4 Ways Teaching Mentors Can Make A Difference Online Or In The Classroom
Teaching online or in the classroom can be a challenging profession from many angles. Teachers have an enormous amount of responsibilities the moment they begin in the profession.
Although educators should have ongoing professional development and practicum experience, there are many moments in a teacher’s day when they may need assistance or an exceptional mentor.
Here are four reasons why mentor teachers are essential for the classroom-either online or in the classroom.
Throughout this piece, you’ll find tips from teachers who work at 51Talk, too.
Mentor teachers can help new teachers in stressful situations. All teachers can have a terrible day in the classroom. For a new teacher, a terrible day at school can be an anxiety-filled experience. A mentor teacher can help restore confidence, provide solutions, and assist with any student problematic behavior.
Culture and Communication
Mentors know the ins-and-outs of parental expectations. In a school or online class setting, making sure the teacher is the right fit for the community is essential for long-term success. However, even when new teachers are aware of mission statements and goals for school programs, it can be difficult to know about community expectations without practice and experience.
All schools have different cultures. Mentors will know how to help new teachers find balance as well as assisting with background knowledge and meeting student needs.
Shaundra Schlapia, teacher from 51Talk, “Mentoring in education is important in all aspects of education. Mentoring occurs from veteran teachers to new teachers. New teachers have things to offer veteran teachers. Teachers mentor other instructional staff. Instructional staff have information and help to offer others. Counselors mentor teachers who in return need the counselors’ input. Principals and assistant principals mentor each other as well as their staff. All of these educators, including others I may have left out, mentor students in the school community. Let us not forget our students’ families mentoring their children as enlightening us about their children. That perhaps is the most valuable information available to us as their educators at school. We rely on each other. In order to learn and grow intellectually, we must be open to thoughts, ideas and information from others. We must be open to change if necessary to grow as a community.”
Mentors can assist new teachers with professional growth. When assessment time comes for new teachers, it can be helpful for mentors and mentees to prepare and work together.
Mentors are there for good and challenging days, and they can help new educators develop the best pedagogical strategies for best results. A mentor teacher can be honest without being overly critical while adding a supportive layer for teacher assessment.
Catherine Smith, teacher from 51Talk, “Mentoring is imperative in education because of the mental challenges an educator faces throughout their professional career. Teaching is a job that is made 1000x’s better through learning and collaborating with others.”
Mentors know about resources and how to communicate with staff and administration. For example, if new teachers need supplies, the place to go is right to their mentors. Mentors can also assist with communication. They know how to get concerns placed higher on the administration’s priority list, and can be a helpful voice when necessary.
Mentor teachers can help new teachers find their strongest skills. Every teacher has his or her unique teaching style. A good mentor can help new teachers discover their strengths while assisting with weaknesses. Also, they can help new teachers get their message across correctly while providing the resources necessary to improve the approach.
Susan Mabee, teacher from 51Talk, “Mentoring is important in education because teaching is probably the only profession where a first year teacher and a 30 year veteran are expected to have the same positive outcomes for customers (children). Whether a group of children have a new or veteran teacher makes no difference in the expectation of what is taught and how instruction is delivered. School divisions are increasingly understanding the importance in providing a high quality mentoring experience for new teachers in order to increase retention and improve job satisfaction. Mentoring new teachers in an online education platform poses challenges of its own – so Kudos to 51 Talk for making an effort to create and sustain a mentoring program that supports, develops, and meets the needs of new teachers in an online teaching platform.”
Teaching is a profession where one has to be self-assured. The time and energy a mentor teacher will put into a co-worker’s career can provide the confidence one needs to be successful.
Teaching is a challenging and rewarding profession. The first couple of years can be tough. Therefore, it is essential to have a good support network of professionals to share the journey. A mentor teacher is a crucial part of this mission, and all schools should have a program in place.
Do you have a mentoring program in place?