As a mentor or mentor teacher there is a body of knowledge about learning to teach that a staff developer needs to understand in order to provide constructive assistance to their mentees. Beginning with this post, we will share some of that knowledge base.
For example, when working with novice or fist year teachers it is important to understand the kinds of instructional and classroom management problems that preoccupy their thinking.
Fortunately, *Simon Veenman (1984) did a study on the most perceived problems of novice teachers, and below you will find the eight categories of greatest concern.
Most Frequently Perceived Problems of Novice Teachers
Simon Veenman (1984)
Rank Order Problem
1 Classroom discipline
2 Motivating students
3 Dealing with individual differences
4 Assessment students’ work
5 Relations with parents
6 Organization of classwork
7 Insufficient materials and supplies
8 Dealing with problems of individual students
Whether or not these issues represent the current order of concerns perceived by pre-service and novice teachers, these problems are very likely to be presented to you as a mentor.
HERE ARE THREE QUESTIONS FOR YOU:
1. WHAT IS THE MOST PRESSING PROBLEM YOU ARE FACING AS A BEGINNING TEACHER?
2. HOW TO DO PLAN ON HANDLING THIS PROBLEM?
3. AS A MENTOR, WHAT INFORMATION WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUR MENTEE ABOUT THESE PRESSING PROBLEMS?
I welcome your comments on these questions on this blog or http://richarddsolomonsblog.blogspot.com/
* Veenman, S. (1984). Perceived Problems of Beginning Teachers
. Review of Educational Research, 54(2).