IS THIS ALRIGHT? Mentor meeting with principal to discuss mentee.

Discussion in 'General Education' started by ChiTownHopeful, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. ChiTownHopeful

    ChiTownHopeful Rookie

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    Sep 25, 2012

    I'm new to a district and have been assigned a mentor. She told me today that the principals had scheduled to meet with her to discuss how things have been going and they met to talk.

    She told me that she thinks that I might be in trouble or questioned by the administrators about something she mentioned in the meeting regarding an assessment I use in my classroom. (I'm not worried about using the assessment because it is a classroom-based assessment developed by the state and used to support my teaching. Unfortunately my mentor hasn't used the assessment and doesn't know it's value and didn't ask me about it.)

    My real worry is that now I feel like I can't really talk to my mentor about anything without it getting back to the principals. Is this really best practice for a mentor? Should the principals be allowed to ask questions of a mentor? Any suggestions/thoughts/ideas?

    :thanks:
     
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  3. alilisa

    alilisa Habitué

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    Sep 25, 2012

    WOW! The purpose of having a mentor is to have a person to go to, to ask questions, etc.... without having the fear of repercussion! I can't believe the principals are asking to meet with her! If you have a union, I would check with your union leaders/representatives to get their take on the situation!
    I wouldn't worry about the assessment because you have the validity of the assessment, so you should be fine! :)
    Good Luck!!! :)
     
  4. HistTchr

    HistTchr Habitué

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    I help run the new teacher program in my district. Mentors are absolutely not supposed to be seen as liaisons to the administration. There really should not be any meetings to discuss your progress between the mentor and principal, since a mentor's role is non-evaluative and meant to support the new teacher!
     
  5. karebear76

    karebear76 Habitué

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    Sep 25, 2012

    I agree with the above comments. I am a mentor, and just received training for Ohio's new 4 tier system. We were told that an admin may talk to the mentor, and may suggest some areas of concern, but the admin were not to ask the mentor about how the new teacher was doing, and the mentor was not to go to the admin with information either.

    In your position, I would mention it to the mentor that you are very uncomfortable with this situation and are fearful of this happening again.

    Do you have a lead mentor in your district? I would contact them for sure to see what they say about it.
     
  6. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Sep 25, 2012

    My mentor always ran to the P with everything. I found someone else to buddy up with.
     
  7. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    My mentor as a first year teacher was required to meet with my principal and university person to discuss my progress without me present. I wouldn't have thought much of it if my principal spoke to my mentor about my performance...

    But it's really too bad she wasn't aware of the tool you're using in your room. I take it that your principal isn't either, thus the "you might be in trouble"?
     
  8. Geauxtee

    Geauxtee Comrade

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    Sep 25, 2012

    I personally don't think ok, but every school is different.

    It makes me feel like you mentor is more of a spy than a mentor. I mean can't the admin do walk-throughs of your room to see how you are doing?
     
  9. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Sep 25, 2012

    What is so special about this assessment that you might be in trouble for using it?
     
  10. ChiTownHopeful

    ChiTownHopeful Rookie

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    My mother was a teacher/mentor and also said that she was not allowed to talk to the principals about her mentee to any capacity.

    I will need to look into the procedure and duties of mentors in my district. I'm not peeved enough to get into a conversation with union leaders (at this point.) I am hoping I can find a nice/humble way to bring this up with my mentor to learn exactly what her role is in working with me. We did sit down and talk about a plan for how and what she would help me with but things like meetings with the principals wasn't discussed. I would like to continue a positive relationship but I know now to be very cautious about anything i say or share with her.
     
  11. Geauxtee

    Geauxtee Comrade

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    I wouldn't worry about it. First off, you have a perfectly legitimate reason for using the assessment. Also, the assessments sounds like it was pretty painless for your students, so I don't think s parent would have complained about it. I would not bring it up, and wait and see if the admin mention it.

    Are you expected to have the same assessments as the other Kinder teachers?
     
  12. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Sep 26, 2012

    It is required in our mentoring program.
     
  13. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Wow. My mentor has re-iterated again and again that what goes on in the classroom is completely confidential.

    My mentor and my principal have been best friends for over 8 years, and they're basically like sisters. Regardless, she NEVER talks about what goes on in the classroom of a mentee. I don't believe that what your mentor did is legal and you may want to request a new mentor.
     
  14. nyteacher29

    nyteacher29 Comrade

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    Sep 26, 2012

    Definitely check with you districts rules. I know in NYC mentors are not allowed to even say that their mentees are doing find or ok or even excellent. The P or any admin is forbidden from even asking how we are doing or feeling. However, I am sure this does not stop some people from going to admin. Be careful what you say to people, even if it is harmless. However, I would definitely carefully discuss things with both admin and mentor. You want to know whether or not you can openly discuss things with your mentor, regardless if she likes what you are doing or not.
     
  15. ChiTownHopeful

    ChiTownHopeful Rookie

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    Sep 27, 2012

    I got my summons to the principals office...

    I'll update everyone after I've met with them.
     
  16. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Sep 27, 2012

    It will be fine. Stand up straight, hold your head up, and be confident in what you say.
     
  17. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Sep 27, 2012

    Thinking of you! Sounds like you are well-prepared.
     
  18. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Sep 27, 2012

    This, exactly.
     
  19. ecteach

    ecteach Groupie

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    Sep 27, 2012

    She sounds like a snake in the grass. I'd be professional, and that's it.
     
  20. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Sep 28, 2012

    Are you serious? You STILL haven't found out what's going on? You must be going nuts.
     
  21. ChiTownHopeful

    ChiTownHopeful Rookie

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    Oct 1, 2012

    Terrible Meeting

    Feeling so hurt and misunderstood.

    I now know for sure that I can't trust my mentor because she was the one that brought all of this up with the admin. Never talking to me first...never understanding or wanted to learn about the assessment I was even using...and trying to get me in trouble on purpose by saying I was "Stressing out my students by testing them too much."

    Admin took her side.. cutting me off when I tried to explain the assessment and why I use it (developed and recommended for classroom teacher use BY THE STATE). She insinuated I wasn't being a team player and that I was wasting time by not teaching during the time I was assessing (for the one minute per child assessment.)

    What a great start to the year at a new school. I had to go into my room after that meeting and just cry this morning. It's going to be a struggle to work with this other teacher this school year (and the principal). If she's trying to get me in trouble for something that I thought was best practice, what's going to happen if I actually make a mistake?
     
  22. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Oct 1, 2012

    Oh, goodness. I hate to hear this. :(

    We were given a lot of freedom to teach what we wanted and how we wanted, provided it was aligned with the standards. As the years passed, it wasn't that we were given less freedom necessarily, but just given more mandates...which in turn left us with less time for things such as perhaps the assessment you gave your children.

    I would say to be positive, but that she wouldn't even allow you to explain or defend your assessment isn't a good sign. Was her overall tone mean, snarky, frustrated?
     
  23. ChiTownHopeful

    ChiTownHopeful Rookie

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    Oct 1, 2012

    I would say mostly mean. She seemed angry that I even tried to explain or ask questions. It wasn't a discussion at all.
     
  24. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Oct 1, 2012

    I just don't understand people. I assume you were not given specific orders against deviating from some detailed plan for your classroom, right? Just upsets me for you...
     
  25. ChiTownHopeful

    ChiTownHopeful Rookie

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    No, the only information I've gotten about lesson planning, curriculum, and similar expectations has all come from my mentor.
     
  26. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Oct 1, 2012

    Ask the district for a new mentor. Cite the example you have stated. Mentors are NOT allowed to talk to principals about their mentees. Skip the principal altogether and go straight to the district. This is ridiculous.
     
  27. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Mentors are supposed to discuss progress and concerns with the principals in some states and districts. Mine most certainly was requried to. BUT, I might be very tempted to request a new mentor...though I think I would have a discussion with the current mentor first to express my concerns.
     
  28. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I would be tempted to forgo the discussion with the current mentor, after all she didn't afford the OP the same respect, but I guess the high road would dictate...

    I would simply be careful of retribution from this mentor if you discuss it with her. She may go to the principal again and complain, and the principal may or may not take it personally and may attempt to keep you from obtaining a new mentor.
     
  29. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Oct 2, 2012

    I agree that you should ask for a new mentor. Do you have a union representative that you could talk to? I was fortunate to have been assigned a fabulous mentor who was nothing but supportative and helpful. She is actually related to an administrator but it is not in her nature to cause trouble or "tattle". I think that if an issue had come up she would have talked to me first and helped me work it out.
     

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