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pandakeeper pandakeeper is offline
 
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Mentor to new teacher
Old 08-20-2018, 12:04 AM
 
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I need some advice! A new teacher has joined our team. She has already taught for 10 years. She is not new to teaching. The problem: She wants me to spoon feed her. She wants all my lesson plans and teaching materials. EVERYTHNG. I know the curriculum is new to her so I have helped her with all school required curriculum items. How much of my own developed items should I feel obligated to give her? Am I being selfish for not just handing over 20 years of ideas developed with blood, sweat and tears? I am walking a fine line...I want to help, but I don't want her to copy every single thing I do. Am I being selfish? And if not, how do I say no to her requests?


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Other team members
Old 08-20-2018, 09:45 AM
 
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How are the other members of your team handling it?
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Compromise
Old 08-20-2018, 10:09 AM
 
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Try to remember that even with her experience, she is going to be much like a new teacher, with all the overwhelm that comes with being a new teacher. It is probably why she wants those things. How will the students be affected if you give up some of your materials for say, the first semester? Can you think of it a bit like training wheels? Give her "everything" for a bit of time and work on gradually releasing responsibility over to her. She is going to benefit from having to be made independent but she might push off to a better start (which will in turn impact the kids positively) if she has one less thing to worry about.
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Old 08-20-2018, 10:19 AM
 
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There are only 3 teachers per grade at our school. The other teacher has only been here 2 years. She doesn't have a lot of original ideas to share. She is mostly just using my ideas also.
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Old 08-20-2018, 10:25 AM
 
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I would give her what I felt comfortable giving her and let everything else go. You are not selfish in keeping things back. She doesn't need everything, she has taught before. I don't think you need to say anything to her, she won't know if your kept things back or not.


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Old 08-20-2018, 10:33 AM
 
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I say do what you feel comfortable with. If she has a curriculum materials she needs to get that together herself maybe with a little guidance. Things I bought off Teachers Pay Teachers to supplement or support our curriculum I'm not supposed to share anyway unless you pay for another license.
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Old 08-20-2018, 10:41 AM
 
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My opinion would depend on a few things:

* What are your school expectations for co-planning/team planning? Is it common practice in your school for teams to plan together and share materials? If not, was it common practice where she came from and therefore what she is used to?

* Is it possible that this is how she is dealing with a new teaching position and it will only be temporary? Since she has taught for 10+ years, I imagine there will be plenty of times where she will also be able to bring new ideas to the team, rather than just taking. Does that interest you?

* How much work would be involved for you to share your ideas/plans/projects? I worked on a team with a teacher who had been around a long time and she basically had a tub for every unit. She'd bring them to planning (her idea) and I'd look through it to see if there were ideas I wanted to use, then I'd take a picture or make a copy or whatever, so it didn't cause her any extra work.

If you decide to say no, I think one way to do that would be to basically say something to the effect of - working through the material and planning/developing lessons for herself will help her get more familiar with the curriculum and "know" her lessons better. You could offer to answer questions for her or make some suggestions about things that work well or don't work in your curriculum (for example, our ELA curriculum is super extensive. You could never do all of it. There are things that teachers don't waste time on - you'd know that now but she wouldn't.)
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Selfishness is not the issue
Old 08-20-2018, 10:48 AM
 
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What? The responsibility of a mentor is not to do the work for the new teacher, but to guide her as she learns to do it herself. Simply giving her the lesson plans, teaching materials, etc. will not result in her learning. Just like we don't give students the answers to the questions on the test. Not giving her your work is not being selfish. It's enabling her to grow and be a good teacher.

I think you would be perfectly justified in giving her one week's plans and materials, commenting that she can use these are examples/model as she goes about creating her own in the future. And then let her know that she can ask you questions about specific details in the future.

You could also comment that you know, since she has already taught for 10 years and that all teachers have their own unique ways of doing things, that you're sure that she'll be developing different plans and materials.

Is she lacking confidence, lazy, incompetent? Who knows. Be a mentor, not an enabler.
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Old 08-20-2018, 10:51 AM
 
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I believe you can never go wrong with kindness.
What you give will return to you.
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Old 08-20-2018, 11:00 AM
 
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There are a lot of variables here. Did she teach the same grade before? The same curriculum? When was her hire date and how much time does she have to prepare?

I sympathize with the new teacher because itís a place Iím in. Iím getting formally hired to teach a new grade tomorrow. We start on the 27th and have new teacher orientation before that. I have never had my own classroom before and I have a baby and no sitters. I have no idea how I will get anything done or set up and my hope is that I can depend on my grade partners for the curriculum piece for the first week or two while I get my ducks in a row regarding everything else (learning my way around, routines of the school, setting up the classroom, trying to make copies and laminate all my materials when our school only provides one single day of room prep so all 40 teachers are doing those things at the same time...)


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Compromise
Old 08-20-2018, 11:43 AM
 
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Youíve gotten a lot of good advice. I would suggest maybe giving her what you use for the first unit of each subject (or the first few weeks instead) so that she has an idea of the way you handle the curriculum. Maybe tell her that after that first unit you would be happy to help with any specific questions. Itís possible that she was told that she should get things from you so that youíre all on the same page.

Try to give her the benefit of the doubt and remember what itís like being new. I have taught new classes every year (most of them time at new schools) and usually donít feel comfortable asking for stuff. When teachers have been nice enough to share, Iíve used some of it but also added my own things. But itís nice to not have to start from scratch and completely reinvent the wheel!

P.S. one of the times that I got next to nothing I was a full-year LTS and had 4 different classes to teach, including AP. This really made me mad that I had to put in all that work for nothing!
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Old 08-20-2018, 01:01 PM
 
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Helping doesn't just include curriculum. Sometimes schools and grades do things each year that are not done in other schools. A heads up months in advance for these would be great. Been there, done that, as the teacher who found out in the spring that everybody, but me, had been saving work for a schoolwide showcase night the next month.

Once you've given her enough to get her feet under her, stop spoonfeeding. Ask her and the other teacher when it's convenient to meet to bounce ideas off each other. Solicit their ideas. Tell them you need their input. The first couple of times it will be hard, they will be reluctant, but most often when pushed people expand their comfort zone and step up.
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Old 08-20-2018, 02:36 PM
 
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I'd share the first 2 weeks with her. That will give her a glimpse at how you do things.
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Planning
Old 08-20-2018, 04:56 PM
 
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As a grade level we plan together. One person brings in the standards that will be addressed the following week. Together we pull pages, papers and discuss ideas to teach. This is info from all of us. We discuss grade level tests and modify things as necessary. We always plan on Monday and create a folder. We use the folder to run off for the following week. This includes homework, assessments and this week info for parent conferences. This way it is shared and one person doesn't feel like they are 'spoon feeding' anyone. Good luck! I love working with my team.
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Old 08-20-2018, 06:16 PM
 
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I just retired, however, my team worked just like K-Jeanne. We did our plans on a google doc so one person would type as we were plannng. The benefit to the google doc was that anyone could add or delete things if changes were needed. We could also add links to videos right in the plans. The teaching experience on my team last year ranged from one year to over 30 at the grade level. There were 5 of us. At the beginnng, the first year teacher didn’t have much to share but she did a lot of the copying. As the year went on she started feeling more comfortable sharing ideas and she was great at creating things on the computer. Start a new tradition. Plan together. It really cut down on my planning time over my last ten years. Plus I never needed to take plans home. And since we planned together, it was really easy to help each other if there was an emergency. Planning together didn’t mean that we always did exactly the same thing. We always allowed for each individuals own style and comfort level .

Quote:
. I believe you can never go wrong with kindness.
What you give will return to you.
I think Janet L is right.

Last edited by hand; 08-21-2018 at 08:09 AM..
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Old 08-20-2018, 07:25 PM
 
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It doesn't really cost anything to share.
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Old 08-20-2018, 10:00 PM
 
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Thank you for sharing! So many are new to grade levels and need a bit of hand holding. Nothing wrong in being nice and sharing. Someone work while they get comfortable then encourage them timeshare their own ideas.
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Old 08-21-2018, 05:34 AM
 
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I agree with share and care. I have a new grade level partner, too. She has been a teacher longer than I have and keeps asking me for this and for that. I am giving her them. I know that when she gets her feet firmly planted again, she will have great things to share back. I know her enough to know that she will.

I do somewhat miss having some things just be "mine," but honestly, if someone wants to do what you do, they can. So... We still have things we won't do the same.
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Is it her or admin wanting your ideas?
Old 08-21-2018, 03:04 PM
 
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It could admin requiring it? I am a third year teacher and took a new school this year. I had great success with my students last year and the data to back it up. But, in my new school I have been told to copy another teacher on many things. I can sense this teacher does like like this. It could be this is the case?
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Old 08-22-2018, 04:12 AM
 
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I would share openly and freely. As she settles in and finds her feet, you will probably find that she reciprocates and that both of you are the better for it.
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