The personal learning network for educators
(As shared on my blog 10/24/11 at Teachingwithsoul.com)
A mentoring commitment is not easy, but mentoring matters. It takes hard work by the mentor and mentee, but it’s work that I believe is worth the effort. The mentoring relationship matters to the teachers participating because it’s a tremendous valuable support to their personal and professional development. I also believe that the mentoring relationship matters and is equally as important to the children, our students, because they are the benefactors of better teaching and learning that are a result of this mentoring collaborative.
The Teacher Mentoring Project
Today on Mentoring Mondays, I’m going to highlight a project that I began in January 2011 with the encouragement of Shelly Terrell. This project came out of a discussion we had, preparing for the Reform Symposium for New Teachers.
The discussion that I shared with the Reform Symposium team was that, new teachers attend a conference, even a virtual one, and get excited about trying out new ideas. However, with time constraints, other commitments, and first year burdens…new teachers are more likely not to carry the newly learned implementation forward. This is especially true, if there is a lack of support, or supportive colleague who could guide or collaborate in the work.
This is where a mentor can step in, ideally at the school site. But, what if that’s not an option? What if there are no good matches for the new teacher on campus, or experienced teachers just aren’t available? What about a virtual mentor? One who could chat, Skype,”Hang-out” or email with a new teacher? Enter The Teacher Mentoring Project.
The Teacher Mentoring Project is a group on the EduPLN.com Ning. The purpose of the group is to work to collaborate and find best practices and to mentor and support teachers in K-12 and higher education institutes of learning worldwide for online and offline learning. The design of this group, shared on the site, is as follows:
A joint project between the Educator’s PLN Ning and the Reform Symposium E-Conference. We have invited over 100 schools and teaching programs to take part in this project.
To find a mentor:
Since our launch in January 2011 the group has blossomed into a support team of now 157 educators, virtual mentors, ready willing and able to mentor and support new teachers, or a not so new teacher. And the group continues to grow! I curate the group and keep track of membership and mentoring relationships that are building. I had plans to meet virtually to get feedback about how our group is working. To date, I haven’t been able to get this off the ground so it’s still in a planning stage. However, I have received feedback from new teachers via Twitter and email, who have connected with mentors through this project, who are grateful to be able to receive the virtual support that they aren’t able to get on their school campus.
As I wrap up this post, I invite you to visit The Teacher Mentoring Project at the Educators PLN Ning site.
If you are a new teacher that has wanted to connect with a mentor, I hope you will click on the link in #1 (Google Doc with Mentor info) and give it a try. If you are an experienced teacher who’d like to be a part of this wonderful collaborative, sign up on this info doc http://goo.gl/BwvWLand I’ll be sure to add your name to the list!
My on-going goal, for Monday’s on my blog is to bring reflections or as in this case information for educators both new and experienced of how the mentoring relationship supported (or supports) their teaching, here, on Mentoring Mondays.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. What can we do everyday as educators, to give mentoring support?
Thanks for stopping by!