What Participants Are Saying

What Participants Are Saying

Narrative Highlights from Beginning Teacher Surveys

What mentored teachers say is the biggest help from their mentors:

“The most beneficial has been ensuring that my instruction is differentiated, equitable, and culturally relevant.” Beginning Teacher 2014

“Being able to reflect on my teaching strategies and the effectiveness of those strategies. When things were not working my mentor and I would figure out ways to make teaching and learning effective.” Beginning Teacher, 2012

"My mentor and I were able to come up with good modifications to lesson plans and able to think about all student abilities while planning and teaching.” Beginning Teacher, 2012

“Helping to analyze student work.  Lending ideas and support for lessons and behavior management.” Beginning Teacher, 2014

“Helped me understand data and create growth goals as opposed to achievement goals.” Beginning Teacher, 2014

“Helping to analyze student work and identify teaching strategies that are most effective.” Beginning Teacher, 2014

How mentors help beginning teachers adjust to their new career path:

“She really helped me understand how students' lives outside of my room affect their performance inside my room.” Beginning Teacher, 2014

“She helped me navigate the intense political issues at this school district. I would not have finished the year without her support.” Beginning Teacher, 2014

Comments on student instruction support:

“My mentor has helped me deal with low level readers in my classroom. I have had improvement in the reading and writing skills of a few students.” Beginning Teacher, 2014

Helping to analyze student work.  Lending ideas and support for lessons and behavior management.” Beginning Teacher, 2014

She has helped me work on my differentiation skills throughout the year to better serve my students.” Beginning Teacher, 2014

“Many of the activities and suggestions from my mentor have to do with engaging different types of student learners, and I have seen improvement from those specific student learners that I have been targeting over the past few months.” Beginning Teacher, 2014

“By helping me design lessons that aid in student learning she has helped with student growth.” Beginning Teacher, 2014

“Managing a large classroom (34+) students, I have needed specific ideas that would allow me to create a classroom that was both manageable and conducive to small group work and whole group instruction.” Beginning Teacher, 2014

“My mentor helped me plan a reading lesson centered on using the strategy compare and contrast. The exit slip used at the end of the lesson provided data that most of my students did in fact meet my learning objectives for the lesson.” Beginning Teacher, 2014

Stories of Mentored Teachers

Melissa Steinman - Third Year Science Teacher

“Without my mentor I would probably be leaving the district, and maybe even the profession” a statement made by Melissa Steinman when asked about being mentored. Beginning teachers often feel overwhelmed with their first classroom teaching experience.  The need to learn how to balance the range of students as well as the various teaching responsibilities maximizes their brains and capabilities. Having a seasoned teacher as a mentor helps to ease this situation and accelerates beginning teachers to the point that many school district administrators remark that they demonstrate teaching strategies of a veteran teacher who has been in the field for 6-10 years. Melissa shared her mentor helped to ignite the fire she brought into teaching about science that then lead to increased student learning.

Steinman was drawn to Lincoln County School District because being mentored is part of beginning teachers’ and beginning administrators’ contracts. She became a teacher after serving in the military for eight years, which included three deployments: one to NY days after 9/11, one to Guantanamo Bay Cuba, and the last one to Iraq.

Prior to coming to Lincoln County she had accepted a teaching position in a different state that had a mentoring program for beginning teachers; however it was not supported or effective. At the end of the year she thought long and hard about leaving teaching, but wanted to give it another chance. Finding Ed Brand, Coordinator for the Oregon Troops to Teachers Program and Lincoln County School District was the right combination for Melissa. Brand’s job is to track and advocate for people like Melissa who have a desire to teach, as well as the professional preparation.

After completed two years of being mentored in Lincoln County SD Melissa is in her third year of teaching and accepted the added responsibility of being the athletic director.

Clint Rodreick - 2014 Oregon History Teacher of the Year

“I really like his teaching methods. They are different than some of the other teachers. He gets us thinking.” These words spoken by a student were focused on Clint Rodreick, a history teacher for Phoenix-Talent School District. Mr. Rodreick was chosen as the 2014 award recipient of the Oregon History Teacher of the Year. This honor and recognition begins when a group of Oregon education professionals reviews a list of potential teachers who may meet the criteria leading to the final winner. (The award is part of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History competition that results in a National History Teacher of the year.)

Rodreick is in his seventh year of teaching in Phoenix-Talent and was part of the ODE Mentoring program when it was first funded by the legislature in 2008. His teaching career began at Pacific University, Forest Grove, where he learned to develop his classroom approach. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s of arts in teaching at the university. When hired into Phoenix-Talent SD his mentor helped to foster his skills and abilities to encourage students to think independently and through a variety of lenses in order to question the world around them.

When asked about his favorite lessons to teach students, Clint stated “the philosophical concepts of moral absolutism and moral relativism and having them read excerpts of what people in history said or did and whether their actions were more relativistic or absolutist.”  The point of the lesson is for kids to view history from two different perspectives and realize that the discussions today still center around to what extent is it ever appropriate to judge other cultures or societies.

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