My first school was very small and poor. Teacher turnover was high, so after my first year, there were a bunch of new teachers hired. My department chair asked if I would mind being the mentor to the new social studies teacher. Of course, I had no idea what that meant. I muddled through as you do, but years later, I found this .PDF document and wished I had it back then. It clearly explains the benefits of mentoring programs.
I was a new department chair and not supposed to be creating programs. Yet my administrators put me in charge of a mentoring program that was underdeveloped and floundering. I needed to mentor and retain new faculty, but the system was practically absent. No one knew how to do that. That’s where documents like this came in handy. It outlined what a successful program looked like. Even though I couldn’t officially create anything, I could use this to make it happen anyway.
Peer mentoring can be powerful. Yet many teachers are reluctant to do it. I sure was. Who am I to tell someone how to teach when I’m barely keeping my head above water as it is? Thankfully, I eventually found an AP who knew what she was doing. She made it mandatory for all teachers to read this case study about mentoring for technology use by teachers. It helped me feel more positive about doing it, and it helps reduce resistance from my colleagues.
I stumbled across this article recently when trying to help an old friend. As with my first school, his was facing considerable turnover. He had been asked to mentor two new teachers but had no idea what that would look like. While this article is technically for colleges, it helped my friend figure out something to do. A few ideas talk about grants (right, like where is that money coming from), but some such as problem-solving lunches require almost nothing.
This old site still has the data I needed when I started mentoring. Yes, it’s a bit outdated and not easy on the eyes, but some of the advice is amazing. My favorite has been helping new teachers go from novice to actual teacher. New faculty members are often just trying to survive, and this article explains how to help them do that.