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Home : 2002 : Oct : 6

    Mentoring was a big disappointment...
    By sue d.

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    I've shared this vent before, but had to empathize with your particular situation. I had been teacher six years also, and was chosen by my principal to take a mentoring class called, "Lead Teachers." Once completed, I would be a paid mentor, $500 for the year.

    I guess I had had a big ego, but even from my first year, teaching had just seemed natural for me and parents were pleased. I couldn't forsee my mentoring disaster! I got a 20-year old goof-ball (I am young too, so that's not a slam) with a sugar-sweet voice that went up to a shrill shriek when trying to talk with third graders. She would often cry uncontrollably in front off her kids, and her kids were always crying and confused about assignments, rules and other projects.

    I spent HOURS AND HOURS a week trying to help her. She literally refused help, telling me that she wanted to try all of the systems she learned in college (all at once), and almost caused several major disasters at the school. She would always start out at our meeting by telling the other teachers on our team that, "...unlike most teachers, I really want to teach reading and writing in MY class, so I'm doing this special project..." The problem was that we were all award winning teachers with great classes, high test-scorers and happy kids/parents. Every time she made comments like this at meetings, I just cringed, wishing I could just tell her that the principal had already come to talk with me about how to help her with her teaching skills and to get her to teach our curriculum. Her kids were doing ABC sheets and ours were reading novels and learning multiplication! Here she was with a B.A. in teaching only, and she was bragging constantly, to everyone. Her newsletters had countless spelling/grammar errors, and words were often misspelled on the board. There were psychological problems galore!

    I will NEVER mentor again, unless I can meet the person first. The scary thing is that this girl did not communicate, wouldn't take suggestions, and didn' have the skills to back up her claims. She was not rehired, based on five evaluations which she had opposed showing me beforehand, even though that was one of my duties. "It was a tried and true lesson that she wrote in Teaching 101." Look out fellow teachers, she went back to school on full scholarship for an administration degree! She could be a principal one day!!!!

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