Ongoing, individualized support for teachers new to Wilmette will be available from well-trained and compensated mentor teachers. Participation in the Mentoring Program is highly encouraged but is not a requirement. If the teacher decides that they cannot or choose not to complete the program, they can withdraw at any time. However, if a beginning teacher (0-3 years of experience) decides to participate in the Mentoring Program in order to move from an initial to a standard certificate, there are specific requirements from the state that the teacher must successfully complete.
Key Components of Personalized Mentoring
- High quality training for mentors
- Flexible support- all teachers new to District 39 will have access to mentoring but the length and content of the mentoring will be tailored to the individual needs of the teacher. Mentoring can be adjusted based on prior experience, skill development, and individual learning pace.
- Appropriate timing- support for teachers new to the district will be provided when it is most useful and when they can take full advantage of the help. Orientation and Academy 39 classes will be offered before the school year begins and throughout the year in time with significant events such as testing, conferences, and report cards. When possible, mentoring opportunities may be scheduled during institute days.
- Developmental philosophy-the Mentoring Program philosophy emphasizes supporting teachers’ unique developmental processes and avoiding any evaluative experiences or feedback. A “curtain” will exist between the mentor/mentee conversations and the building principal who is primarily responsible for the formal evaluation of the new teacher. The new teacher may choose to share feedback from Principal evaluations with their mentor and may invite their mentor to participate in discussions with the Principal in order to enlist the assistance of the mentor in understanding or achieving the Principal’s recommendations for growth. However, unless the new teacher initiates this contact, the Principal and the mentor will not discuss the new teacher’s progress or development.