The Great Neck School District provides a program of mentoring for teachers holding Initial Certificates in their first year of teaching. The purposes of mentoring are to offer support, ease transition from preparation to practice, and increase the skills of new teachers in order to improve student achievement in accordance with New York State Standards.
1. Mentor Selection: a. To be considered eligible for appointment as mentors, applicants must be tenured and have completed the District’s mentor training workshop and refresher courses as needed. b. Each principal and Building Representative Committee (BRC) will be provided with a list of trained, eligible mentors in their building. c. Mentors will be selected by the building principal and the BRC (and department head, if applicable), and must have demonstrated mastery of teaching skills, content knowledge, and interpersonal relations. d. Preference in selection will be given to those who teach at the same grade level or who teach the same subject, as appropriate. e. If more than one qualified mentor is eligible for a particular assignment, the principal and the BRC shall make a joint decision, based on consensus.
2. Role of the Mentor: a. The mentor’s role is one of guidance and support. b. The mentoring relationship “should be characterized as professional, flexible, trustful, mutually educational, and entailing sustained, frequent contact” (NYSED, Office of Teaching). c. In order to create a trusting, collegial relationship, the mentor will maintain confidentiality with regard to information obtained through interaction with the new teacher. d. The regulation specifies the following exceptions to the confidentiality rule (when withholding the information may pose a danger to the health or safety of students or staff; when the information emerges that the new teacher has been convicted of a crime; or when the information raises a reasonable question regarding the new teacher’s moral character.) e. Mentors will neither evaluate new teachers nor will they advise their supervisors in any way with regard to evaluation or employment decisions.
3. Mentor Training and Preparation: a. All teachers who wish to be considered as potential mentors must complete an 8-hour workshop offered by the Great Neck Teacher Center. The workshop includes training in, but not limited to, the study of the theory of adult learning, the theory of teacher development, the elements of a mentoring relationship, peer coaching techniques, and time management methodology, etc. Inservice credit will be awarded according to the collective bargaining agreement. b. Mentors will also bring to the task the skills they have acquired through prior inservice, the Great Neck Teacher Center, NYSUT, university, and other relevant staff development experiences. c. A 2-hour mentor refresher workshop is offered to keep trained mentors up to date regarding State and local practices.
4. Mentoring Activities (may include but shall not be limited to): a. Modeling instruction for the new teacher b. Observing instruction and giving feedback c. Collaborative lesson planning d. Peer coaching/team coaching e. Orienting the new teacher to the school culture f. Preparing for parent conferences and Open House/Open School Night g. Reviewing grading practices and procedures h. Assisting with development of teaching strategies i. Assisting with development of classroom management strategies j. Reviewing State and District curriculum mandates k. Familiarizing the new teacher with building and District procedures l. Responding to the emerging needs and concerns of the new teacher
5. Time Allocation and Compensation: a. In order to provide the new teacher with adequate opportunities to derive the benefits of a sustained, ongoing mentored experience, at least 30 hours between the District’s new teacher orientation and the end of the school year will be devoted to mentoring activities, both within and outside of the regular school day. Activities that occur during the regularly scheduled school day must take place during the mentor’s lunch or preparation period(s). b. In recognition of the flexibility afforded to mentors in scheduling the time spent on mentoring, it is understood that no activities will duplicate or interfere with their teaching assignments or other professional obligations. c. The mentor will receive a stipend based on the collective bargaining agreement that is in effect during the school year in which the mentoring takes place.
6. Record Keeping: a. The mentor will keep a log recording all mentoring activities on Frontline/My Learning Plan. b. The log will include: i. The name and teaching certificate number of the mentor ii. The name and teaching certificate number of the new teacher iii. A description of each mentoring activity iv. The date and time of each mentoring activity c. At the conclusion of the mentoring experience, both the mentor and the new teacher shall certify, by signing the log, that it is complete and accurate. d. The mentoring log shall be placed in the District file of the new teacher for at least seven years from the date of completion of the mentoring, and shall be available for review by the New York State Education Department.