New Teacher Phase: Anticipation

"I'm so excited to have my own classroom!"

Orientation to the School and Community Space, Procedures, Resources, Values, and Culture

Mentoring a new teacher is exciting and exhausting work. As a mentor, you have the opportunity to impact the first year by providing support, successful ideas, resources, and an insight to the culture of your school and its surrounding community. Many of us did not have formal mentors when we began our work in schools and we know how painful it was to be isolated and alone in the classroom. Others have been part of the districts mentor program and you know the importance your mentor played in the success of your first year. This monthly guide will ensure that you have a road map for your discussions.

Each monthly mentoring guide can be used with one new teacher or a group of new teachers. Most new teachers appreciate group mentoring meetings because they gain new ideas and find out they are not alone.

August is an opportunity for you to orient your new teacher to the school and the community. There is a lot more to teaching than preparing lessons. Even though the new teachers are excited to be in their first classrooms, they will not understand or know your school procedures. Be patient, Be resourceful, and assist them in getting organized.

Use the guide this month to:

  • PLAN your monthly meetings by deciding what you would like to talk about as well as to set meeting dates for the month.
  • CONNECT your new teacher to available resources, select Activities that make sense for you to discuss based on your new teachers needs
  • REFLECT at the end of the month, and SET GOALS for the next month.

The Goal, and hope, is that you can use this monthly GUIDE as a resource to enrich the quality of your monthly mentoring conversations.

Discussion Questions

What do we want to talk about when we meet this month?

Invite your new teacher to write down a short list of questions and bring them to your first meeting. Sometimes new teachers don't know what to ask their mentors because they have never done this before. You may use the questions below to guide your discussions throughout the month.

New Teacher's Possible Questions:

  • Who are my students and their families?
  • What should I know about the community?
  • What do I need to know about the school and its procedures for opening a school year and new classroom?
  • Do you have any suggestions for me as I set up my first classroom?
  • How do I get materials for my classroom or students?
  • Are there any restrictions or expectations for setting up my classroom space?

As a Mentor, You Can Ask Questions Too!

Try to ask more questions to learn about your new teacher, rather than telling them how things should be done.

Mentor's Possible Questions:

  • What do you already know about the community and class/grade/subject you are going to be teaching?
  • What can I do to assist you right now that would reduce your anxiety?

Monthly Tips

Curriculum, Instruction, Assessments

  • Dismissal, arrival, lunch and duty procedures


  • Summer letter or who am I letter introducing yourself to families
  • School Website, Google Classroom, Twitter, FB page


  • Beginning of school forms for Nurse
  • PD days

Activity #1 Orientation to the School and District: Meeting Important people

Introduce the New Teacher to: (provide a written list of names correctly spelled)

  • Administration and all assistants that were not part of the interview team
  • Department Chairs, CA's
  • Teachers in the building by grade level and department
  • Special Teachers (art, gym, technology, media specialist, music...)
  • Bilingual Teacher, ESL staff
  • Support specialists (Guidance, nurse, physical therapists, ABA staff...)
  • Special Education Staff including Team Chair Person (share the model your school is using for inclusion)
  • Support Personnel (secretaries, aides, paraprofessionals)
  • Custodians and lunch room employees
  • Parents (volunteer groups or formally organized groups
  • Building-based support teams

Activity #2 The First Days and Weeks of School

Organize the Classroom

Establish Routines

What to Do the First Day

Materials for Teaching in the First Weeks

What Else is Important for you to Share?

Back to school CHECK LISTS and resources

Making Mentoring Meaningful and Memorable

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