I am a new Work Experience Teacher. Who can I go to for guidance and advice about specific policies?

Question asked by member via Contact Us email:

I was hired in Jan. 2010 as a new Work Experience Teacher with Omaha Public Schools and I went through New Teacher Induction in Aug. of this year. I do not work at a school, but work at the Teacher Administrative Center in Omaha, NE. I have not been assigned a mentor, so I asked about it. I was told that I'm not a new teacher, so I don't get one. I would like to have one person I can go to for guidance and questions about specific policies. What can I do about this?
In Topics: School and Academics
> 60 days ago



Nov 13, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Good question, and I'm glad you are looking for a mentor on your own.  Personally I think teachers, especially new to the profession need to find someone they can ask questions - no matter how silly.

Since you are not at a school site and I'm not exactly sure what the Teacher Administration Center is nor what exactly you do in your current position I hope I can answer your question.  With that being said, here is some advice about how you or other new teachers can use to find a mentor.

Keep your eyes and ears open.  Whether you are in the teachers' lounge or in a faculty meeting, listen to what the other teachers are saying.  Do any of them share your beliefs or philosophy of education?  Is there anyone who is sharing their lessons?  Does anyone have a similar personality to yours?  If so, this might be a teacher who can help you.

Look through classroom windows.  No, don't be a stalker, but when you are walking down the hallway, take a peek.  Do you see any teachers who have a teaching style that you would like to emulate?

Ask the students who they think is a good teacher.  Students usually have a keen eye and know more about who is teaching them and who isn't.  Get their opinion and ask them why they think that teacher is better than the rest.

Determine which teachers have a positive attitude.  These teachers will be more likely to open their doors and help you.

Once you have figured out which teacher you think will make a good mentor, take a deep breath and ask.  Most good, professional teachers will be more than willing and flattered to help you out.  Ask them if they have time to talk with you to answer your questions - maybe over a cup of coffee.  Start slowly by asking a few of your most burning questions.  If all goes well, ask them if you can do it again in a week or so.

I was very lucky in my teaching career to surround myself with good teachers.  We were able to plan together, share ideas, and problem solve situations.  If you ask, they will help.

Welcome to the teaching profession and good luck!  I hope your teaching career will be as fulfilling as mine has been.

Barb K

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