It's school vacation week here in Boston, which got me thinking about our city's teachers. Creating mentoring programs for teachers--all teachers--is incredibly important. Imagine you're 22 and you're fresh out of college, and you start working for an elementary, middle, or high school. Sounds overwhelming just to write that sentence! A veteran teacher (mentor) can help guide the new teacher (mentoree) by:
- Being someone the mentoree can confide in--fears, concerns, challenges
- Being someone who can challenge the mentoree to grow and get involved with different aspects of the school (e.g. volunteering to coach or to help with the school play)
- Helping the mentoree navigate the town/city politics
- Showing the mentoree different strategies the mentor used when dealing with students' parents, colleagues, administration
The list is really endless. Many school systems have some form of mentoring programs (although some are more informal than others). I wonder what sort of teachers we would produce if perhaps the mentoring programs were consistent from state to state? I welcome your comments.