Mentoring Newsletter

A guide to working with mentees at your school site

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Mentor Focus: September 16th - 30th:

We are entering the time in the school year where many of our new teachers may possibly be feeling overwhelmed. Coming back from having time off due to the threat of a hurricane is additionally stressful - for all of us. Procedures have to be re-taught and there is always that feeling of being behind. You, as the new teacher's mentor, may be the one thing that keeps them going while they are finding their way. Thank you for all you do!

Please contact me if you have any questions, thoughts, or concerns.

-Bridget Reed,

Please read through the following suggestions and choose two-three areas that you feel are appropriate to be discussed with your mentee.

1. Personal: Empathize with the amount of paperwork and number of meetings. New teachers need to know they are not alone with trying to keep up. Just knowing someone else is feeling the same way can be validating. It does not have to be a “complaining session” – just a supportive and comforting chat. You may also need to remind your new teacher about the basic principles of self-care: solid sleep, good nutrition, social activities, etc. We will get more into this of self-care area as the year progresses.

2. Professional: Explain our IPPAS evaluation system by going over the process and the criteria. Help new teachers feel more settled going into the first observation cycle.

3. Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment: Visit or revisit the mentee's pacing guide. A talking point might be "How are things going with the district's pacing guide? Talk to me about how you are accessing the guide and fitting it into your weekly lesson plans." You may need to be directive here on the importance of strong lesson plans.Please emphasize that the stronger the lesson plans, the better the classroom management.

4. Organizational Systems: Show your mentee how you set up your substitute folder. Provide guidance in this area.

5. Students: Talk to your mentee about the possibility of attending an extracurricular event to get to know students outside of the classroom. Truthfully, your mentee might be exhausted and feel that this is the last thing they would like to do. Share that many times when students see their teacher outside of the class and in a different light, it strengthens the relationships.

6. Colleagues: Remind colleagues of their role in seeking out and helping new teachers get established as positive and productive staff members.

7. School Systems: Examine how new teachers are managing their time.

8. Parents and Community: Ask about parent contacts, how the contacts are being logged, and how the conversations are going.

*Special Educators: Discuss methods of documenting progress on meeting IEP goals and grading policies and procedures for special education students.

Breakdown and suggestions taken from Paula Rutherford's Just Ask Publications

Professional Development

CHAMPS/DISC (K -12 Classroom Management): This is our district's classroom management program. It is a three day training. This training is a PDCP requirement, however, it is open to all BPS teachers.

There are two sessions:

1. C#15620 S#404303 Training Rooms 5&6

September 16th, October 8th, November 5th

2. C#15620 S#404304 Training Rooms 7&8

September 26th, October 22nd, November 12th

DATE CHANGE due Hurricane Dorian! The NEW date for the first session of the New Teacher Networking Session is now Tuesday, October 29 from 5:00 – 7:00 pm in training rooms 3 & 4.

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The Lollipop Moment

Quick but impactful video that gets right to the heart of what you as mentor might be doing right now to change someone's life. Check it out!

*** New Teacher Technology Tip *** You may be working with a newly hired teacher who needs assistance with FOCUS. Here is Quick Start Guide link for you to share:

Teachers need to set up their FOCUS gradebook each year before starting to input grades.

Directions for doing so are located in the Quick Start Guide at this link.

The FOCUS information site has videos and written directions for using all of the features in the gradebook. Visit the website using one of the methods below and click on the Training link at the top of the page.

New Teacher Induction Documents

You can find all of the forms for induction here.