I started a new job this year as an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher in a new county. There were 6 rookies to the ITRT team of 23. This was a rather large number of newbies, so the ITRTs created a mentor program to help us “green horns” acclimate to the new roles we would be taking on.
The mentor program kicked-off in the summer before our official contracts began. We had a full-day of getting to know each other, learning how the ITRT team functions, and expectations for us in our new coaching roles.
We had weekly meetings with our mentors. We would alternate schools where we met to observe a lesson, learn a piece of software, talk about upcoming PD sessions, how to build relationships, etc. The weekly meetings helped me out tremendously because I had a lot to learn moving counties and positions.
About once a month we had a meeting with all of the rookies and their mentors to check-in on our progress and go over any questions. It was nice to get together with the other newbies because they were experiencing many of the same things.
The mentor relationship helped me be more successful than I could have ever been on my own without his guidance. My mentor was able to show me the ropes of how things work in the county and also on the ITRT team. I was able to share the ups and downs of the rookie year and he was there to listen and give advice. He was a coach for me – working on refining my skills, sharing knowledge, and encouraging me along the way.