Kristen Poindexter asked

How do you mentor and inspire new to the profession teachers?

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Angela Homan

We have weekly meetings with our mentees to answer questions. Mentees also observed by mentors 6 times during the year. Mentees and principals set a goal for each semester. Mentors watch for progress on that goal and give suggestions.

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I started a podcast- Let’s Talk, Teacher to Teacher!

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Linda Dixon

Using an online forum, we mentor new teachers to provide support, resources and answer any questions that come up. Mentors are trained to provide prompt feedback so that the new teachers do not have to wait for assistance. Having an online system has been effective because there is no time restraints and the teachers have support 24/7.

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Ashley Thomas

I recently became a state-trained mentor in SC. It was a great training and has allowed me to really focus on one person in my building to help them with what they truly think would benefit them most. I have loved being able to go watch them teach and I’m constantly inspired by them. I have also led professional development where we focus our time on how to build and maintain relationships with students and parents. In my experience, that’s where the learning really happens.

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We have a one to one mentor program in place. We observe, cover while they observe others, and meet for any needs they may have. I think another way to make all feel welcome is to make sure they feel part of the team. Make time to plan together and show them anything we do regularly they are new at.

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Dawn Bates, NBCT

I encourage new teachers by letting them know that teaching is constantly changing and that it takes time to learn how to manage your classroom and learn new curriculum. I let them know that it is okay to make mistakes and that tomorrow is a new day.

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Jan Ogino

Taking some inspiration from National Board’s Five Core Propositions, I always try to imbue that they have to know their students and their content to teach. It is that balance that needs to be carefully maintained. For if you spend too much time on delivering your content, you lose focus on WHO you are teaching it to. Did the content meet them where they are or was it too difficult and too abstract or uninteresting? Did you accommodate your special needs or second language learners? I also want them to know if they are too inflexible in their grading, that they unintentionally demotivate their students to learn. For the purpose of grading is to gain information on what the student has learned and yet needs to learn, what the student has understood or misunderstood, and what skills the student has gained or have yet to gain. It is my philosophy that compliance should not be part of their academic grade and that 0% should never be given because I have yet to find a student that knows 0% of any content taught. I have found teachers who do not present content in multiple ways to ensure that it can be learned in multiple modalities.

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