Shelly Sanchez Terrell is a (I call her at least colleague that I have met virtually. She has pushed me out of my comfort zone many times. I am always brought back to her when I am considering ways to improve my practice. So I am using her ideas for “Transforming Your Teaching” to help us possibly get out of the “disallusionment” stage of mentoring.
Her philosophy, by the way, is that she gives us “permission … to inspire incredible learning this year.” Her words … “You are the instrument in your [moving classroom] that determines whether your [new teachers] will love [teaching] or hate [teaching]. So how do you begin to implement that power and ensure your [new teachers teach] effectively?”
1. Ask a question … with many answers or no answer at all.
2. Give your teacher reign for one conference. I am considering giving them the CAL to complete … possibly even letting them “mentor” me on how to better meet their needs.
3. Allow your mentees to choose how they will be observed — which tool they would like for us to use, with what lens (observer? student?), and with what focus (domain 2? questioning?).
4. Ask mentees what they are really interesting in learning more about. (I had the most unusual post conference … the new teacher actually wanted to pick my brain regarding teaching grammar authentically rather than discuss her areas of strength … “I can read those later,” she said.) What if we took some time away from the teaching to the development of content. With one of my mentees, I am actually working through a book study. (I hope she has been more successful than me at completing the reading.)
5. Tell your mentees every day (for a month) that you are glad to be their mentor. Greet them with a smile, handshake, or high five! (I’ve often said hello to my mentees, but I need to be better about thanking them! If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t get to have this AWESOME job!)
6. Conduct a conference in a different environment either by meeting in a different location or in a different way — what about a walking meeting or a location outside?
7. “Stand for the entire classroom period. Break students into groups or pairs and move around constantly asking them questions or taking notes about the way they learn.” How could we translate this one to mentoring???
8. Provide a fun activity in your conference or leave a fun page on your teacher’s desk. The form could be one of reflection or one for inspiration. Consider using the journal pages shared in our MLC … http://www.graceisoverrated.com/p/journal-pages.html
9. Contact each principal and share with them specific ways your mentees make you proud of them. We could do this in general talking about different activities and/or assignments without giving names, or we could speak about the professionalism (domain 4) of our mentees in general.
10. Have your mentees work together to perform an act of kindness — either to a charity, organization, students, or other teachers. This could be by creating books, collecting winter needs, donating time, or sending out thank you notes. I think this could be one that could transform the culture of a school.
These ideas were developed from ways to transform your teaching … http://teacherrebootcamp.com/2012/08/26/10-simple-ideas-for-transforming-your-teaching-this-school-year/
I’d love to hear your thoughts!