MENC 2006

Notes from the meeting of the Professional Development of Beginning Music Teachers ASPA at the April 2006 MENC Conference in Salt Lake City.


Briefly discuss the topic: define, clarify, expand upon the issues
1. Could a model be created for state MEAs to identify and train experienced teachers to offer subject specific mentoring to new teachers?
2. What if SMTE/MENC sent a personal congratulations for completion of 1st, 3rd, or 5th year teaching to congratulate, motivate, encourage, and provide continued vision?
Mentoring training at state conferences?
Written program to provide for mentors?
Email coach for mentors?
Project 2000 program for mentors (from 1987 Partnership and Process)
Local – building relationships, trust between mentor and mentee, trust among mentees, agency of teachers and their issues, raising self-efficacy of teachers as musicians and self-efficacy as educators
Enabling teachers to become reflective practitioners

Examining relationships

Difference of needs of 1st year and 3rd year mentors’
Two mentors – curriculum and resource
Must feel very safe with mentor, not be evaluative, but supportive
How to find mentors?
Volunteers? Fear to assist mentee? No time? Problems with informal nature of mentoring assignments? Need to carefully match mentor and mentees, and allow them to self select. Identify the mentors and provide training at state conference and provide follow through and support. What can we do at SMTE to support this? Provide standards, models, guidelines?

Institutional support for our students in the profession.
Peer support – Young teacher support groups.
The village needs to support the teachers.

Action Plan:
Case Studies of Current Plans
Guidelines or recommendations
Student teaching and coop teacher as first mentoring experience
Reflect on own mentors and why/how they were important to you
Students need to seek out mentors if necessary

Recommend a series of position papers topics:
Attributes of effective mentoring relationship
Coop teacher and student teacher
Benefits and challenges of mentoring for all stakeholders
How to do your own induction support
“Support” vs. “induction”
Mentoring in rural areas – alternative meeting sites
Problem – no commitment on part of state organizations to support mentoring programs. Sometimes people not interested in being mentored.

Mentoring – more listening than talking.

Developing communities for young teachers. Working with ISDs.

Things that are reasonable to accomplish:
Develop case studies of what is currently taking place.
Literature for people empowering people.
AERA as a resource for induction/mentoring.
Looking at what’s happening with music educators.
Looking at what’s happening with educators outside of music.

Can we provide resources online through MENC for mentoring ideas/resources?

state agency/arts groups that might provide resources?
ISD grant /university research grants for mentoring projects?

What can we do by April 2006?
• Identifying and describing effective models
Deb Blair – Use MENC listserve to ask teachers/universities/districts for examples of successful mentoring / support programs for new teachers. Also contact MEJ/Teaching Music.
Cathy Schmidt – look at Pathwise model for music education
Tina – look at her mentoring model/send to Deb

• Establishing a web-based clearinghouse of resources, within and outside of music education, for mentoring and support of new teachers.
Bibliography of resources/literature – Mitch and Colleen

• Series of special focus articles on mentoring in MEJ, vol. 92, this year; we would consider this to be a springboard for further position papers on this topic.

Outline of recent and current efforts to mentor/support music educators.

4 steps:
1. Develop action plans
a. Research projects, collaborative?
b. Synthesize research “outside” of music education that is of interest
c. Develop research proposals, form agendas, especially in those areas under-explored in music teacher education
d. Prepare policy or “white” papers, informed by research
e. Engage graduate students in efforts on behalf of music teacher education

2. Determine who is responsible for these actions
3. Discuss what resources will be required
4. Determine what is reasonable to accomplish before MENC in April (pre-conference session scheduled for Wed., April 19, 2006)

Design and propose a “suite” of sessions on BT mentoring for MENC 2008 in Milwaukee.

1. Panel session of “promising models” in beginning teacher mentoring
• Deb Blair
• Linda Berger, St. Olaf, and Cathy Schmidt, Winona St.—Minnesota
• Mary Schliff, Cal State Northridge, CA—LA Schools mentoring
• Tina Vartanian, Los Angeles, Beverley Hills Unified, music supervisor

2. Mentor training—cognitive coaching (Brainerd, MN), Linda Berger, St. Olaf, and Cathy Schmidt, Winona St.—Minnesota

3. Debra Hedden, UKansas, student teaching experience as a mentoring model?

4. Issues to consider—
• Are there differences in the problems faced by new teachers in city schools? In rural schools?
• Are the problems of new music teachers different than those faced by other new teachers? By experienced music teachers?
• Are there models of mentoring in other professions worth investigating?

Return to Professional Development for the Beginning Teacher ASPA main page

Return to ASPA Main Page