Mentor Question

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by KinderCowgirl, Oct 3, 2010.

  1. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    So I've been a mentor before, but I'm having some difficulty with my mentee this year. I've been sensing more tension recently which I think stems from the fact that she's been hanging out with the one teacher on our campus who hates me (drama, drama :rolleyes: ). I did try to talk to her about it, and she swears everything is fine but I think it may be part of the issue.

    The real problem is-- we are required to meet with our mentees and document the meeting at least 20 mins every week. She won't meet with me. She says she's doing great, doesn't need any help. When I told her it was required; she stated that she is busy every day before school (she gets there early, but has to prepare for the day) and has to leave right at dismissal every day. We have different planning times. So what do I do? Do I push or just let it go, wait until she initiates that she needs help and just not get my stipend this year? (it's really not very much but I feel like I should do the job I agreed to do).

    Personally, I don't understand it-if I was a 1st year teacher I would have loved for someone to help me with planning, assessments, daily issues, etc. Even with my experience I would love to be able to bounce ideas off someone once a week! :)
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 3, 2010

    Document every single time you've offered to meet with her.

    Speak to your supervisor about the problem. Fill him in early. From what you've said in other posts, this teacher is headed for trouble. Document all the help you've tried to give her. It will make things easier for administration in the spring.
     
  4. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    :yeahthat:

    I couldn't have said it any better, so I'll just echo what Alice said.
     
  5. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    As a new teacher I would be frustrated with having to meet 20 minutes each and every week. I have enough to do and if I am not having any problems I really don't see the point.

    But - if those are the rules, those are the rules. I'd do it but I wouldn't love doing it. So I can understand why she might be avoiding the meetings. Not necessarily you, but the meetings. I agree with Alice, document when you try to meet and go on your merry way.
     
  6. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    What Alice said.
     
  7. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

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    Oct 3, 2010

    I am a first year teacher with a mentor and I love having a guaranteed time to meet and bounce ideas off someone with so many years of experience. It helps that she is also the special edu teacher for my class- so she is in my room a lot and can offer ideas and suggestions and whatever I talk about she totally understands. It is wonderful! We had one week where we just could not meet- her schedule was insane and it was a hard week- I missed having the opportunity to chat, but we more then made up for it later. I will do anything to make sure I do have time with her weekly, but that one week it was not possible.
    You should get your stipend- that is ridiculous! She should be using this time and this opportunity. I agree, you should talk to the P or someone. That just is not right- she should not be in the program if she is not going to use it and will fight it the whole way. I am sorry you are going through this and I hope it will not make you decide to not be a mentor again bc I see how useful and beneficial it is and reading your posts I understand how dedicated you are and I know how much you could help a new teacher just like you do on here! Good luck! Sorry for the crummy situation!
     
  8. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

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    I can see both sides... as NC said, I had this requirement my first year, and I was soooo meetinged out. I felt like the meetings and training were stressing me out more than my class. They sent us to so much training throughout the year, I felt like I was never in my room. My mentor left right after school everyday and it was hard to find a time to meet. Luckily another member of my team was around a lot when I needed help. Some teaching styles just mesh better than others. Maybe this girl with the drama has a teaching style more like hers.

    I know that some weeks my mentor and I filled out the meeting paperwork seperately. I filled out the areas I think I needed to work on, and then we would talk for a few minutes before she filled out her part.
     
  9. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    echo.....echo.....echo..... :)

    I agree that as a 1st yr teacher you have plenty to worry about but at the same time short once a week meetings are good to make sure you are on the same page as everyone.

    I would just document day/times and what she said and then turn that information in.
     
  10. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    My mentor saved my teaching career with the help she gave me my first year,so I believe this is a very important part of a new teachers career.If something goes wrong and you do not inform your supervisor of the situation you could be held responsible for allowing this situation to continue. However,I would first explain to the men-tee that if she doesn't need to meet with you ,you are going to explain the situation to your supervisor and ask if maybe there is someone else you might be able to help.
     
  11. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Thank you so much for your replies!

    SWOceangal-you are so sweet! Thank you-I needed that today! :)

    I get that everyone doesn't have enough time in a day but there is a lot that comes up day to day and asking a question in the hallway isn't always the best way to get a meaningful response. I understand why they make this a requirement, if you know you are meeting with your mentor each week, you can make notes of questions or things you need to work on and bring it up then.

    They are making it more intensive this year because our district loses 60% of their teachers in the 1st 5 years of teaching. Most teachers don't feel like they are even really effective teachers until they put in 5 years or so-our teacher base isn't able to really mature like it should. 70% of our new teachers are ACP-needing extra support because they come in really green. Studies have shown the number one factor in teachers wanting to come back to a school or not the following year is whether or not they had a good mentor.

    I guess it also surprises me that a 1st year teacher can have the attitude of I can't use any suggestions-maybe they don't want to show their weaknesses, I don't know. I taught that same type of class for 5 years-have units, assessments,etc. that could save her time. She has test data we could go over, identify intervention activities-it's not like I'm asking her to just take time out of her schedule to shoot the breeze. We can all grow as teachers if we open ourselves up to those kinds of conversations.

    In any case I did e-mail the coordinator at our campus to see if she had any advice on scheduling the meeting times and I cc'd the principal so she would know as well-maybe they can carve out some time for us somehow.
     
  12. wvteach

    wvteach Rookie

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    All I can say after reading this post was WOW!!! I taught for 5 years and then made the decision to stay home to be a Mom. I am so happy I did. That being said, this is my first year back after being out for 10 years. I am not a "new teacher" technically, but in many regards I am. Things are so different now. My mentor is amazing. We are not required to meet a certain # of hours a week, but we certainly talk each day. We both bounce ideas off each other. I have learned sooooo much from her and she is kind enough to say that she has learned from me too. We both are truly enjoying our time together. We have a mutual respect for each other and love that our teaching styles are so similar. I feel truly blessed that she asked to be my mentor. It makes me sad that you have to struggle to make a connection with your mentee. She should feel more than appreciative to have you to help guide her. Best of luck. Some lessons come the hard way.
     
  13. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

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    I don't know this teacher, but I will just put this out there. A lot of the time I may not ask for help because I am afraid of inconveniencing someone else. It doesn't really sound like the case in this situation, but it could be a possibility.
     
  14. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Another possibility is insecurity... the fear that someone will see that she doesn't have all the answers, so it's easier to brush off someone... especially if she fears that mentor has a close relationship with the administration.

    Not that I'm saying you would complain about her to the administration if she wasn't super-teacher in her first year (because I know you wouldn't!) But she may perceive it that way. (Especially if she has someone whispering in her ear that may not have that high of an opinion of you!)
     
  15. in_denial

    in_denial Rookie

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    Maybe just ask if she would mind if you helped her get her room ready in the morning for 10 minutes twice a week? Not an official meeting, but just chit-chat while you help her set up.
     
  16. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    You wanna meet with me instead? :lol: I'll take all the advice I can get! :dizzy:
     
  17. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Lol, 4Square! I was just gonna say the same thing - you can be my mentor!
     
  18. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    How about this? Since the meeting between the two of you is required and doucmentation must be created, how about if you deal with in a formal business manner? For whatever reason, she doesn't want to deal with you on a peer to peer level, so maybe you'll need to be more formal.

    You are the mentor, so schedule a meeting with time and date, create an agenda for the meeting, and send a copy of the agenda to both her, your principal and whoever is her supervisor in her program. Maybe she doesn't understand there is more to the meeting than just a chat between the two of you and by making the meeting more formal with an agenda and a purpose, she will understand the importance. If she doesn't show for the meeting, return the agenda to all with a note " MS NewTeacher did not show for required meeting." Hopefully this will get her attention. If not, maybe after missing her weekly required meeting four weeks in a row, send the same agenda with this message "Ms. NewTeacher has missed her required weekly meetings four weeks in a row. I would like to request a meeting with Ms. NewTeacher, prinicpal and supervisor to dicuss this matter."

    Good Luck and I hope everything works out for both of you
     
  19. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    It sounds strange to me that she would refuse to meet. My first two years I did BTSA and the first year I had a mentor who met with me. I never considered turning her down for a meeting time, I understood she was going out of her way for me. The second year I had a flake who just wrote up the info and turned it in claiming we had met which we had not. I found it very frustrating to have no support. Anyone who is in BTSA today can tell I did BTSA a while ago, there is no way a mentor could completely flake now.
     
  20. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    You and Lynn made me laugh-too funny! That's what I said too, can I have a mentor? I thought it was odd to refuse as well-as a first year teacher I jumped at any chance to step up and show that teaching was really important to me. We'll see what happens today-I'm going to go talk to the program coordinator and might even drop a "hypothetical" situation e-mail to the people who did the training-what are your suggestions when this happens-type thing.
     
  21. amaran20

    amaran20 Rookie

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    I'm in my 2nd year teaching right now, and I think if I had had required meetings with a mentor my first year would have gone soo much better. I technically had a mentor, but we didn't have to meet and I'm someone who has a lot of trouble asking for help :( If it had been required, I would have benefited greatly.
     
  22. gutterballjen

    gutterballjen Comrade

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    KinderCowgirl, you can be my mentor any day! I would love to pick your brain!

    Documentation is your best bet. I'm seconding the idea of sending an agenda.

    Have you ever stopped by her room when she gets there in the morning or right after school? Maybe just popping in to show her you're concerned would help.
     
  23. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Well, an update. I talked to my P. Later in the day another admin (who is the evaluator for my mentee) forwarded the e-mail I copied them on requesting the meeting, to this chick telling her she needed to meet with me:eek:. Not the most diplomatic move ever-it's obvious I went to the admin with my concerns, but hopefully she'll make the time now.

    We're supposed to meet today during our lunch. I just really hope it's not a tense situation (I'm not good at those). And the P also asked that we document everything, so at least it won't come down on me if it doesn't work out. She's on a probationary contract-I don't know what she's thinking-it really doesn't make her look good! :(
     
  24. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    I hope she shows Kinder. Have you thought about having some sort of agenda? I think it would help both in your documentation of the meetings and provide you with direction in the meeting if the meeting is or does become tense.

    Good luck
     
  25. MissAnt

    MissAnt Comrade

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    Wow, I have to meet with my mentor for an hour every week. I like that I have a mentor and go to her with all of my questions and concerns. I bet she doesn't know what she's missing out on.

    Now I could do without having to write formal observations of other teachers, but I won't complain because it can only help!
     
  26. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    document, document, docoment
     
  27. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    So, how did the meeting go Kinder?
     
  28. dxj6482

    dxj6482 Rookie

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    I would love to have you as a mentor! You always have GREAT ideas and anyone in their right mind would be thrilled to have you! Can you come to PA?
     
  29. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    It actually went pretty well-very short-but at least we met. I took your suggestion and had an agenda. I let her do most of the talking and just ended with some suggestions. Better than I had anticipated-which is good.

    Thanks for all the great insight!
     
  30. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    This is great news,'m glad it worked out for both of you
     

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