Teacher Mentor Mode, “What’s Working?”

ocps014Today I met with a new teacher at our school. I’ve been asked to mentor newbies this year and I actually enjoyed sharing with her about her teaching goals and classroom expectations. It was odd.

I’ve realized how cynical I was becoming lately, and I admit, I still am but it was nice to sit with another colleague who shares the same expectations and point of view about education. She isn’t actually a new teacher, but have taught in the private sector for years, and she is new to the public school system, especially one with our population.

We got to spend about an hour just talking about how she felt about her classroom expectations. My initial question was, “What’s working?” It was amusing how often I had to steer her away from the negative because that is usually the easiest to “bitch” about.

Finding the good in others, or things we do is always challenging.

It felt good to talk story for a while, then I went back to my classroom and my students came in, and it was back to work as usual. It dawned on me on how fleeting those moments come and go as a classroom teacher. I always knew teaching had its emotional ups and downs, but I never felt a kind of rapport or kindred spirit with another teacher.  I think it must just be that I was placed in a mentor role, and with that seems to have a level of professionalism and responsibility to behave.

I have another mentee to work with and that has another story to tell. I have a feeling that isn’t going to be as “fun” as this one was today. But I amuse myself. As a teacher, I’ve got to keep the profession fresh, so maybe me becoming a mentor teacher this year, might give me added insight and rejuvenate my passion for education.