Mentoring New Teachers

Picture2At the Monday (11.25.2013), regularly scheduled Worthington Board of Education meeting, the Worthington Schools Mentor Advisory Committee presented an update to the board on our support of new teachers in Worthington.

Late this summer I wrote about the large number of new staff members that would be joining our Worthington Schools team for this school year.  Statistics say that nationally many teachers leave their new profession within their first five years.  In Worthington we work hard to support our new staff both with technical support on teaching practices, and with social emotional support so this doesn’t happen.

Picture1Within Worthington Schools we have a committee of active teachers and administrators that oversees new teacher mentoring.  The committee is made up of Connie Ball, Alison Palermo, Randy Banks, Tricia Palko, Mark Hill, Paul Pflieger, Julie King, Joy Nieto, Patti Schlaegel and Pete Scully.  These members give of their time before and after school to assist our team leader, Connie Ball, in working with numerous new teachers and their mentors.        

Our teacher-centered program builds on the resident educator’s prior knowledge while providing ample time to collaborate with experienced, state-credentialed, Worthington mentor teachers.  These built-in advocates support the new teacher in all aspects of their young teaching life.  With a strong tradition of growing master teachers, Worthington is able to provide new teachers with a caring mentor who will cultivate a partnership based on professionalism and ongoing support.

The Worthington mentor program surpasses the state’s requirements by providing professional development and training throughout the school year.  In addition, new teachers regularly observe exemplar teachers at work and receive in-district support based upon the individual growth needs of the educator.  The Mentor Advisory Committee, along with the Mentor Program Coordinator, oversee the mentor pairing and the on-going professional development.

Beginning any new career is difficult.  Teaching is more so, because students deserve excellent instruction and classroom management from day one of a teacher’s career.  New teachers are expected to perform at the same level as our veteran teachers.  Our kids deserve this.

Almost halfway through this school year we are very proud of our resident educators.  They’re a great group of new teachers who are improving our school system with their energy, creativity, and technological skills.  It’s a tough time of year for new teachers because the excitement of a new job has worn off, the hours are long, and the end of the school year is not yet in sight.  If you have contact with a new teacher please provide them with words of encouragement or maybe even bring them a cup of Starbucks.  Our Worthington mentoring team is working to support them.  They can use support from our greater community as well.

The This Week Worthington wrote and article on our mentoring program that was published last week.  You can read the article here.

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