Monday, May 16, 2011

Learning from Mentoring

Question: What are some advantages from mentoring new or inexperienced teachers?

Answer: You learn as well as help. A couple of goals the author developed: Build confidence. Be patient, flexible and honest. Listen and Learn. Be ready for extra work.

Some quotes:

“But once again I realize that mentoring is like coaching: I am ‘on the sidelines,’ watching and guiding, letting the new teachers ‘get in the game’….”

“I have learned the art of modeling patience, versatility and authenticity…. I have become a better listener…. In the end, embracing the journey with each new protégé provides true learning opportunities for everyone involved….”

Comment: My readers might be interested in the principles I developed on how to become an effective language arts supervisor, K-12, [from my book, Teaching English, How To…., Xlibris, 2004]:

Supervision Lesson #1: Listen. Most of the ideas that we incorporated in our curriculum came from teachers, not from me.

Supervision Lesson #2: In-service. Model for teachers ideas on how to teach effectively by using the techniques with teachers. If you think teachers should individualize instruction, individualize with the teachers. Don’t tell. Show. Let the teachers decide if the technique will work with their students.

Supervision Lesson #3: Change. Most successful change occurs from the “bottom-up” from teachers who are best at seeing needs, rather than from the “top-down,” from administrators mandating change to teachers.

Supervision Lesson #4: Leadership does not require authority. RayS.

In my next blog, I am going to reprint from my book what I learned from leading without authority.

Title: “Five Lessons Learned from My Student Teachers.” Andrea Gumble. English Journal (March 2011), 83-85.

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