Mentoring Teachers: A Solution?

There are actually several research articles that suggest mentoring is the best way to help teachers learn new technologies.  This makes sense.  Since teachers vary with their knowledge of computers and technology, holding Inservice trainings or workshops may leave some teachers bored or be too advanced for others.  By using a mentoring system, teachers can be trained one-on-one or in small groups.  Regular meetings and trainings would take place, so much more could be learned and retained than a one time professional development course.

One article I read about technology mentoring was Development of a Technology Mentor Survey Instrument: Understanding Student Mentor Benefits by Sonmez Pamuk and Ann D. Thompson.  They put a plan in action and found both mentors and mentees benefited from this type of technology exchange.  They also found that once teachers learned a new technology tool, they were quick to adapt it into their classroom curriculum.

I think this is a great idea! I think the biggest hurdle would be to get the support of administration.  Since Alabama is adopting the Common Core Curriculum, many hours professional development hours are spent training teachers on the Common Core. But if we really look at the Common Core Standards, we will see that the main goal is to prepare students for college and career in the 21st Century, and isn’t that the same goal as technology integration?

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Mentoring Teachers: A Solution?

  1. Shelly Hellums

    Lisa, I’m working on implementing something like this in my school now. I sent out a survey to find out what technology teachers were comfortable using, what technology they needed some guidance on, and what technology they used well enough to train others. I am going to take this data and pair up teachers to help each other. I am going to take whats left and create mini informal trainings that I can work with teachers during their planning time. We’ll see how it goes:)

    • I think that is awesome. Do you have the support of your administration? That is my roadblock right now. I am working on this mentoring plan to include the data from my survey, so hopefully she will see the need for next year. The best I could do this year was work with people on my own the best I could.

  2. Leslie Thorn

    I think mentoring is a great way to improve the competencies of teachers and to increase the use of technology in schools. Compared to the
    ‘regular’ classroom teacher, I have different technological needs. I would love the opportunity to work one-on-one with someone who knew more that me…I think this would be a better use of inservice time. I think using mentoring partnerships between older and younger students would also be a great way to improve the ability of students and allow them to feel more comfortable with technology (this would have to be closely monitored, but I think it would be possible).

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