In Part 1, you got a glimpse into Meenoo’s work at Science Leadership Academy (SLA) and what led her to write Thrive. Today you will be introduced to more of Meenoo’s insights about how to better thrive in education.
If you were mentoring a new teacher, what advice would you share about the profession?
I’d say, find the people around you who are in love with their work. Become friends with them, ask a lot of questions, and ask for help when you need it. If you reach out, there are many people willing to help you and support you. Finding mentors is crucial. We have a tradition of mentoring in our profession: we all started teaching as student-teachers under the care of a cooperative teacher. This type of support doesn’t have to end when your fourteen-week stint in someone else’s classroom is over. Your need for support will become more apparent after you enter your own classroom and face your own challenges as an educator.
In your book, you cite both mentors and networks as crucial elements in thriving as a teacher, yet many teachers are more accustomed to working independently. Why do you see mentorship and networking as necessary?
The challenges we face every day in the classroom—finding ways to reach our students, managing grading requirements, finding resources for our learning community—can be addressed more powerfully if we band together and share resources, exchange ideas, and inspire one another. Closing the classroom door and doing your own thing robs you and your colleagues, near and far, of ideas that could be helping students learn.
You created #engchat, the weekly Twitter chat for English teachers. How have #engchat and other teacher-focused Twitter chats affected the profession?
Places like #engchat are where teachers can go to find energy and inspiration: they can send out a question, share an inquiry, or post a link to a resource easily via a relevant hashtag. When teachers curate teaching practices together and talk freely to one another, the sense of isolation is reduced.
To read a sample chapter, click here.
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