Making the Case for Mentorship

Published: 
May 14, 2019

Source: eJewish Philanthropy

 

One very powerful weapon in our educator support arsenal is mentorship, part of the larger framework for supporting new teachers that is provided by our partnership with the Jewish New Teacher Project (JNTP) of New Teacher Center (NTC). At Yeshiva University High School for Boys (MTA), each new teacher is paired with an experienced teacher who serves as their mentor for the entire school year. JNTP engages our experienced teachers in an intensive 2-year mentor training program and works with participating new teachers in ongoing workshops both in person and online.

But the bulk of the growth happens in the regular weekly mentor-new teacher meetings and observations that are part of the JNTP program. These meetings are designed as a ‘safe space’ for new teachers, where they can share challenges and be vulnerable with a mentor who will engage them in a confidential and non-judgmental discussion. These partnerships are designed to provide the new teacher with an ally and an advocate who can help the teacher navigate the sometimes-challenging terrain of a new school. The regularity of the meetings, combined with observation data collected and mirrored back to the new teacher, provide a powerful learning cycle that can drastically impact the new teaching experience. I recently had the opportunity to meet with each of our new teachers as well as their mentors, to hear their reflections on the JNTP experience. These rich conversations have reinforced what I, as a JNTP mentor myself, have felt about the power of mentoring in positively impacting school culture and learning.

The greatest support we can provide for our teachers is to set them up for success, be it as new teachers or as emerging leaders in our school communities. This in turn makes our schools stronger, and ultimately helps us progress towards our ultimate goal, of educating and inspiring our children. Mentoring programs like JNTP that offer a well-developed structure that can be shared with many schools are valuable investments because they provide a variety of pathways to help provide this support.

Read the entire article at eJewish Philanthropy.

  

Updated: May. 28, 2019
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