Time for some tough love

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by Aliceacc, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Apr 30, 2007

    It's the end of the year (REALLY the end in some places, you lucky things!) and it's time to broach a delicate topic.

    DISCLAIMER: this is not directed at anyone in particular. It is not a reaction to any particular thread written with anyone in mind. It's just an observation, OK?

    A number of posts by new teachers decry the lack of mentoring and support. They seem to feel that they would have success in the classroom had someone else only made things a bit easier for them.

    When you are hired as a teacher, it is understood that you are a professional, capable of doing the job for which you're being paid. Sure, support is important and that first year is tough. But the level of mentoring that some posters seem to feel they deserve is unlike anything I've ever experienced. (Although it's entirely possible that I'm reading more into the post than is actually meant.)

    An administrator hires a teacher with the expectation that he or she will know the material, plan his or her lessons, deal with chattiness and typical problems (not the over-the-top stuff, but the normal age-appropriate behavior), talk to parents, work with kids having trouble, teach to the point where the majority of the kids understand the material, and so on.

    Mentoring is great, a huge help. But if you're being hired as a professional instead of someone else, the assumption is that you're qualified and able to do the job. If you need an inordinate amount of support with the material or the discipline, there's a problem.

    Again, please take this in the spirit in which it was intended.
     
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  3. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Apr 30, 2007

    Alice,

    I see where your coming from. It's funny, but I think a lot of new teachers seem to feel that you will have a mentor, and you will somehow be able to create that ideal student teaching experience.


    Please, don't take offense, I was guilty of this myself.

    I think teaching is a lot of hands on learning, but I also think it is one of the few professions where mentoring is available. Sure, we many not get the best "mentor", but at least it's someone to bounce questions off of. That's not always available in many jobs.

    My best advice is to take risks. You know your stuff, so do it! Take chances and you will be pleasantly surprised. Sometimes, having a mentor can make one more depenndent, which is not always a good thing.

    Remember, your mentor was in your shoes at one time too.
     
  4. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    Apr 30, 2007

    Alice,

    This has been of great debate here in the last week. Mainly due to the fact that 750 - 775 (depending on which news source you read) PAT's (Probationary Assigned Teachers) - Which are teachers who have not yet completed their fifth year of teaching are being let go without having to be told an answer. The most commonly sighted problem according to the news sources are "Classroom Management."

    http://www.dailysouthtown.com/news/362913,302NWS5.article

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chicago/chi-0704271141apr28,0,7825142.story

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/education/363083,CST-NWS-teach29.article

    Now I cannot say that school would have shown me how to adequetely handle some of the situations some of my collegues have faced at school. They are met with minimal support. Some of the students they are told they cannot adequately manage can also not be adequately managed by the police. True, some situations are blown out of proportion and can feel overwhelmed as a first year teacher. I'm lucky I teach younger students. I can still pick them up and move them and physically pull them apart during conflict. Many of my colleges have no support and have difficult kids who need serious interventions to their problems. We have a hands off administration, a social worker maybe twice a week for 1/2 days if we're lucky, and a slew of other problems. Once again I teach the little kids. I avoid the big kids as much as possible.

    Just saying that sometimes we all need support. Sometimes we are placed in situations which we are doomed to fail.

    I have some minimal support, but not much. I just work my @$$ off and know that I am doing the best I can with what I have on a daily basis.

    P.S. I have a few friends who were cut in their first and second years simply because they "rock the boat" and fight for their students. Even with superior reviews on paper. Doesn't matter if your principal can cut you without cause.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Apr 30, 2007

    OK, I think that a situation with police intervention qualifies as "over the top"-- I'm not referring to that type of situation at all!
     
  6. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    Apr 30, 2007

    Unfortunately, many of those teachers are just being fired for "bad management"...

    Thats why I teach the little ones. The day I call the PO-lice on the 3 and 4 year olds is the day they cart me off to the mental unit... (I better not say that, I remember seeing the thread about the 6 year old, and some members of my admin would probably reccomend calling the police on some of my babies...
     
  7. MsWK

    MsWK Habitué

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    May 1, 2007

    Aliceacc, I agree 100% with your opinion on this one. "Support" is really a loaded word.

    Support is:
    *Lending a listening ear (at a time that's mutually agreeable)
    *Pointing someone in the direction of resources
    *Helping to brainstorm solutions to challenges
    *Expecting the best from everyone

    Support is not:
    *Being at the beck and call of someone
    *Fixing problems
    *Doing someone else's job
    *Dealing with all of another teacher's discipline issues

    Like the old saying goes, "teach someone to fish... "

    Teaching is hard, and it's one of the few professions where you literally get thrown into the job on day one, expected to do it, and do it well. Those who succeed take charge of their own learning.
     
  8. trulyblssd

    trulyblssd Companion

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    May 2, 2007

    I was not only a first year teacher this year, but also an Intern (I don't have a credential, but I will in about 3 weeks....whooo hooo) and being an intern I was promised support from the college I attend and an onsite supervisor. Did I get it? Yes, from my college, but not really from my school. Was I mad? Not really, because I adapted and turned into a sponge. I observed other teachers, I listened in staff meetings, I asked questions, I found this forum and figured it out on my own. Although I think that I am naturally good (it's my fathers fault) at disciplining and maintaining a calming environment in my classroom not everyone has that ability and needs a little bit of support. Everyone should have a shoulder to cry on, if need be. That is, however, different than a hands on kind of help. We have to learn on our own....I did it without ever student teaching. Those who have student taught had a greater advantage than I did, but I signed up for the internship.

    I just think that teaching is a different world and because of that there should be different things provided. In CA we have BITSA (Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment) for new teachers (2 years). That’s support if I ever heard of it. I don’t know about other states, but CA seems to be on top of thins in the support area.

    Anywho, I just wanted to chime in and give my opinion. In a nutshell, yes we need support new teachers, however, don’t be mad when you don’t get it and find others ways to make it through!
     
  9. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    May 7, 2007

    Speaking as a first-year teacher (kind of! I teach Pre-K in a brand new program, it is housed in an elementary school where the staff is great, but I am not a part of the staff, so my situation is different) I can tell you two things- first, "mentor" is a word that is thrown around by college professors, at least in my school, on a daily basis. I don't think I got through a course without the teacher talking about how to interact with your mentor teacher, to not be afraid to go to him/her with questions, to make a point of expressing concerns to the mentor, and on and on. In every interview prep I received at school it was suggested that, "When the interviewer asks if you have any questions for him/her, always fall back on, 'What kind of mentor program do you have set up for first year teachers?'" Fortunately, I had several wonderful cooperating teachers in my student teaching that pointed out that, as much as I was being groomed to be "mentor-friendly," the chances of receiving one and being able to rely on them in the manner that I was told were slim to none. So when I started this job, in a pilot program, where the thought of mentors is laughable, since none of us knew what we were doing, I was okay.

    In a perfect world mentors would be unncessary- we are teachers. We help each other. We all have a common goal. We should always be willing to lend an ear- every single person on this board does! We mentor each other (even us newbies!), and I think this is how it should be within schools, too. That said, I started my year ready to find my way through it, and here it is May and I'm still movin along. I soak up everything I read here and try things out in my room and I am the first one to ask for help from all of you. But I couldn't expect one person at my school to give me what I get from 50 different people here at various times throughout the year.

    Bottom line, yes, you need help your first year. But I think where you get it should be (mainly) your own issue. If you are lucky enough to get a job, work to keep it! Just my extremely humble first-year opinion. ;)
     
  10. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    May 7, 2007

    Here in Maine it is required you have a mentor for the first two years of your teaching (at least that is how they stated it at the meeting I attended, but maybe it's just the County I am in). I was assigned a mentor. She gave me advice once. She came and observed me once. I haven't had any major problems all year. I had the pee pee problem. Which is kind of/ kind of not taken care of. BTW now the little sister is peeing her pants too. BLAH. But that is for a different thread.
     
  11. Tigers

    Tigers Habitué

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    May 7, 2007

    I think this thread might discourage new teachers' requests for help. If you don't want to hear someone complain, if you don't want to offer advice...don't open the thread. If someone needs help they should ask. Other teachers can decline. But we are all working to the same goal. Teaching can be hard; teaching can be stressful. Sometimes it helps just to have a friend to chat to while you work on something. Sometimes you are at your wits end. We should work to help teachers in these positions. Not convince them that they are less of a teacher, or are being carried by other teachers. We teachers cooperate. Moreover, I have come in contact with a lot of veteran teachers who refuse to ask for assistance to their detriment, and I have also met a lot of veteran teachers who try to delegate every little thing to someone else.

    Either way if a new teacher is asking for assistance or if an old teacher is asking for assistance you are either in a position where you can help or you cannot. If you can help someone, I see very little reason to not help.
     
  12. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    Tigers, I agree completely. You got the point across much more concisely than I did! We should all be mentors, then we won't need them assigned.
     
  13. Proud2BATeacher

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    I really don't see it as discouraging new teachers from requesting help. I see it more as letting new teachers know that they should not depend on their mentor for everything. My mentor was terrible and she knew it and even now she will say that she was no help to me. One thing to remember is that just because you are assigned a mentor, it doesn't mean that you could not go to another co-worker for assistance. I even went to teachers in other grades for help.
     
  14. DarkLikePoe

    DarkLikePoe Rookie

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    I agree that mentors should not pick up the proverbial slack for new teachers. Mentoring is a very loaded concept, as has been stated already. However, as a first year teacher (survivor?), and one who started with no delusions of what the job would be like, I can honestly say that having a supportive staff around you is absolutely key to success.

    I did not have a mentoring teacher for this year, and I'll be honest, many of my lessons floated, a few soared, and some totally bombed. The upshot was and is that every triumph and every struggle was mine entirely. Of course, I ripped off of a good lesson or idea every chance I got, but even that didn't keep the instruction from hurting when I hadn't invested personally in the material. Point? Instructionally, the level of my teaching has been and will continue to be my responsibility entirely. No one teaches you that.

    That said, emotionally, I was a total wreck coming off of a difficult student teaching assignment before I was hired, and while I was able to put up a pretty good front, my self-doubt and other insecurities worked their way to the surface. Without a supportive team of colleagues around me to help face and overcome the ultimately very familiar issues with which I was dealing, I don't know how I could have dragged myself into the classroom each day, let alone reflect on my lessons and improve them.

    While I never was assigned a mentoring teacher, I did make a lot of friends, both in and outside of the department in which I teach. These friendships, more than any professional mentoring assignment, helped pull me through the year. A lot of times, especially among the younger teachers and new-hires, there were NEVER answers to the problems we talked about. Sometimes all you need is a pat on the back and a knowing nod.
     
  15. KinderKatie

    KinderKatie Companion

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    May 8, 2007

    I am a new teacher and I did not expect a mentor at all. I did get one, and actually she is more trouble than she is worth. So be careful what you wish for! ;)
     
  16. Yen

    Yen Rookie

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    May 8, 2007

    The district I teach in has a mentoring program for two years. We meet twice a week and she drops by to observe once in a while. We even get videotaped twice a year (my second is tomorrow) so that we can personally reflect on our teaching practices.
    My mentor has been beneficial in that I can ask her some super quirky questions and she doesn't look at me funny.
    Because I finished college and then waited a year later to come and teach, I find it to be beneficial to just "jump start" those things that I'd forgotten while learning in school.
    She usually asks me if I need anything (most times I say no) but she's come in with some very valuable resources that she's found from other teachers.
    I've borrowed lots of things from her and she's provided me with some much needed reading material on classroom instruction and management.
    I'm more glad that she was around for me to ask stupid questions to. :D
     
  17. GoehringTeaches

    GoehringTeaches Comrade

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    May 8, 2007

    I don't have a mentor--the only support given to me was two days to watch other kindergarten teachers; however, that was more than enough for me. I feel that my master's program more than prepared me for teaching. The thing that gets me though is when they purposely leave me out of the loop on things that are expected to be done by the teachers. They figure because I don't ask for help than I'm capable of doing everything on my own, but how was I to know that you couldn't give an E for specials? No one ever told me. That's what irks me about being a first year teacher who is more than capable of teaching and planning lessons but unsure of how they run certain aspects of their school.
     
  18. Tigers

    Tigers Habitué

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    I am having a little trouble understanding...

    When exactly do people feel that new teachers should not ask for help?

    Personally, I will do everything I can for the new teachers. This is not to say that I will do their job for them, but if it helps them learn, then I cannot think of a situation where I would deny help, or think less of them for asking.
     
  19. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Our state requires, and funds, a mentor program for the 1st year of teaching in the state. It is really a good program for both teachers. Since our state does the PRAXIS series, they also require the PATHWISE mentoring program. The two really go hand in hand.

    I am truly blessed to work with the people I work with. Everyone (I mean everyone) in our grade level is willing to help each other. You realize that you become a team (there are 12 of us), that supports each other when we need it. I agree that support is not picking up the slack for others. In no way is that acceptable, but some times (I guess) it is necessary. I've never, personally, seen that with my colleges. I do know, however, that we are here as a team to help these children grow and progress.
     
  20. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    May 8, 2007

    No where did I say or imply that people should not want or need or ask for help.

    The word "inordinate" is an important part of the sentence in from my original post.
     
  21. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    May 8, 2007

    I think part of Alice's point is that it's much easier to get help - and those who give it find it much easier to give - if it's clear that you've been doing what you can to help yourself.

    And anyone who can peruse Alice's posts - 5,332 and counting - and not conclude that she's very forthcoming with help is simply not paying enough attention.
     
  22. Tigers

    Tigers Habitué

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    Okay, so how much is too much help to ask?
     
  23. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    It's not asking for help that is the problem, it's expecting help, and not taking initiative.
     
  24. Tigers

    Tigers Habitué

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    I can only say that I not once said that Alice was not forthcoming in her efforts to help. I have read many of Alice's responses, so I would never seek to conclude such. However, If we are drawing lines in the sand suggesting new teachers are unrealistically expecting an "inordinate amount of support," I would like to know where other teachers feel those lines are.

    Furthermore, I get the point that people need to take on more responsibility for their successes and failures, but I think a generalized post suggesting that there are many new teachers expecting too much leaves in the air a question to all new teachers. Am I expecting too much? The consequences could easily be teachers second guessing their need for help and thus hurting the students.

    And while the number of posts is a cute trophy, I would not judge a person merely on the number of posts or the words in those posts. Character is much more than that.
     
  25. Tigers

    Tigers Habitué

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    I understand your point, but I would suggest that they do have a right to expect people to help. I would say that it is a professional thing to do to help another teacher in the field if you are able. I think we all have the right to expect professionalism.
     
  26. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    I can tell you that I've seen new teachers go directly to a mentor before even attempting to plan a lesson, just to make sure they are doing it right. C'mon. Is that ridiculous? Take a chance. I think most people DO know what asking for too much help means. I think questions related to the ins and outs of the school community are valid. Certain prcedures... etc. The way you run your classroom should be the way you feel most comfortable. You shouldn't be a carbon copy of someone else.
     
  27. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Tigers. I agree with you that people have a right to expect help. In my experiences, veteran teachers don't want to spend the time giving the appropriate help. I think grade level meetings should be the time to get that help. Unfortunately, most verteran teachers I've had contact with are not willing to invest that much time. I wish there were more people who felt as you do, and wanted to give support to those who try and would welcome it.
     
  28. Tigers

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    And no teacher should be doing another teachers work, I agree. But I think it is possible to help them "learn to fish," instead of just creating that "carbon copy."
     
  29. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Me too, but as I've said, that is hard to find.. most would just rather tell you to do it their way.. so what do you suggest?
     
  30. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Here's an example of "too much"

    Several years ago we had a teacher (not new) who WAS new to teaching Precalculus. The summer before, I lent her my notes, with explanations, model problems, you name it.

    EVERY SINGLE DAY for several months, she came up to me during our shared prep period and asked me to explain the material to her. No exageration-- I didn't get a single day "off." I reminded her that all the explanations were in the notes she had had all summer, but her response was that she had been "busy" and hadn't gotten much of a look at them. Telling her the truth: that I had work of my own to do, would have meant that her Precalculus classes would leave her classes confused.

    At some point, someone said something to the department chair about my "sixth class" with Janet, so he took over as her tutor.

    That is an example of needing an "inordinate" amount of help. Not even trying to get through the material on your own before you ask a peer to tutor you through it.
     
  31. DarkLikePoe

    DarkLikePoe Rookie

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    This is exactly the problem with what I THINK is the traditional expectation in the mentor-neophyte relationship. The new teacher is perhaps predisposed to believe that the veteran's teaching - right down to the order and style in which the information is presented - is somehow superior to ANYTHING that he or she could accomplish without guidance. This is simply not true. As stated before, teachers at my school constantly rip off ideas from one another and unless we look thoroughly at the assignment, selection, or whatever before teaching it, it comes off as not really knowing what we're teaching.

    Mentoring, like teaching, is, or at least should be, about more than the lesson plans and how to assess student achievement. It's also about the humanity of the people involved. There's a kind of vulnerability that comes with the profession. Good teaching comes down to people sharing information, and everyone does it a little differently.

    Solution to handicapping the newb: Let him/her bang his/her head against a wall here and there. Don't let a new teacher get scared into thinking that the lessons s/he comes up with are lousy by proactively adjusting lessons very often. Let each person figure out what works alone. Think about it: maybe the students get burned on one or two lessons, but that'll probably be it since the new teacher figures it out very quickly. Being passive in adjusting lessons means being proactive for the future.

    And yes, I said let the teacher drop the ball for the students. If you think for a minute that this will ruin education for the students, you're wrong. Even experienced teachers blow it from time to time. Every student's been through a crummy lesson. They're pretty resilient, I think.
     
  32. Gwen

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    I think the example that Aliceacc posted though is not limited to new teachers. I think unfortunately their are people that probably should just not be teaching and the person you described sounds like that.

    Ive shared on another thread my experience with a woman at my grade level who has been teaching for 10 years. She is someone that has developed an air head approach to dealing, or not dealing with things and she gets away with it. I think that we want to help people, this is after all a difficult job. It just seems that some people can't get beyond that constant "poor me I can't handle my job" attitude. I don't know if I think its fair to put this problem on new teachers.
     
  33. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    I want to thank you for this response! This is exactly what I mean. Just because someone is a veteran doesn't mean they know what's best. I don't mean disrespect, there are some excellent teachers out there who truly deserve the title of mentor. As a fairly new teacher myself, I'd much rather try things my way. Develop my sense of style and see what works for my kids. I expect to make mistakes along the way, but I also expect to learn from them. We need people willing to give us constructive criticism, but not tell us what to do. Teaching should reflect your talents... and you should always be willing to go above and beyond what the curriculum says you should.
     
  34. Tigers

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    Sounds like a rough situation. In circumstances like these I think that you need to take some time and sit down with the teacher. You can explain that while you are willing to help her that you two need to discuss and pre-arrange time before hand. When you discuss times you could explain that once a day everyday is far too often.

    I am not sure based on your post, but did she not understand how to do the math herself. Because, in that situation she should not be teaching that math class. Then she is explaining how to do math second hand. If she did not understand the best way to relate the materials to the students...a lunch date a month wouldn't bad. Now, if I was asking for the help I would also be buying the lunch.
     
  35. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Honestly, I have no idea what she knew. She was certified to teach math and was undergoing coursework for a Master's in Math at the time-- with a lot of help from the department chair.

    She's now teaching college.

    I have no problem helping other teachers. But I do have a problem with the expectation that I am there to help them. My free time is either for me or for my students.

    So one of the new teachers this year is teaching SAT prep for the first time. Whenever she gets stuck on a problem, she stops by and asks me. That's fine. It's not every single problem in the book, only the ones she's stuck on. She's already done the other problems. So she'll occasionally give me a problem or 2 before we begin our cafeteria duty... I'll take a look at it while I'm supervising (I'm one of 7 teachers in the room with 600 kids, so I don't have to be looking up every minute.) By the end of the period she'll be all set.

    The difference in the two teachers is that the first expected me to do her job FOR her. She didn't want help; she wanted me to do all the work. The second has given it a good shot, and needs help.It's also always "if you get a chance" and not "I need this for next period." In my book, there's a world of difference.
     
  36. nc4th

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    May 9, 2007

    I have had a great first year full of good experiences with my mentor. True I am the type that tries to deal with almost everything in my own room. Despite having mentors switched on me twice during the year I still feel as though I had more than I expected as a first year teacher. My school has a two year mentor-mentee program along with a one day a month new teacher training (during school hours). I know that I can ask anyone a question and get the help I need. I think that student teaching set me up to be able to have a successful mentor/mentee relationship. I was student teaching with a teacher that was pregnant and had to take over the class 2 months before I graduated. Since we only student teach for one semester it was definitely an experience. I was without a mentor for the last 3 months of school so I had to do things on my own or find someone to help me. I did not want to be a pain to someone that was not being paid to have me as a mentee I only went for help when needed.
     
  37. Tigers

    Tigers Habitué

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    May 9, 2007

    I am a little confused. I thought maybe you were at a private school with looser math standards. A woman with her math cert was asking how to do the problems? Or asking you how to teach the problems?

    While I can understand your frustration, do you regret your decision? How would you have change the situation? My suggestion has always been the teach a man to fish...

    And finally, why do you not consider the students in your school your students?
     
  38. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    May 9, 2007


    The standards are fine: she was fully certified and qualified (on paper at least) to teach math to grades 7-12. And after an explanation from either myself or the then-chaiman, she was able to do the math. But without an explanation she was completely lost. Her qualifications were sufficient to land a job at a local college in a market that's completely flooded with teachers. She CHOOSE not to do the work herself because it was EASIER to have someone else do it.

    How would I change the situation? I have no idea.

    And, finally, I teach in a school of 2,550 students. They are all welcome to come to me for extra help. This year I took on a change in schedule in late January to accomodate a maternity leave-- a new homeroom, 4 Precalc classes, a total of 6 different SAT prep classes of 30-40 kids( one class per day each day of our 6 day cycle) and a different 650 person cafeteria duty. Eight weeks later I switched back. So there are an AWFUL lot of kids in my school who are specifically "MY" kids this year. And an awful lot of others who, on hearing in the cafeteria that I teach math, ask questions.

    But this adult, this "professional" -- she was NOT one of my students. You made an earlier crack about character. I think that it might be better directed at adults who choose not to fulfill thier responsiblities. College was all about "learning to fish." The gift of my notes for two months should have been more than enough to get her though (it was enough to get several teachers through my maternity leave coverages a few years later.) If I spend my free time teaching another teacher how to do her job, that's less time for students (whether they happen to sit in my own class or not), myself and, oh yeah: that husband and 3 kids.

    It's not the job of myself, the current or past chairman or the school to teach another teacher to do her job. I'm guessing her resume didn't say anything about needing that inordinate amount of help to get through her classes. I'm also guessing that all the people who didn't get that job would have been happy to actually prepare lessons and know the material before they got to the classroom. I'm guessing that she didn't ask for a reduction in salary because she was only partially competant to do the job she was hired for.
     
  39. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    May 9, 2007

    I must say that the term "mentor teacher" is a positive and a negative when it comes to a first year teacher. As some may know from previous posts, my "mentor teacher" this year was my cooperating teacher last year when I student taught.:( Let's just say it wasn't the best type of support due to the fact that I didn't get that much support when I student taught in her class. But I must say that as a new teacher, I am more than willing to try out new things, do research and act upon teaching strategies ON MY OWN. I do not consult with my mentor teacher often, only when it comes to like district type questions, administration questions and/or questions about policies. My mentor teacher is somewhat "negative" about many things and has "whatever" type of attitude about everything. So I knew that we were very different in the beginning and was prepared to hold my own. And looking back on my first year, I think I did a good job. So new teachers, don't feel like you need that mentor teacher in any way. I've been told and I feel that my ideas about children and teaching in general is much positive and beneficial for learning than my mentor and I will never be a "carbon copy" of her or any other teacher. Sometimes you might get a mentor that is bored with their job, not enthusiastic and you have to make the intiative to do the best job you can do. Do your own research. Ask many questions of other teachers in the building. Become active on forums like this one and do the hard work for yourself. You will feel more accomplished in the end, trust me.;)
     
  40. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    May 9, 2007

    Just as with kids and parents, students and teachers, there is always the chance (likelihood?) that you won't be paired up with someone who shares your style or outlook on life. I think the general consensus here is that it is more than okay to 'wing it' your first year. In fact, it's probably the most valuable education you can get. Teaching isn't about following someone else's rules; it's about finding your own that work for you. Trust yourself and go for it with all you've got. Expect the flops and the successes, but value them both.
     
  41. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    May 9, 2007

    I'd much rather choose to decide who my mentor is than have someone assigned who doesn't want to be there. As teachers, we have to take opinions, ideas, and suggestions and evaluate them. Ultimately, you come to your own conclusions.
     

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