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I have the best job in the world. I get to visit preschool classrooms and mentor the teachers. My visits occur often enough that children and children are used to my presence and I can blend in. I give advice and ideas to improve the classroom. Teachers know they can ask me about anything and they have one person who supports them. I also offer guidance on continuing their education and even obtaining a college degree,
I have the best job in the world. I am a Literacy Coach/Mentor for preschool teachers, I visit their classrooms regularly so the teachers and kids are accustomed to my presence. I give suggestions on what activities and ideas teachers can use to make their classroom most effective and fun. They know they can talk to me about anything and I will advise them based on my experience and practice. I also offer assistance in continuing their education and obtaining college degrees.
Could you please send me more information about your TOSA positions with mentoring in your school. We are trying to set up the same idea. Thank You
I could not figure out how to e mail this page or site to my daughter. She teaches special ed at Azusa Pacific university. She is researching this right now and this would help. How about mentors, other then the teacher, for the parents of special ed students as well?
Having a mentor would have been great. I am now in my third year of teaching. I was new to a school last year and feel it would have been a wonderful help to have a mentor. I was fortunate to have great teachers answering all of my questions and guiding me through the year, but one designated mentor teacher would have been great.
I'm really not trying to be nosey, but you said it is state required that a teacher with 3 years or less be given a mentor. I think this is a great idea and am curious what your state is and how I would go about finding out what other states require the same. I am a grad student doing research on mentoring and this information would help.
The school I was at last year provided mentors for new teachers in the district. I've always thought that having a mentor was an excellent idea. I was in a different situation- I was new to the district, but hired through an outside source, so I had no mentor. It was somewhat frustrating because it was my first real teaching job. I found a teacher that didn't mind answering my questions and also offered excellent advice. Sadly, the grant I work through this year has placed me at a different school next year. The good news is that my car pooling buddie has become my mentor. Funny how things work out.
Every teacher with 3 years of experience or less is assigned a mentor teacher in my school. (This is a state requirement.) These relationships often grow into long-term friendships after the mentoring period has expired. The mentors, who teach a full load of classes, meet regularly--and invidually--with the new teachers, observe them, and provide support in many ways.
At my school, we also have a "buddy" system for teachers who are new to the building, but not to the profession. "Buddies" help these teachers to acclimate themselves to their new setting and to become a part of our school "family."
While mentoring new teachers is an excellent idea, what it has degenerated to in many parts of the Los Angeles Unified School District is just another perk for old-guard teachers who seem to care only about protecting and expanding their privileged position and compensation. Mentors get an additional stipend as mentors whether or not they actually help new teachers.
Several years ago, I interviewed for a position at Venice High School that consisted of being a traveling teacher who taught 3 English and 2 U.S. History courses in 5 different rooms- a formula for burn-out in one year for some unsuspecting first-year teacher.
When the school found out that I had more seniority than most of the present teaching staff and could bump them from their less stressful classes, I was not even considered for the open position that they were interviewing for.
Rather than dividing up these students with poor English skills- that were likely to act out due to the frustration of low academic skills- among the more seasoned teachers- you know, the same ones who are qualified to be mentors -the school just hired a new teacher ever year to deal with the students that the mentor types were unwilling to deal with.
With an attrition rate as high as 50% of new teachers quiting the profession within 5 years, true and verifiable mentoring and sharing of difficult classes should not be a choice for the old-guard with high seniority, but rather an obligation. This would go a long way toward lessening the hemorrhaging of new teachers and the billions of scarce educational dollars that would not have to be spent to constantly replace them.
It is only short-sighted big inner-city school districts, administered by ex-teachers with no business skills, that thinks it is saving money with this constant destablizing turnover, because they do not appreciate that the moderate savings they will achieve by hiring a cheaper new teacher is dwarfed by the costs related to constant teacher replacement.
Our school has 6 mentors but they also teach a full load and must work around their normal teaching assignments to find time with their new teachers. Another 6 of us have begun training to become mentors and will have the same situation this upcoming year. Because we also teach in teams and are a project based school we invariably have new teachers on most teams annually. Any of us who have had the training find ourselves trying to help new teachers in any way we can.