Michael Hardisky
Lankenau Environmental Magnet High School
Grades 11 and 12 Chemistry and Anatomy

Teaching Experience
18 years at Lankenau

What skills or qualities are needed for teachers to be effective in your classroom?
I choose to be a TTR mentor, because after 18 years I am tired of teaching secondary eduction and would love to teach post-secondary eduction. I have always dreamed of teaching at a university like father and step-mother do. By being a TTR mentor, this gives me an opportunity to practice teaching adult learners until my time comes to move to the post-secondary level.

Why did you choose to be a TTR mentor?
I choose to be a TTR mentor as I enjoy working with a prospective new teacher. I enjoy the dynamic interaction between two adults with the common goal of making effective, and engaging lessons.

The foundation of a positive mentor-resident relationship
The foundation of a positive mentor to resident relationship is communication and mindfulness. An example of communication is daily discussions on what the resident did well, and where the resident needs to improve. This also includes discussions on planning, organizational skills and checks for student understanding. I have even gone as far as calling my resident over the weekend to ensure that they are ready to begin the following week. An example of mindfulness is inviting my resident over the summer to come to the building, meet me and see the classroom, the building and provide the resident with an overall lay of the land. When it comes to mindfulness, one must consider what the resident is going through. Consider, if you where in there position, what would you want to know? Or have? (like keys to the classroom, or even the bathroom would be nice). Be mindful of what the resident doesn’t know and consider the best approach to teaching them that skill.

What have you learned from your previous or current mentees?
My current resident has taught me more about myself and my practice then I have ever thought possible. My resident has provided me with a perspective that I have long forgotten. My resident has reminded me how I would have changed all of the mistakes that I have made over the years, and has given me an opportunity to teacher others on how to avoid the same mistakes.

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Paula Miller
Abraham Lincoln High School
11 – 12th Grades, Physics, AP Algebra Based Physics

Teaching Experience
More than 30 years

What skills or qualities are needed for teachers to be effective in your classroom?
Professionalism, Diligence, Knowledge of content, cooperation, effective communication skills, collaborative skills.

Why did you choose to be a TTR mentor?
I choose to be a TTR mentor as I enjoy working with a prospective new teacher. I enjoy the dynamic interaction between two adults with the common goal of making effective, and engaging lessons.

The foundation of a positive mentor-resident relationship
I believe the foundation of a positive mentor-resident relationship is effective communication, strong collaboration and incorporating a reflective dimension to both past and future lesson planning. After each lesson both my mentoree and I discuss the lesson in terms of effectiveness and areas of concern. We use these reflections to design our next lesson. I share my Google tools i.e Docs, slides and forms so that mentoree knows the pathway I am going to take within lessons and mentoree has an opportunity to give input.

What have you learned from your previous or current mentees?
The mentees have both had an engineering background and they have incorporate this background into both my Physics and robotics courses. Also they are also completing educational courses. They bring to the table some of the new educational initiatives they have learned about.

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Mary A. Jones
AMY Northwest
6 Grade Science

Teaching Experience
10 years in Philadelphia School District. 6 years with AMY Northwest

What skills or qualities are needed for teachers to be effective in your classroom?
Classroom management, knowledge of content, flexibility, and a love for teaching.

Why did you choose to be a TTR mentor?
Being able to share my experiences as a teacher to help new teachers adjust to a demanding but rewarding profession was important to me. Many teachers did not have positive support systems when they were new which can contribute to high turnover. Being able to provide a new teacher with that “little something extra” while they are building their foundational skills can be invaluable in their long-term success.

The foundation of a positive mentor-resident relationship
As a mentor, realizing that your ultimate goal is to help your mentee gain the skills they need to be successful in the teaching profession. As a mentor, you also have to be confident enough within yourself to step back and allow your mentee equal space within the classroom. It is no longer “your” classroom but “our” classroom. For example, let them try out that new idea for a lesson. Offer support and be willing to work out the “kinks” together if it doesn’t work out as planned. That’s just good teaching! Give your mentee plenty of time in front of the classroom so they learn what works best for them. Be willing to accept feedback from your mentee. They may have an interesting perspective you wouldn’t have received when teaching alone. Finally, consider your mentee a rich asset to yourself and your students. Not many classrooms in the District have the benefit of two teachers in a co-teaching arrangement. Let your students and parents know this too!

What have you learned from your previous or current mentees?
Probably too many things to list here but the ones that come to mind are different perspectives of doing things, trying out different instructional strategies that may be challenging to do or maintain over a sustained period of time and just the benefits of a give and take co-teaching arrangement.

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