30-year veteran in the classroom next door, we set that teacher up for failure,” Rigsbee writes. “As a profession, we also need to be aware that many of our novice teachers need more than assistance with classroom management and lesson planning; many are away from home and on their own for the first time. Isolation can knock the grittiest teachers to their knees.”

Rigsbee is a National Board Certified Teacher who works on teacher recruitment and retention initiatives with the N.C. Department of Public Instruction. She was North Carolina Teacher of the Year and a finalist for National Teacher of the Year in 2009. She serves the School of Education as chair of its Alumni Council.

The EdWeek blog post is available here.

See more information about Cindi on her website.