It’s the first day of our 4 and half day mentor training. Once again I’ve been handed a copied BINDER (a really huge one) of all the Powerpoint slides to be used in the presentation for the day. I wish, wish, wish more people knew how to post their Powerpoints online using Slideshare or even just posting the whole file to a webpage. I’m certain that I will probably not look at most of these slides again as the year progresses.
Now on to the pros of this day so far! I’ve been forced to go back and think about my own first year of teaching. It’s been awhile. What I most remember is feeling completely overwhelmed and disconnected. Being a music teacher is hard because often there is only one of us in a building. So who do you talk to about what’s going right and wrong in your room? But what I’ve discovered today is that even if there are 4 other teachers of your variety in your building there is still a pretty high chance you will feel isolated unless someone in your group makes a concerted effort to include you. No wonder we need a mentoring program!!! So there are things I need to do this year to help make my protégés’ first and second year easier to navigate. First I need to make sure they know where all their stuff is and where they can go to get supplies that they may be missing. Part of my job will be to help them make connections in all the buildings they work in. I do think I’ll have many problems with anticipating their needs but I might have issues being forward enough to let them know when I begin to see things going awry. I can tell this is going to be a year for learning for all parties involved!