A guide to working with mentees at your school site
Mentor Focus: November 1st - 15th:
Hello and Happy First Day of November!
These weeks are flying by and maybe, since it's now November on the calendar, Mother Nature will give us a little taste of some fall weather! Thank you for continuing to check out this newsletter and using many of the suggestions to support our new teachers. While presenting at The New Teacher Academy last week, I heard from so many of your mentees that they are truly feeling supported by you and that they could not imagine going through this beginning teacher and/or new-to-Brevard journey without you. You are awesome!
Please take a look at the video linked below. I am showcasing a piece of the new teacher support system that is in place at Heritage High School. Jemma Sabokrouh and Tonny Harris scheduled a day for their new teachers to take part in group observations of seven exemplary teachers on their campus followed by a group debrief after every observation. Denise Peters, the school's lead mentor, and Clement Mansion, school counselor, also took part in this fantastic day of support. Listening to the new teachers debrief, ask tons of questions, and get feedback from the veterans = priceless! Think about how you could put something in place like this at your school!
As always, thank you so much for everything you do. Please let me know if you have any questions, thoughts, or concerns.
-Bridget Reed, email@example.com
Please read through the following suggestions and choose two-three areas that you feel are appropriate to be discussed with your mentee.
1. Personal: Discuss the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday with your mentee. If this is the new teacher's first major holiday away from family, brainstorm with her/him what she/he might do to minimize the loneliness and make the holiday fun and rewarding.
2. Professional: Check in with your mentee to see if they need assistance in completing forms or requirements for certification.
3. Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment: Talk to your mentees about what formative assessments they are using on a frequent basis and what feedback those assessments are giving them to tweak their teaching or to move on. Many new teachers don’t have a solid grasp on formative assessments so you may have to give a few suggestions (exit slips, teacher questions, etc.)
4. Organizational Systems: Review efficiency and effectiveness of classroom procedures and identify new procedures that may need to be developed.
5. Students: Discuss the impact of holidays, the athletic schedule, performing arts productions, and homecoming on the school schedule and student learning.
6. Colleagues: Identify colleagues who would be willing to have your mentee observe in their classroom for a period. Observing two or three procedures/skills/transitions a veteran teacher does well in is one of the most impactful ways new teachers learn and makes changes in their own classroom. The observation MUST have a follow-up conversation from the mentor, however, in order to clarify any misconceptions and to breakdown the observed skills into smaller steps in order for the mentee to achieve the observed skill.
7. School Systems: Ensure that grades are submitted in the appropriate format and in a timely manner.
8. Parents and Community: Provide strategies for dealing with parents who are upset about school issues, grades, etc.
*Special Educators: Ensure that new special educators who are the only new ESE teacher in your building have an opportunity to network with other new ESE teachers in the district. If you are a mentor to a teacher in this category, please let me know, and I will connect your mentee with other new ESE teachers in BPS.
Breakdown and suggestions taken from Paula Rutherford's Just Ask Publications