The mentors in my life.

I have now taught in two different school districts.  On the first day of my first year, in both districts, I was giving a “mentor.” That mentor was the person responsible for giving me the logistics I needed in order to provide a safe environment of my students.  Those logistics included hall passes, discipline referral forms and the list of phone numbers for the office and classrooms.  After reading the first chapter of the book, Thrive, I became aware of what exactly one seeks for in a mentor. So, after reading I spent time reflecting about who I call my mentor.  I am fortunate to still call my designated mentors my mentors. My first year of teaching was tough. I taught in a high school that followed block scheduling.  I had two different levels of Spanish as well as an ESL classroom with 25 students from 10 different countries.  I needed a mentor and I needed one fast.  She was the French teacher and had been teaching for 20 years.  She provided me with comfort and a plethora of ideas that could be used in both of my classroom settings.  She was fantastic! My designated mentor this year, a high school English teacher, has been everything and more! We can relate to each other on a professional level, but more importantly a personal level.  This year is also my first year back in the classroom after 3 years of staying home with my children.  So, the first day of this school year is one I will never forget. As I was setting up my classroom, my mentor, came to me and said “As long as nobody hugs you will be fine.” And she was right! I was so fragile. I stayed in room during my planning and lunch time. I avoided the hallways and interaction with my colleagues.  She truly brought me out of my shell and has exposed me to so many resources in our buildings.  She shared her experiences with me: returning to work after kids and maintaining a successful work and home career.  She also gave me a card with words of encouragement and when I am having one of those days I often read it.  Her heart and my heart were in the right place and I feel fortunate to have her and a positive story to tell about my mentor-mentee experience.  Again, after reading the first chapter, I have compiled a list of other mentors.  These mentors are colleagues, and some are in different departments than me.  One provides technological resources, another is the one I collaborate with often and the other provides me with my interest in building literacy in both a students native and second language.  I feel lucky to have support by these mentors and feel honored to call them my mentors!

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2 thoughts on “The mentors in my life.

  1. Heather Coyne says:

    I think it makes all the difference in the world when your personalities mesh. I was fortunate to have had a similar opportunity in one of the districts I worked in 6 years ago. I worked with an eighth grade teacher of 20 years and she provided constructive criticism that afforded me an opportunity for growth. She frequently stopped in my room and asked how things were going. She was easily approachable, which came in handy during my moments of hardship. However, when I entered a different district and was assigned a new mentor that wasn’t as cordial and helpful, I found myself struggling with my daily responsibilities. I was foreced to reach out to others to fill in the gaps. I wish there was a more successful system in place; one that could better match a mentor with a potential mentee. I know that my previous district offered mentoring opportunities to any teacher with more than 3 years experience. There were no other requirements. Unfortunately, there are some teachers that just sign up for the position to make additional money. There’s got to be a better way of selecting appropriate mentors, so we can ensure the success of both parties involved.

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    • samanthakelly912 says:

      Hi Heather! It is unfortunate that not all mentor-mentee relationships exist. Whether you enter a district with years of experience or with no experience change is difficult and it wonderful to think that there is someone waiting for you to help get you through the challenging times! Thanks for your comment!

      Like

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