Section 4: Mentors…an Initial Educator’s Best Friend
Reflective thinking turns experience into insight. — John Maxwell
Wisconsin law states that Initial Educators shall be provided with a qualified mentor by the employing school district. The mentoring period may be for less than five years.
Ideally, your mentor will be assigned and introduced to you before the school year begins. Your mentor is your information resource, advisor, and support system. Your mentor is NOT an evaluator. All conversations with your mentor are considered confidential. If for any reason you are not comfortable with your mentor you have the right to request a different mentor.
Working with Your Mentor
- Schedule a regular time to meet without distractions.
- Work with your mentor to develop your classroom management plan. He or she should be able to affirm or give advice on ways to enhance your plan.
- Ask your mentor to read your lesson plans and provide feedback.
- Ask to observe other teachers from whom you can gain ideas and strategies for instruction and classroom management. Your mentor can help arrange these observations.
- Be open to what your mentor has to say. You are not obligated to follow the advice but do not hesitate to ask for help. It is NOT a sign of weakness.
- Observe your mentor and have him or her observe you. Ask him or her to focus on one or two techniques or issues on which you want advice.
- Keep a journal or log with dates and topics discussed with your mentor. This will be a great tool to assess your growth.
- Ask your mentor to assist you in developing your Professional Development Plan for license renewal.
- Let your mentor know that you appreciate his or her assistance.