InClass

Fresh to the profession, beginning or new-to-district teachers aren’t always tapped for guidance and encouragement. We’re turning the tables to hear from mentors what they’ve learned from their mentees. We’ve said it before: Mentors matter. Veteran teachers can play an integral role in novice teach

Jun 26, 2018

Fresh to the profession, beginning or new-to-district teachers aren’t always tapped for guidance and encouragement. We’re turning the tables to hear from mentors what they’ve learned from their mentees.


We’ve said it before: Mentors matter. Veteran teachers can play an integral role in novice teachers’ success and even retention, but mentees can also impact educator role models.

We surveyed a group of Maricopa Unified School District mentors to see the lessons they’ve learned from their mentees. Our bet is their sentiments will you give you the warm and fuzzies to finish your school year off strong.

Aidan Balt

"My mentee taught me that we do not have to blindly accept conditions as they are. My mentee spent her first year in the profession in another state, and when she came to Arizona, she had a lot of questions about why things are the way they are. She taught me that we should question things we don't understand and actively work to change those things for the betterment of our schools."

"My mentee taught me that leadership and experience are not synonymous. One can be a leader and have very little experience. My mentee taught me that leadership takes on a variety of forms, and when you allow someone to lead, they will."

Jennifer Miller

"My mentee taught me the power of the arts. Being in a classroom where kids are 100 percent engaged with what they are learning is an amazing thing. Sometimes elective teachers aren't always brought to the table for conversations about what high school should be like, but they absolutely should be. My mentee showed me that the arts and our elective courses support the whole student and their learning in all the other content areas."

"My mentee taught me that becoming a part of the team is a game-changer. As a new member to her department, my mentee jumped in and integrated herself into her new team. As a result, she is able to truly collaborate on lesson plans and analyzing student work. Because of this relationship building, she and her team show up to school events together and the kids notice! They notice when a department is cohesive (or divided) and the time that she put into building those relationships with the teachers she works so closely with is improving student learning.”

Treva Jenkins

"My mentee taught me that humor is the key. As teachers, we can't always take it so seriously. We need to have fun in the classroom. In a math classroom, we need to work to bring laughter in so we can balance the difficulty of the concepts. Kids can access math when we make it fun and we take away the fear that is often associated with math."

"My mentee taught me the value of mentoring between teachers and students. He reminded me that just as I am a mentor to teachers, teachers are mentors to their kids. We can't forget how important it is to maintain and build positive bonds. Relationship building in the classroom of the beginning teacher is so much more valuable than we sometimes give it credit for."

As a professional role model, what have you learned from those you mentor? Leave a note in the comment box below.

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