How many times have we heard someone say ‘Oh I go into class, I know what I am doing but I just cannot get the kids to settle’ or ‘I just don’t know how to start that lesson, I really don’t know where to start. I don’t know how to unfold the learning that is required’. We’ve all been there at some time in our career. What are we doing about this?
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a place teachers could go to get the support needed to help them overcome the hurdles of teaching; if someone was there, just waiting to help them take themselves to the next level or problem solve their own issues, think through their contextualised problems. Then they could front up to work the next day and say ‘I have the confidence to take this on now’ or ‘I know how to solve this problem.’
How do we develop our practice, making sure our students have the knowledge, skills and understanding? It is sometimes difficult to know how to support students to achieve.
So what can we do for new teachers, a casual teacher, an aspiring leader or someone who would like to improve their practice?
We have heard many ideas, we’ve heard lots of things about mentoring, and the difference between coaching and mentoring. What we should do to mentor teachers? We rarely hear about actual tools and strategies for our teachers so they can move from the place they are at, to solve the problems they are finding.
We need the mentees to own the process. Not a line management or supervisory approach. We are used to line management, it doesn’t always work. We want to make sure the mentor is chosen and the mentee is empowered to gain confidence with their mentoring relationship.
The website ment2teach.com.au is a tool to help teachers access mentors to support them over those hurdles. To build their confidence, develop teaching strategies in a respectful, reflective manner.
So we understand what ment2teach.com.au is, lets call it ‘edu-harmony’. This simple tool allows teachers to communicate with each other, mentor/mentee developing the relationship, giving confidence and building a base for a very reflective and productive conversation. Ment2teach.com.au creates a place where teachers can come and be supported. This is the core component of ment2teach.
The website has three main areas:
Commons – here members are encouraged to engage in discussions in the forums, read and comment on blogs
Mentoring - teachers from all levels share their knowledge and experience about teaching and learning with those wanting to expand their teaching practice, and Resources - organised in curated categories to assist teachers.
Look into this site, join as a mentor, mentee or just a visitor to the commons. Mentors can be from any level of the profession, classroom teachers, a deputy with great knowledge or a principal fully aware of the pressures on his/her colleagues. Of course, with the retirement of so many teachers, retired teachers are invaluable to this mentoring program.
Register now to give back to your profession.
Jennifer Michalski Michalski Mentoring