Home      Organizing Induction      Improving Practice   

Deciding how you will work together

You need to build trust, in the sense of mutual understanding and mutual predictability. You achieve that by talking specifically about how you will work together. Here are starts for that conversation:

Trouble is normal. School teaching is complex, subtle, and difficult work that requires us to form many useful habits over a period of years. Therefore, trouble is the normal condition of new teachers--not something to be embarrassed about.

Worth doing poorly, at first. Taking awkward first steps to master difficult teaching practices is a normal necessity for new teachers; a mentor teacher who speaks of that fact can be a great comfort to a beginning teacher.

A professional idea of mentoring. New teachers and mentor teachers can learn to work together skillfully in projects that help both to move forward in their teaching, regardless of where they are starting.

Collegial practices. Together, share and work on your teaching materials and plans. Discuss samples of student work, test results and other assessments of student learning. Make and analyze videotapes or audiotapes of your teaching. Visit each other’s classes to gather particular information and analyze it.

The value of description and interpretation. Both careful descriptions of teaching activity and a second mind helping to generate interpretations of it can be gifts from one teacher to another. Given good description and thoughtful interpretation, evaluation will take care of itself.