Returning to school after holiday break, I had the opportunity to meet and greet a new teacher to our staff. She'd accepted a mini contract teaching grade 6 Language Arts until the end of the year. When I introduced myself, I asked her if this was her first teaching position, to which she shared that she'd just graduated from college the month before!
It was apparent that one of our other teachers, also a grade 6 Language Arts teacher, seemed to instantly gravitate towards her. She showed her around, arranged for her to meet with the media folks and was available to answer questions. They are now planning lessons together and finding ways to reach each student.
Last week, this young woman stopped by to deliver a Valentine cupcake. She seems content and her students are thriving. Do you feel mentoring new teachers is necessary? Have you personally experienced the help of another teacher during your first 3 years in education?
I have yet to begin teaching and even with these graduate classes I have been taken, I still feel at a loss at times when creating lesson plans and such for my assignments.
I feel like having a mentor, once in the field, would be extremely helpful, even more helpful if they teach the same subject(s) as you. This way, there is always someone to go to, but a support system as well. Ideas can be bounced off of each other and two heads are better than one -even healthy debate!
I agree with you that having a mentor is very helpful. Even though you have taken graduate courses and prepared yourself for teaching, a veteran teacher has valuable information that only time and experience provide.
As teachers enter the education field, so much is required by the administration, parents, and students that the first few months can seem overwhelming. Please be assured, that happens to everyone! My best advice is to maintain your focus and take one day at a time. Asking for help and seeking a mentor are keys to a successful career. Teaching is a demanding, challenging profession, but I assure you, my 35 years in the classroom were extremely rewarding and a wonderful learning journey.
Best regards as you begin your teaching career!