Mentoring Newsletter

A guide to working with mentees at your school site

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April 2022

Hello, BPS mentors.


Spring has sprung! I hope your April is off to a super start. We have save-the-date information for two great events planned for May, posted below in the newsletter. One special evening is for celebrating our first-year teachers and, mentors, so please forward this info and encourage your mentees to sign up for it. It will be a wonderful night! Another awesome event will be our lead mentor symposium -- you don't want to miss it! Check out both postings for more information.


On a different note, yesterday, March 31, was the date some of our new teachers received non-renewal letters. Receiving this letter may be due to several reasons -- declining enrollment at their school, for example. This can be a very emotional time so we have to be prepared for it. Keep encouraging your mentees to stay motivated until the last day of school. Some dates to share with a non-renewed teacher:


  • May 2 - priority schools will advertise their openings for the next school year.
  • May 9 - openings will be published for all schools.


Please let your mentee know to update their Beacon account so they are able to apply for the open positions. Share that one way to lessen the impact of this emotional time is to feel like one is in control of something and being proactive -- updating a resume, applying for positions, networking with teachers about other schools, finishing the year strongly, or putting together a working portfolio.


Suggestions for your area of focus right now:


1. Personal: Given that the new teachers are now most likely in the reflection and rejuvenation stage of development, reminisce about the first days of school and how far you have come in working together.

2. Professional: A) Respond, as appropriate, to the final evaluation report that new teachers are beginning to receive along with information about their employment for the following school year. B) For teachers who received effective evaluations, provide guidance in thinking about their professional goals for the following year and help them identify professional development opportunities for the summer. C) Should any new teachers not be rehired for the following year, respond professionally and privately. Do not discuss such matters with other staff members. Offer support to anyone being dismissed so that they can maintain their dignity and finish the school year providing as strong an instructional program as they possibly can.

3. Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment: If your new teacher is ready to explore and plan some differentiation strategies, encourage him/her to offer students more choice in their learning. Share your differentiation ideas and examples from your classroom. Up until this point, your new teacher may have been developing or even unsatisfactory in the IPPAS category for differentiation. If the time is right, gently motivate your mentee toward branching out in this area.

4. Organizational Systems: Encourage systematic collection and storage of instructional materials and student artifacts that they will want to have available for the next school year. Discuss possible collection and storage possibilities. This is an area where many of our new teachers find challenges.

5. Students: Remind new teachers that if they demonstrate nervousness or speak disparagingly about standardized tests, their students will pick up on those emotions and comments. Encourage them to communicate to students how well the students are prepared for both the content and process of the testing.

6. Colleagues: Remind your colleagues that their comments about the standardized testing process can promote our new teachers sense of self-efficacy or make them nervous about their capacity to manage this process.

7. School Systems: Just before standardized testing events, review the policies and procedures for administering the assessments. Even experienced teachers can feel overwhelmed by the number of memos and the acronyms used in those memos.

8. Parents and Community: Discuss strategies for dealing with parents who are upset about events at/or communication from the school.

*Special Educators: Explain summer learning options for students and help the new special educators prepare recommendations to students and/or parents about student participation in those programs.


As always, thank you so much for all you do. If you ever have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, please contact Lisa Stanley, Linda Buffum, or me. 💚


- Bridget Reed

reed.bridget@brevardschools.org


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

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🧐 Attitudes of New Teachers - April🧐

Our new teachers are almost at the reflection stage in the school year. This is a great time to chat about what has worked well, what hasn't, and what to put in place for next year.
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Meet your support team in Professional Learning & Development

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Our small but mighty team, from left to right: Dinah Kramer, Itzel Copley, Lisa Stanley, Tori Huss, Susan Kirk, Ron Jones, Bridget Reed, Karrie Hieber, Linda Buffum, Jenifer Mallory, and Elizabeth Torres.


Not pictured: our illustrious leader, Mike Alba, Lisa Higham, Lynnette Thorstenson, and Sharon Doucett-Doran

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Save the Date, Lead Mentors!

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Mentors, please share this flyer with your first-year teachers! We want to celebrate their hard work!

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📈Stages of Mentor Growth📈

Reflection is not just for our new teachers at this point in the school year. It's also a perfect time for us to think about how we have progressed as mentors. This may have been your first year as a mentor. Naturally, there are questions to ponder:


  • How has this year gone?
  • Will you offer to mentor again next year?
  • Would you make any changes to how you mentor next year?
  • If you are a seasoned mentor, where do you see the potential for growth?


Check out Casey and Claunch (2005) five distinct stages of growth that mentors experience. Reflecting, where do you fall?

Stage Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions (and examples)

1. Predisposition: is ready to assist others, has good interpersonal
skills, is open-minded

2. Disequilibrium: copes with unfamiliarity of working with adults
rather than children, has doubts

3. Transition: develops knowledge and understanding of
mentoring roles and strategies, focuses more on new
teacher’s needs, clarifies personal teaching philosophy

4. Confidence: refines mentoring skills, renews sense of
professionalism, advocates for new teachers

5. Efficacy: develops individual mentoring style, reflects on
experiences, deepens understanding of teaching and
learning as well as personal strengths

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💯Help is here - testing assistance!💯 please share with your mentees

Contact Lisa Stanley in Professional Learning and Development to receive the application and security agreement form for the tutoring subscription stanley.lisa@brevardschools.org
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