TT021 How to use mentorship to improve your teaching practice (Ask an Expert)

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Teacher mentors are incredibly valuable – they can offer classroom-tested ideas to improve your teaching practice, and emotional support as you begin your teaching career. In this episode, Michelle and Colin talk about more of the benefits of a mentor, and where to find one.

Show Notes:

  • Segment: Tactic Time [1:09]
  • Michelle’s story about the amazing mentors at her school [1:26]
  • The many helpful things a mentor can give you [2:46]
  • The importance of getting feedback and help from someone else [3:15]
  • Why your mentor doesn’t need to be in your subject area [5:47]
  • Why friendship and support at school is important [6:45]
  • Check with your union or district for mentorship programs [7:35]
  • You can have more than one mentor! [9:12]
  • Suggestions for finding mentor teachers and friends at school [9:53]
  • Segment: Your Homework [13:22]
  • Segment: Listener Question [14:31]
  • Strategies to help support students with negative self-talk [14:40]
  • Segment: Potent Quotables [17:11]
  • Send us your teaching questions! (Write us at hello@teachertactics.com) [18:20]

TT020 How to fit in volunteering, coaching, and extracurriculars (Extra Credit)

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Volunteering your time outside of class is a rewarding and enjoyable experience – but it also takes a lot of time. Colin and Michelle discuss some unique ways you can give back to your school community, and offer four suggestions for how you can get involved without taking up all of your personal time.

Show Notes:

  • Segment: Tactic Time [1:16]
  • Michelle and Colin’s first volunteer experience – and why yours was probably the same too! [1:32]
  • The expectation is often that new teachers volunteer lots of their time [3:38]
  • Five different ways to get involved at your school [4:12]
  • Four ways to get involved that don’t require a ton of time [5:57]
  • Split responsibilities to take part without as big of a commitment [8:00]
  • Why it’s important (and okay) to say no [9:10]
  • Segment: Your Homework [9:45]
  • Segment: Listener Question [10:18]
  • Be authentic with your choices of extracurricular activities – what can you do that others can’t? [11:14]
  • Segment: Potent Quotables [13:18]
  • Send us your teaching questions! (Write us at hello@teachertactics.com) [14:22]

TT019 Four ways to survive staff politics at school (Political Science)

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Staff politics can be tricky to navigate – Michelle and Colin go over four suggestions for getting along with your co-workers and remaining professional (even when it isn’t easy to do so).

Show Notes:

  • Segment: Tactic Time [1:16]
  • Tip #1: Seek permission [2:17]
  • The importance of understanding the culture of your school [4:34]
  • Tip #2: How to deal with interpersonal conflict with another staff member [5:16]
  • Why you should check with your union before escalating complaints about other staff [6:59]
  • Tip #3: Avoid gossip [8:59]
  • Tip #4: Tune it out [10:14]
  • With whom and where to do you spend your time at school? [10:47]
  • Segment: Your Homework [12:21]
  • Reflect on you patterns and routines at school [12:46]
  • Segment: Listener Question [13:24]
  • Review podcast 14 and 15 for ways to start your lessons off well [13:50]
  • How to take attendance quickly [14:53]
  • Segment: Potent Quotables [16:18]
  • Send us your teaching questions! (Write us at hello@teachertactics.com) [19:35]

TT018 Successful parent-teacher interviews (Meet the Parents)

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Meeting the parents (of your students) doesn’t need to be nerve-wracking! Michelle and Colin discuss all the positive aspects of parent-teacher interviews, and talk about what you should prepare beforehand and how you can make the most of the meeting.

Show Notes:

  • Segment: Tactic Time [1:15]
  • Why parent-teacher interviews are (almost) always good) [1:29]
  • Michelle’s first parent-teacher interview experience [2:08]
  • The four things to bring to parent-teacher conference [3:00]
  • How to work with marks-focused parents [4:30]
  • Why math teachers have a tough time at parent-teacher conferences [6:13]
  • The importance of knowing each student’s name before meeting parents [6:47]
  • The two things to know about each student before the interview [8:20]
  • How to work with concerned parents and get them on your side [8:38]
  • The importance of positivity when talking to parents [9:37]
  • Don’t forget the student volunteers at parent-teacher night! [13:00]
  • Always be selling! Tell parents about other courses in your department [13:20]
  • Segment: Your Homework [14:24]
  • Put together your parent-teacher package! [14:30]
  • Segment: Listener Question [14:59]
  • How to handle a parent who questions your teaching ability [15:35]
  • Segment: Potent Quotables [18:45]
  • Send us your teaching questions! (Write us at hello@teachertactics.com) [19:35]