A guide to working with mentees at your school site
Mentor Focus: November 16th - 30th:
Hello and thank you for your continued support of our new teachers! Although this newsletter is a little lighter than previous newsletters due to the upcoming holiday break, there are some really important areas of focus that will impact your mentees at this moment in time. Please, spend a few minutes reading over the topics listed below and choose a few that you know will benefit your new teacher.
Have a beautiful and restful Thanksgiving!
1. Personal: A.) Suggest to the new teachers that they walk out the door for Thanksgiving vacation with no school work in hand and that they use the break to rejuvenate and re-energize themselves with family and friends. B.) Warn your mentees that the weeks between Thanksgiving and the winter break are busy both professionally and personally. Please be aware that this can easily be a time for exhaustion and possibly depression because of the seemingly insurmountable tasks to be accomplished. Please model that everything that needs to get done, will get done. Encourage your mentees to stay in the moment.
2. Professional: Review your first quarter mentoring relationship goals and set new ones.
3. Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment: Be sure that the new teachers do not fall into the turkey and Pilgrims trap. Help them make plans to maximize meaningful active learning experiences the two days before Thanksgiving break and to refocus learning following the vacation.
4. Organizational Systems: Keep reviewing efficiency and effectiveness of classroom procedures and identify new procedures that may need to be developed.
5. Students: For secondary teachers – Assist new teachers in working with students who ask for letters of recommendation to accompany their college applications. Share some examples of letters others have written.
6. Colleagues: Continue to engage the new teacher in collegial analysis and discussion of student achievement and classroom assessment data.
7. School Systems: Discuss leave, student absenteeism and make-up work policy surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday.
8. Parents and Community: Remind your mentee that multiple positive and productive parental contacts before report cards are sent home results in far fewer questions about grades.
*Special Educators: Check in with the new ESE teachers to ensure that their system for interacting on a regular basis with each of the general education teachers and other educators working with their students is working. Have them share evidence of successful collaboration.
Breakdown and suggestions taken from Paula Rutherford's Just Ask Publications