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We ♥ all you do to support new teachers. Please share this Valentine’s Day treat with your protégées and colleagues. It features a great six-minute collection of “Quips and Quotes” set to music. It is sure to bring smiles and nods of agreement from the recipients.

In the Interest of Equity, Engagement, and Empowerment

Most districts and states include in their teacher performance criteria references to the need for teachers to build communities of learners. For example:

  • The California Standards of the Teaching Profession references “promoting social development and responsibility within a caring community where each student is treated fairly and respectfully.”
  • The Texas Teacher Standards includes “Teachers create a community of learners in an inclusive environment that views differences in learning and background as educational assets. “
  • The New York Teacher Performance Standards reads “Teachers create a mutually respectful, safe, and supportive learning environment that is inclusive of every student (as they)
    1. Are caring and respectful in their interactions with students.
    2. Embrace student diversity as an asset in the classroom.
    3. Recognize and reinforce positive interactions among students.
    4. Create a climate of acceptance and respect.
    5. Create an environment where students show responsibility to and for one another. “

As educators who are taking the lead in guiding those new to our profession, we must convince new teachers (and ourselves) of the need to be purposeful in the incorporation of community building into our daily lives. When new teachers say they can’t take the time to do it because they have so much to cover, it is essential that we assure them they will pay a hefty price of lessened engagement and learning if they neglect this important component. Then, we have to further support them with the tools to do so.  The February Tools of the Month provide powerful ways to do just that.  Two come from the Just ASK online library and the third one comes to us from Edutopia complete with video clips; it is titled “10 Powerful Community Building Ideas.” It has dynamite examples from classrooms K-12. Click the graphics below to access these tools. 

Tools of the Month

Image result for edutopia


If you have access to a copy of Why Didn’t I Learn This in College? revisit Chapter II: Creating a Positive Learning Environment. There are tons of good ideas on those pages we’d for you to recommend to your protégées. 

Don’t miss the February Mentoring Calendar and be sure to check out the dozens of resources available for your use in the Mentoring Resource Collection.



The February Mentoring Calendar

Each issue of The Mentoring Memo features the mentoring calendar for the current time of the year. The February calendar is now available. These calendars, excerpted and updated from The 21st Century Mentor’s Handbook, offer suggestions for mentoring actions to support novice teachers and teachers new to the district. When you take a look at them, you will quickly see how useful they are. Be sure to forward them to your mentoring colleagues. Post them or a link to them on your district/school website.

Download the February Calendar



Hundreds of FREE Mentoring Resources!

Click on the icons below to access amazing free mentoring resources





 Just ASK Mentoring Statistics



Just ASK is pleased to announce the publication of EmpowerED 3.2.1 an ongoing series of brief commentaries authored by Marcia Baldanza. Each issue of EmpowerED 3.2.1 features 3 Big Ideas2 Quotes, and 1 Question with lots of links to resources from different perspectives such as business and industry, medicine, athletics, economics, recreation, and parenting as well as music and the arts. The goals of Marcia’s brief commentaries are to introduce us to multiple voices we might not otherwise hear and  to advance our thinking about how this wide array of information connects with and supports our work as not only administrators but teacher leaders as well.  The response to the first issues “Hard Conversations” and “Building Relationships Based on Trust and Integrity Matters” has been phenomenal. 
We don’t think you can find a short read like this anywhere else.