MSCS Scribes is education news from the education experts: our faculty! We’re excited to share this article from one of our MSCS Scribes, teacher Kenneth Gunn.
Mentoring is a word that is used regularly in Memphis-Shelby County Schools. There is no specific manual that teaches the exact pedagogy or ideal classroom procedures; hence, the call for veteran teachers to mentor new teachers.
Mentoring is a hallmark of the profession. As more teachers join the District from privately-funded teacher education programs instead of the traditional university path, one-on-one mentoring helps veterans and new professionals find common ground.
The strong relationship between veteran and new teachers has had a positive impact at Kingsbury High School. Veteran teachers have embraced the energy and innovation the new teachers bring, while the new teachers value the wisdom from their experienced colleagues.
“I am so grateful for the guidance of Ms. (Randa) Toutio,” said Quanshe Moore, a first-year Spanish teacher at Kingsbury.“She ensures that I understand the academic standards and she is right across the hall when I need her for questions concerning the delivery of the lessons,” Moore said.
Moore, who has a degree in political science and Spanish from the University of Memphis, is currently completing the University’s Teacher Education Program.
Gina Iovinelli, another first-year Spanish teacher at Kingsbury, said, “I am forever grateful for all the veteran teachers who have helped me grow and develop my skills. They have had my “back” since I first walked through the door.”
She added that the support she gets from veteran teachers varies, from art supplies and creative assignment ideas from Marcus James Watson to the selfless coaching from Paola Santamaria, who “has taught me everything that I know about teaching.”
Iovinelli’s peers going the extra mile have eased into a new profession. “Sometimes there are some difficult days,” she said, “but they always provide me with that veteran teacher wisdom."
About the Author:
Kenneth Gunn is a Psychology teacher at Kingsbury High School. When he’s not teaching, he enjoys cooking.