Guides Support Mentors, Coaches of New Science Teachers

To help women and men who are considering becoming mentors or coaches to new science teachers, Carnegie Corporation of New York and the National Science Foundation have provided funding for two new guides published online by theExploratorium, the San Francisco-based interactive museum of science, art and human perception.

Read the press release. Read and download the guides.

The Coaching Guide contains tips for a variety of situations, including preparing to meet new teachers, establishing a rapport with them, learning how to meet their needs, advising them on equipment and materials, and setting up a classroom visitation schedule. It informs coaches about what to expect during the first visit and how to “accent the positive” and “build bridges, not walls,” when interacting with a nervous novice. Coaches are also urged to be aware of not only their own limits, but also those of the teacher, his or her students, and the school. Rounding out the Coaching Guide are suggestions for following up with the new teacher after the first visit, setting coaching goals for the first year, and revisiting the classroom.

The Mentoring Guide is aimed at experienced classroom teachers who still work full time. They provide after-school and weekend help to new teachers by holding support groups and co-leading workshops outside the classroom. The guide details how to establish and run support groups that “provide a safe place for asking questions and revealing doubts” and “encourage collegiality and group problem solving.” It provides ideas for meeting topics, such as time management and resources for students and families, and activities, such as field trips, shopping trips, and visits to members’ classrooms.