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Headshot Young Girl

Tina Nunez


United States

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As previously stated, I am a veteran teacher. I taught for 16 years and I have been a lead member on our district’s Educational Technology Team. During this time as an EdTech Specialist I have been asked to lead a Mentor Teacher Professional Learning Classroom, which entails me providing professional development specifically to mentor teachers who bring their PD back to their newer teachers. My class provides six sessions a year dedicated to offering ideas and strategies using digital tools. For each session, I focus on one of the stages that first year teachers go through their first-year of teaching, which are anticipation, survival, disillusionment, rejuvenation, reflection and anticipation. The feedback I hear from the mentors is that despite mentors focusing on assessments, behavior management strategies and lesson plan examples, beginning teachers continue to feel overwhelmed. Beginning teachers are struggling with maintaining student grades, adhering to professional development requirements, differentiating, data driven instruction and organizing their workload. The main challenge I encounter is the hesitation of mentor teachers fully passing on the tools and strategies I provide to their beginning teachers. All the mentor teachers say that they recognize the value, but fear that their already burdened beginning teachers might see these resources and ideas as just another thing on their plate. They feel EdTech will become even more overwhelming for their beginning teachers. My goal with technology has always been not to add to a teacher’s workload, but to help alleviate it. I aim to deliver PD that both the mentors and new teachers find practical and eager to implement, however it feels like beginning teachers need more specific ideas and strategies that I’m not sure what or how to address, and therein lies my challenge.

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