New Teacher Mentoring

I am excited to say that I have been given the opportunity to mentor a new English teacher in my building.  Since I found out the good news I have been thinking back to my first  year in the classroom and what helpful hints my mentor gave me, what additional help I needed, and how I can help a new teacher have a smooth transition from student teaching to having his own classroom.
The purpose of this post is to share my ideas for my mentoring program and get feedback on my ideas and suggestions from experienced teacher mentors and new teachers who are adjusting to the teaching profession.

My Mentoring Plan

Introduce the new teacher to all of the building's faculty and staff member.

Introducing new teachers to their colleagues is important so that they can  begin to make the valuable connections that will benefit them for their entire career in the building. 

Ensure the new teacher is able to access his email, district web portal, and all other pertinent computer programs.

This is a very important and often overlooked step in the mentoring program.  While I am not underestimating the value of a mentor serving as an instructional leader, it is often confusing to start a new job with new procedures and protocols to  learn and remember. 

Review lesson plans and offer suggestions.

I remember being a first year teacher, being unsure about my lesson plans even when I was doing things right. Reassuring new teachers and offering constructive criticism when needed will go a long way to help him develop strong, engaging lessons.

Conduct informal classroom observations to make sure that things are running smoothly.

In addition to reviewing lesson plans, occasional observations are very important for new teachers.  Sitting in on a part of a class period or an entire class period will give the mentoring teacher an idea of how comfortable the new teacher is in front of the class and a chance to see how lessons are being  executed and if a classroom management plan is being consistently implemented. 

Send him to observe some of the great teachers at Seckman High School.

 One of the best ways to learn to be a great teacher is to watch other great teachers practice their craft.  Unfortunately, educators don't have much time to spend observing others, so it is important to help new teachers make time during their conference hours each week to observe the super star teachers in  your building so they can see what great teaching looks like and practice it in their own classrooms.
Encourage him to start using Twitter, more specifically, following and participating in #ntchat and #edchat. 

 While talking to the new teacher I am mentoring I told him almost everything I have learned about education in the last year, I have learned from Twitter.  It is well documented that Twitter is a invaluable resource for educators looking to grow professionally. 

Host a new teacher study group for all new teachers to discuss relevant blog posts and any issues they are having in their classes. 

Support groups, study groups and social networks like Twitter are very important for all educators, and new teachers are no exception.  New teachers can often times feel isolated and unsure of what they are doing and how they are handling classroom situations.   Talking to other new teachers and a group of veteran teachers will help new teachers figure out how to handle difficult situations and develop a sense of community with both their fellow new teachers and the veteran teachers. 

I know this list is not complete, but it contains some of my ideas to help new teachers in my building grow and develop as educators while getting acclimated to the building and their new work environment.  Please use the comment section to share your ideas for mentoring new teachers. 

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