Over 600 mentors and induction program leaders gathered in Palm Springs, California, in early December to share, learn, teach one another, and network at the 3rd Annual California Induction Conference. Denise, Julie, and Ronda, pictured above, did all that and even found time for fun as well. Denise Duewell is the Induction and Professional Development Coordinator in Turlock USD and Ronda Munoz is the Induction Program Specialist in Ceres USD. Julie McVicker, Just ASK Senior Consultant, is coaching both of these induction program leaders in the design and delivery of their district’s programs. This work is custom designed to match district needs and aligned with the comprehensive requirements of California’s credentialing and induction processes.
In the Interest of Equity, Engagement, and Empowerment
The 3 Es (Equity, Engagement, and Empowerment) are definitely front and center issues for all educators today. I am currently writing a book tentatively titled The Journey to The 3 Es. Because I am so invested in thinking about these aspects of our work, I have decided to include a small chunk of my thinking in each 2020 issue of the Mentoring Memo. This month’s memo kicks off that area of emphasis.
There simply is no better way to build relationships with students and create engaging learning experiences than to provide an equitable learning environment and empower ourselves and our students to excel as intellectually curious, informed, and compassionate people.
Paraphrasing Dr. Morris Massey, it is to be expected that we are what we are based on where we were when. This means that each of us, mentors and new teachers alike, have to be purposeful in continuing to learn and grow beyond the confines of our own personal experiences, the lives we have lived and are living. We have to know the history, values, successes, and struggles of the community and the families we serve as educators. We need to know what they are experiencing, seeing, hearing, and hoping, which is for them like with us. based on where they were when and are now.
How can teachers advance The 3 Es in their day-to-day work endeavors? How can they know more about students’ lives, heroes and heroines, interests, joyful moments, worries, and dreams in order to incorporate that kind of information into their planning and interactions? According to what I know from research and my own personal experience, the answer is straightforward… ASK THEM! An important role of mentors and coaches is to support and advise new teachers as they work to acquire and purposefully use this new found knowledge in stories, examples, math problems, science experiments, reading choices, processing opportunities as well as in reality-based formative and summative assessments. Dale Carnegie’s wise words, “Knowledge isn’t power until it is applied” apply not only to our students but to us as well.
Visual Tool Alert: Edutopia’s short clip titled “The Power of Relationships in Schools” is a great tool to use to communicate this important message. Access it at www.edutopia.org/video/power-relationships-schools
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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?