Blog post inspired by aDebbie Boyer Lead4wardtraining.
The mentor-teacher relationship is a long-standing tradition in the education profession. It’s an important part of what teachers do, and it can help new teachers adjust to their new environment. But how does one mentor a first-year teacher? How can mentoring be done effectively? What are some strategies for being the best mentor you can be? Here are 5 simple ways to mentor a new teacher.
1) Be there for them: Mentoring doesn’t happen when you’re not around. You need to make sure that your mentee knows that they have someone who will support them, care about them, and listen to them. A mentor needs to know what his or her mentee needs at any given time; this means paying attention to their mood, how they’re doing with things, where they are in the school year, etc.
2) Talk with them about what’s going on: Mentor-teacher relationships work best when everyone involved is open and honest about what’s happening. Have conversations about anything that might come up for your mentee — big or small. They could have questions about policies or concerns about something that happened. It’s important to be there for your mentee so that if support is needed, you can provide it right away.
3) Make time to check in with them regularly: Whether it’s before school, after school or planning period, or just a quick chat during the passing period, mentor-teacher relationships work best when both mentor and mentee make time to talk to each other. Check in with them about how they’re doing throughout the year and try to keep a mental note of what’s going on in their lives outside of school.
4) Offer help when it’s needed: Mentor-teacher relationships work best when both mentor and mentee are willing to help one another out. You don’t have to know the answer to every question, but mentor-teacher relationships work best when mentors can help their mentees find resources and people who can help them. Mentors need to be willing to give support and guidance, so let your mentee know that they can come to you about anything.
5) Be the best mentor possible: Mentor-teacher relationships work best when both mentor and mentee want to help one another out, share their concerns with each other, and talk things through with one another. Mentoring can be a tough job, but it’s incredibly rewarding! Making a new teacher feel comfortable in his or her new role is a great feeling.
These simple steps can help mentor teachers work together to help new teachers flourish in their first year.