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Find A Mentor – Again (Total Teacher Transformation Day 6)

This is an article in the Total Teacher Transformation series. Click here for a complete table of contents.

1079303_green_appleI hope that this series so far has been useful for some of you. I’m not getting an overwhelming amount of feedback specifically on the series, but I guess I really can’t complain about over 40 (non-spam) comments in the last week, even if they were not entirely devoted to the Total Teacher Transformation series.

I find that it’s always nice to get feedback when you are trying to do something important. In thinking about this, I am actually reminded of the early days of my Total Teacher Transformation back 5 years ago. I didn’t have anyone there saying, “You’re doing a great job” or “Hang in there!” It was just a sort of struggle each day to stay focused and keep in view what lay ahead.

My guess is that if any of you have started this, you continue to be somewhat frustrated especially as your awareness of the misbehavior intensifies. It’s okay! That means things are beginning to get under control finally. Because you are focused on behavior now, you are starting to see more things that have been happening all along.

It reminds me of this video:
You Think You Pay Attention? What Else Are You Missing Out On?

Today’s assignment
If you haven’t been in touch with your new best friend mentor, you need to get into the habit of doing this. Communication is the key here. Get to talking.

What do you talk about? Well, what have you learned this week? What are some of the big challenges you still have? What are some things you have found are weaknesses for you? What kind of plan can you make over the weekend to really start next week off even better than this week? Have they ever struggled to get a classroom under control? How did they go about solving it?

If you have been talking with your mentor each day, good for you! Now get out there and come up with a crazy plan to make next week even better. Continue assuming control of the classroom (always keeping the best interest of the students at heart!). You may not always feel nice when you are taking back the reins. In fact, if you’ve been out of control for long, simply saying NO may feel heartless. It’s not. Permissiveness is not strength. Being a pushover isn’t admirable either!

Be strong, be loving, and keep hope alive!

Joel Wagner
Joel Wagner (<strong><a href="">@sywtt</a></strong>) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. <strong><a href="">So You Want To Teach?</a></strong> is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.

2 thoughts on “Find A Mentor – Again (Total Teacher Transformation Day 6)

  1. If you haven’t found one because you are afraid of bothering someone, keep in mind that they may be thrilled that you ask them to be your mentor. I was quite honored to help some of the newer teachers who came up to me regularly for advice. I was able to share my experiences and hopefully keep them from making the same mistakes that I did when I first started.

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