To all potential mentors:
The Teacher Training Committee (TTC) would like to bring you up to date on the progress of the work that has been done with the Mentoring Program. The TTC is working under the oversight of the Teacher Education and Development (TED) Committee of the Federation. The TTC decided to put our efforts into a mentoring program because of the response to the input received from the survey that was taken two years ago. Nearly 80% of the respondents stated that a mentor teacher would have been of great value to them in the early years of their teaching. Respondents also strongly expressed that they would have appreciated help in applying Reformed principles to the subject areas and the work in the classroom. The TTC believed that these two objectives could be met best with a mentoring program that was focused on the Reformed principles.
Since the spring of 2018, the TTC has been working to develop a mentoring program for new teachers. Many of you were able to get a glimpse of this program through the sectional that was given by Kyle Bruinooge at the PRTI Teachers’ Convention last fall. We are pleased to announce that the first phase of this program, which we call “Walking Along-side the First-Year Teacher,” is now complete and was approved by the delegates at the Federation meeting held on April 18, 2019.
In addition to approving the Mentoring Program itself, the Federation also approved the compensation amount of $1,500 to each teacher who serves as a mentor for a new teacher. This payment was based on a formula that includes time spent in meetings, preparation for the meetings, and reporting following the meetings. This stipend will be paid to the mentor by the Federation.
NEED FOR MENTORS
Over the next few years there will be a great need for mentors to work with new teachers who will be starting their careers in our schools. This fall there will be a need for 5-7 mentors and for the fall of 2020 there could be between 10-15 new teachers in our schools. There is no guarantee that each trained mentor will have a teacher to work with each year, but the Federation would like to see as many teachers as possible be available to do this work as it is needed.
We want to make you aware of this new opportunity and to encourage those who are eligible to consider taking the Mentor Training course this summer. This program will be a full day of instruction that will take place on Friday, June 21, at Covenant Christian High School in Grand Rapids. It will include an introduction to the basic work of mentoring, the content that will be used in the program, and instruction about the practical implementation of this program in the school setting. It is our hope that most teachers who are interested will be able to be physically present for the training sessions, but we are also working to be able to deliver this program via distance learning format if that is requested. To eligible to work as a mentor teacher you must have: 1.) at least 5 years of experience in Protestant Reformed Schools, 2.) either be certified by the State in which you teach OR have an endorsement from your administrator stating the reason that certification is not current and a recommendation for the Mentoring Program, 3.) be in agreement with the contents of the Mentoring Program. We encourage you to sign up for the Mentor Training soon so that we have an idea of how many teachers to plan on and to determine if we will have enough mentors available next fall. The following link will bring you to the sign up form:
On a side note, it has always been the goal of the TTC to have teachers receive professional development credits for the work done in our programs. We are working to ensure that teachers in the State of Michigan will be able to receive credits that count toward recertification for both the Mentor Training program and the time spent mentoring new teachers. Each state’s certification requirements are different so this may not apply to everyone. The TTC will do what we can to assist those in other states as well.
Please give serious consideration to the opportunity to use your experience and knowledge to assist those who are just beginning their work in our schools. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me.
On behalf of the Teacher Training Committee,