Veteran teachers training to be mentors to their new colleagues

Veteran teachers training to be mentors to their new colleagues
Posted on 09/24/2018

PLEASANT HILL, Calif., September 24, 2018  Recently, 36 veteran K-12 teachers were on hand for the first of three day-long workshops to learn how to become effective mentors to their newer fellow educators. Coordinated by the Contra Costa County Office of Education’s (CCCOE) Teacher Induction Program, these teachers have been matched and are now beginning their coaching practice with their participating teachers.

The CCCOE’s Teacher Induction Program is accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing as a pathway for teachers to clear their teaching credentials. The CCCOE Teacher Induction Program is a consortium of 16 public school districts in Contra Costa, Alameda, and Solano Counties. The program also serves a variety of charter and private schools in the area. The program partners with the New Teacher Center (NTC), St. Mary’s College, and the Contra Costa County Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) to provide professional development for new teachers as they transition from pre-service to credentialed teaching.

On this day, the 36 mentors who participated in their first New Mentor Training represented half of the total of 71 new mentors being trained to mentor for this new school year. In total, there are currently 188 mentors and 384 participating teachers taking part in the CCCOE Teacher Induction Program. Teacher Induction Program Coordinator Debra Sioui says, “Most participating teachers complete the program in two years. Mentors and teachers meet weekly to collaboratively reflect, plan, and assess current practices.  Teachers work together with their mentors to set goals for professional growth and develop an inquiry based on the needs of the teacher and the teacher’s students. Part of this process includes time for mentors to observe teachers working with their students in their classrooms in order to provide supportive feedback. Mentors are trained to provide “Just-in-Time” mentoring support geared to meet the individual needs of their specific teacher.”

Two of this day’s mentors-in-training included 2008-09 Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year finalist Andreas Kaiser (then with Pittsburg High, and now with Benicia High School) and 2014-15 County Teacher of the Year Brian Wheeler, of Alhambra High School, in Martinez. Both veteran teachers agree that assisting their new colleagues was only natural, because they both appreciated their mentors while being new teachers. Helping their brothers and sisters in education seemed to be the running theme when talking to other participants who were on hand.

For more information about CCCOE’s Teacher Induction Program, please visit their website.

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