A guide to working with mentees at your school site
Mentor Focus: October 1st - 15th:
Please take a look at the Phases of First-Year Teachers' Attitudes posted below the bi-monthly focus suggestions. As you can see, we are entering what could possibly be a challenging time for new teachers - and sometimes not so new! Our mentees' attitudes are moving from survival to disillusionment and they may need our support now more than ever. If you have even just a minute or two during the day, a quick high-five and a "you got this" connection might be exactly the thing that keeps a new teacher going until you can meet during your normally scheduled meeting time. Also, feel free to share the graph with your new teacher! Many times, just knowing that others feel the same way is really validating.
Because we know this can be a challenging time in the new teachers' school year, we have put together an AWESOME program to support your new teachers and YOU! It's called, Elevating Wellness to New Heights: Relax and Rejuvenate. It will be held October 24th from 4:30-6:30 at ESF. Check out the information listed below, strongly encourage your mentee to come with you for some pampering and self-care, and register!
Lastly, take a minute to watch Danielle Levelle's Mentor Monday's video and exit slip posted below. What a great program she has set up at Riviera Elementary School! If you have a mentoring idea or plan, please let me know. I would love to share it with the other mentors in our district. Why reinvent the mentoring wheel when we have some of the best support plans going on right here in BPS?!
As always, 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: Check on balance of work and life. Reality sets in during October and the long hours of prep and grading begin to take their toll. Place a cartoon or inspirational quote about school, teaching, students, or life in general in your new teachers’ mailbox or on their desk.
2. Professional: Discuss grading and the upcoming end of the nine weeks. Make sure your mentees know to contact home WITHIN THE WEEK so there are no surprises. Let them know getting ahead of the game with parent contact will save them a lot of time and possibly challenging conversations after grades come out.
3. Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment: Keep talking about the pacing guide and how your new teachers are finding challenges with the pace and where you can offer suggestions. Start the discussion now about how student achievement data matches the classroom assessment data and how they can use both data sets to plan instruction. This discussion can be overwhelming to a new teacher so monitor their responses.
4. Organizational Systems: Review gradebook and record keeping systems. Examine the efficiency and effectiveness and the way the information provided on returned papers is used by students. If students aren’t using the feedback on graded papers for growth, this isn’t an efficient use of time.
5. Students: Ask your new teacher to share stories about evidence of student learning that has been rewarding.
6. Colleagues: Have a conversation with your principal or other administrators to let them know the support you are providing.
7. School Systems: Go over how field trip procedures work in your school. This may apply more toward elementary but there may be some secondary teachers who are interested in a field trip as well.
8. Parents and Community: If a new teacher is expecting a particularly challenging parent conference, role play the conference and if necessary, sit in on the conference.
*Special Educators: Coach the new teachers around collaboration with general ed teachers in the planning and holding of parent conferences of students they both teach.
Breakdown and suggestions taken from Paula Rutherford's Just Ask Publications
Mentor Monday with Danielle Lavelle, Lead Mentor Teacher, Riviera Elementary School, Palm Bay, FL
Check out these two videos from one of Danielle Lavelle's September Mentor Monday meetings! The first video shows Danielle going through some basics of the mentoring program with Riviera's mentors and mentees as a whole group.
The second video is the mentors and the mentees discussing goals together. The mentor/mentee duo then fills out the posted exit slip for the goal-setting. Think about how you could incorporate some of these supports for your own school!
Feel free to reach out to Danielle if you have any questions, too. firstname.lastname@example.org