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Missing my mentor February 27, 2009

Filed under: Teaching — Stephanie @ Finances & Fatigues @ 5:50 pm
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Today was a half day, 12:00 dismissal, and I still managed to be at school until 5 in the evening.  But in the evening my former mentor (we’ll call her Ellen) came in and talked a bit.  I guess I shouldn’t call her former, as she continues to be a huge help to me.  I’ve said some things in the past about her resignation, but basically she and the principal had a falling out and she decided she’d rather resign now than risk getting fired before the end of the year.  Ellen’s position has been filled by a great lady (we’ll call her Darlene) who I really like and seems to be a good teacher.  But it’s just not the same without Ellen.    So I compiled a list of all the ways that Ellen has helped me:

1. She helped me pull my classroom together. My classroom was… well… a bit of a mess.  But I think I will write about the physical space of my classroom tomorrow.  Anyways, on the day she was officially assigned to be my mentor she stayed until 6:30 and helped me pull things together.

2.  She tells me things straight, but in a nice way. Ellen will tell me the truth, but in a way that I don’t feel bad.

3.  She has excellent behavioral management. Anyone will tell you that behavior management is hard, but Ellen does a great job with it.  She is stern and holds the kids to a high standard, but she never acts like a drill sergeant or embarrasses the kids the way that other teachers at my school do.

4.  She is generous. Ellen has so much stuff it’s unbelievable.  Her classroom library rivals the school library.  Not only does she have it all, she’s generous with it.  She has given me tons and tons and tons of resources from class sets of books to teacher resources.

5.  She never stops learning. While I consider Ellen to be an experienced and great teacher, she doesn’t see herself that way.  She’s always telling me about new things she’s seen and learned and how she can’t wait to try them.

All in all, she really is a great person and I miss her very much.  I hope that we continue to keep in touch and that our paths continue to cross.