Mentoring a teacher

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by Aliceacc, Aug 22, 2007.

  1. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 22, 2007

    The AP just called, not to change my preps, but to ask me to mentor a newish teacher.

    Last year when we had 3 math maternity leaves at the same time, this new teacher covered one of them as an intern. She remained on staff for the rest of the year, acting as a math tutor to kids in need of extra help.

    So she has 6 weeks of on-her-own experience, but has never started a class from start or prepped them for our final exams.

    Anyway, here's my question to you new teachers: in her position, what help would you want from me? She's welcome to all my materials-- my school is great that way. What else?
     
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  3. Mrs.Gould

    Mrs.Gould Comrade

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    Aug 22, 2007

    The best thing for you to say is, "There are no stupid questions!" I always felt like I had "stupid" questions and was afraid to ask. When someone says that, it makes me feel so much better!
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 22, 2007

    I mentored a teacher last year and will be doing so again this year. As she didn't START theyear next year she may need some advice about those beginning of year things: class lists, schedules, supplies, planning, 'the ins and outs', open house, etc. She'll probably have a huge list of questions, given my experience!! Let her know that you are available for help with any questions. Let her know that this is a confidential relationship- that what is discussed stays between you and that you are not in any way evaluating her. You'll be great Aliceacc- you always have such great insight and advice here, you're bound to be even better 'in person'!!
     
  5. uclalum

    uclalum Groupie

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    Aug 22, 2007

    Have her reflect on all of the rules and procedures that were in place when she covered the woman on maternity leave. Have her take some time to decide how she wants her classroom to be run. Give her advice on how things have worked for you in the past. Sometimes it is easier to just follow in somebody's footsteps. Last year I just copied some of the same procedures of my mentor teacher. For example, I lined my kids up the same way she did. Initially, we had our schedule set up the same. We had the same routine for handing in papers, collecting things, etc. Once I got into the swing of things, I decided for myself what worked for me and what didn't. This year I have decided what things went well, and what things didn't and I will make changes accordingly.:)
     
  6. mincc

    mincc Companion

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    Aug 22, 2007


    YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am the new teacher and this is what I need to know. My mentor is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have emailed her with lots of questions. I do it as I think of them-we arranged it that way. Today I saw her-we were setting up our rooms and she helped me out with some things. Tomorrow, I will be back and we are going to go over more things if we can. She cannot be nicer!:)

    I do not bother her everyday and I let her know that I am so grateful for her help. There is SO MUCH to learn, from how to do a lesson plan to meet THIS school's requirements to how to get supplies. Tons of things.

    Knowing I have the first 2 days down is a great feeling. I am working on the second week. I think, Alice, this teacher may want to feel like she will be okay that first week. It is very overwhelming, she needs to know she has a plan or at least a semi-plan.

    She is very lucky to have you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  7. SciTeacherNY

    SciTeacherNY Companion

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    Aug 22, 2007

    Last year my mentor told me I could go to him with any questions that I may have. We would meet once a week to discuss any concerns at the beginning of the school year. He even came into my class and observed me, which prepared me for more formal observations by administrators later on.
     
  8. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Aug 22, 2007

    If you have a first day (or first class) script to give her, that would be a HUGE help! Otherwise if you sketch out what you do to explain rules, introduce yourself, and get the year started that would help :)
     
  9. UCLACareerChngr

    UCLACareerChngr Comrade

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    Aug 22, 2007

    I agree with Tasha - first day scripts and classroom management / organization tips will be key. Also, just make sure that she understands she can come to you and vent/ask questions/get advice/etc. As a career changer, my biggest help in my interning year was having an adult that I could vent to or ask questions confidentially...the classroom can be a very lonely place...
     
  10. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Aug 22, 2007

    Maybe you could share all your policies and procedures? Tips for teaching certain math lessons? Activites or special worksheets you have with made with certian math lessons? How you test/quiz? Your homework policies?
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 22, 2007

    Thanks, guys, keep 'em coming!

    The AP mentioned that both she and I will have 2nd period off together. Not that it had to be a shared prep period, but that it might come in handy now and then.
     
  12. maroki

    maroki Comrade

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    Aug 22, 2007

    All of the suggestions so far sound great. I just have one thing to add...if you haven't seen her in a while, make sure to approach her and ask how things are going. My informal mentor last year (different from the one who was assigned and much more helpful) would search me out if I hadn't to her in a while with questions, etc. It made me feel like she really cared about how my year was going, and it also happened that I usually could think of questions or wanted to run situations by her, but had been so busy I hadn't had time.
     
  13. SingBlueSilver

    SingBlueSilver Companion

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    Aug 22, 2007

    definitely the ins and outs of it all...i'm assuming that since she was in the school prior to this job that she knows where things are...the copy machine, laminating machine, supplies, etc...also, she may be intimidated to ask for help, so it might be a good idea to just check on her once in a while without her asking. give her lots of positive reinforcement. i know that's what i would want as a new teacher - for someone to let me know that i'm doing something right. and of course, constructive criticism...even if you think shes doing awesome ...as a student teacher last semester, my master teacher thought i was very good as did my university supervisor...rarely did they tell me to improve on something, but as someone very new, i was always unsure of myself and i also knew that there was always something to improve or at the very least i would have really appreciated alternative ideas to what i was doing even though they may have liked it or were satisfied.
     
  14. sarypotter

    sarypotter Comrade

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    Aug 24, 2007

    Definitely! Last year was my first year of teaching, and I hardly ever saw my mentor. I'm sure she assumed that I would seek her out if I had questions, but my classroom was on the opposite side of the building and I had seven boys from 7:30 to 3:30 with no planning time or any other sort of break. It usually took me some time to get the boys out the door and to their cars and buses at the end of the day, and by the time I finished, she had usually already gone.

    When I could catch up to her, she was an excellent resource, and she couldn't have been nicer, but it was just hard to get to her. I know she had a planning period, and if she had used it to stop in every once in a while to check on me, I would have been able to ask her a lot more of the questions I needed answered.

    I don't want to make it sound like she was awful, because she was actually really great, and I would never have figured out how to do grades without her. I just wish I'd seen more of her.
     
  15. koocat008

    koocat008 Companion

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    Aug 24, 2007

    Don't forget to keep up to date with what is going on with your school, i.e. ISATs (or any other performance tests), putting grades in system, filing reports, etc. My mentors last year were wonderful. If she is a full time teacher this year, she'll probably need help in procedural things that she never had to do as a tutor last year. Good Luck!
     
  16. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 24, 2007


    I met with my mentee during lunch once a week in the beginning of the year. Then when I asked what else she needed from me she asked if we could do a second lunch during the week!! So we met 2 days a week during lunch to plan!! She always had a list of questions prepared for our meetings.
     
  17. ValinFW

    ValinFW Comrade

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    Aug 24, 2007

    Definitely help her with lessons...how you teach specific topics, especially. I've never formally mentored anyone, but I have taken a couple of first-year teachers under my wing. Watch for that "deer in the headlights" look on her face when you see her in the office, hall, etc. When you see it, take a few extra minutes to reassure her that it will all be okay.
     
  18. MissHunny

    MissHunny Comrade

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    Aug 24, 2007

    One of the best things my mentor did for me was to meet weekly and sketch out next week's lesson plans. She also observed me and gave feedback, let me observe her, and was a very warm and friendly person to be around!! I feel like she truely made my first year great and always offered me help even with the "dumb" questions.
     

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