Be Your Own Mentor

New Teacher Survival Guide

I began my teaching career in January, after a December graduation.

That first day, I took a deep breath and started to tell my first period class of eighth graders about my expectations.

A boy I’ll call Ben bounced out of his seat and turned away from me.

“Sit down,” I said.

“No,” he said. “We have to say the pledge.”

Just then, the speaker crackled to life and a voice from above asked the students to stand.

Ben was a challenge throughout the semester. But the first day Pledge of Allegiance was just the first of many things that could’ve gone better — if only I’d had someone to tell me the simple things about the school’s routines, and was there to help me improve my classroom management. By the end of the semester I decided to give teaching one more year, promising myself that if it didn’t get better, I’d look for a different career. The next fall I had a new job in a different district, where I was happy to stay.

Over time, I’ve benefited from the help of many of my more experienced colleagues. And I’ve mentored numerous student teachers and first-year educators, both formally and informally, and learned from them as well. Unfortunately, many districts still expect beginning teachers to “go it alone.”

What can you do if you find yourself in this situation?

Your only choice is to be your own mentor.

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A Little Persistence, a Lot of Action, and a Big Goal


Teacher Induction, formally BTSA (Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment) in the great state of California, has seen some significant changes in the past months. With a new funding formula, districts are still asked to provide an Induction program for new teachers who are earning their Clear Credential. So what does this mean for new teachers? Not only do they need to complete the program within five years of finishing the credential program, but they also have millions of questions and many uncertainties with being a new teacher. This is where Ontario Montclair School District has changed the direction of the program.

 

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