Messages for Mentors
In this Just ASK video, new teachers who have just finished their first year of teaching provide an inspiring collection of comments culled from hundreds we’ve collected. It is designed to celebrate all that you do to support these new teachers. Enjoy it yourself and then share it with colleagues.
Words of Advice for New Teachers
This 13 minute video clip is a component of one of the DVDs in Just ASK’s TL21 DVD Collection. In this segment, Shari VanderVelde, 4th/5th grade teacher at Orchard Avenue School, Grand Junction, Colorado, is interviewed by Just ASK Senior Consultant Brenda Kaylor. Shari provides thoughtful and provocative responses to Brenda’s reflective questions. Brief classroom episodes add visual reinforcement for Shari’s comments.
Questions Brenda asks include:
- How do you coach beginning teachers in terms of the world of planning?
- What is the secret to success with formative assessment?
- What about the classroom environment, the structure of what is on the walls, how you arrange tables, chairs, desks, and bean bags. That is, how do you set up the room as a learning place?
- In a learner-centered classroom, what is the role of the student?
Three of Shari’s great tips are:
- Everything I’m doing in my classroom all day long leads to formative assessment. If I’m asking kids a question during a focus lesson and I’m listening for their answers, that’s a formative assessment because it provides me with information about what they know or what they don’t know.
- I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been disappointed in the quality of talk. But that just means that I need to backup and do a better job of teaching how to engage in good talk.
- The environment is crucial. I’m spending all day there so I would like it to be comfortable and welcoming and the kids are spending all day in there with me so I’d like it to be comforting and welcoming for them as well.
When you use either the video clip or the adapted transcript as a professional learning tool, processing options include having participants (or your mentee if you are working with one individual)
- work in pairs and discuss the questions and write their own ideas about possible answers to each of the interview questions before they view or read the questions. (If working with just one person, provide a list of the questions in advance so that he can consider possible responses to each question and be prepared to discuss them with you.
- use a three-column chart to record the tips Shari provides as either validations of their current practice, a strategies they are working on putting in place, or good ideas that might have strong possibilities for their own instructional program. Have them share their responses and then select one of the “good ideas” to try within the next week,
- complete “aha” and “?” cards to submit as “tickets to leave.” You can then use the “?’ cards to start your next session or discussion.
Mentoring Words of Wisdom
Clarifying the Roles of Principals and Coaches
This Just ASK clip features a school principal, an induction coach, and a novice teacher from St. Vrain Valley School District, Longmont, Colorado. You will hear them discuss how they work as a team to ensure not only high levels of student learning, but purposeful professional learning for the new teacher. Always a tricky relationship, it is helpful to hear from not only the principal and the coach, but also from the novice teacher, about the importance of trust and confidentiality. Enjoy these Mentoring Words of Wisdom and share this clip with your colleagues.
Mentoring Words of Wisdom
Interviews with Coaches and Novice Teachers
This Just ASK clip features three sets of novice teaches and their coaches explaining how their year-long collaboration has made each of their professional lives richer. The first interview features a high school English team, the second a middle school science team, and the last, a second grade team. These Mentoring Words of Wisdom from induction coaches about how they make their coaching decisions and the novice teachers’ words of appreciation for that coaching work and the impact it has made on their professional practice are cause for celebration. Enjoy this clip and share it with colleagues. These professionals from St. Vrain Valley School District in Longmont, Colorado, clearly communicate the power of high quality support for novice teachers.
Check out three Points to Ponder clips available on
Just ASK’s YouTube Channel!
One of these Points to Ponder clips would make a perfect “sussie” (aka unexpected surprise) to send protégées, mentors, other colleagues, or friends in celebration of birthdays or holidays or to make an ordinary day special. They are also great as closings to meetings or workshops. These collections of inspirational and often humorous pearls of wisdom from men and women through the ages and set to enchanting music were selected to promote smiles, nods, and reflection.
Just ASK Mentoring Statistics
- Over 7,000 educators involved in mentoring work have attended one of our national institutes or our district-based mentoring workshops
- Over 850 of our award-winning Mentoring in the 21st Century® Resource Kits and New Teacher Professional Development Kits are being used in districts across the country.
- Over 600,000 mentors and novice teachers have in their hands our The 21st Century Mentor’s Handbook or our new teacher’s book Why Didn’t I Learn This in College?