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Mentoring / Collaboration

Mentoring Logs

About Mentoring Logs

Objectives, Background, etc. of Mentoring/Collaboration

TEA Mentoring/Collaboration Models

Example Submission Forms
Example of Overview of Mentoring Online Form
Example of Mentoring Team Meeting Report Online Form
Example of Mentoring Annual Report Online Form
Example of Mentoring Final Report Online Form

Goal of the TEA Mentoring Log

Loewenberg Ball and Cohen state that to have teachers investigate their practice with colleagues:

"..... would intervene in the isolation of practice, in which only the material for learning is one1s own practice. By enabling encounters with different practices, such work would broaden and diversify teachers1 knowledge and create opportunities to see new versions of teaching and learning, and to understand things differently....." (Darling-Hammond, L. & Sykes, G. (Eds.). (1999). Teaching as the Learning Profession: Handbook of Policy and Practice. CA: Jossey-Bass, p. 15)

The TEA Mentoring Log is a place for TEA parcticipants and their mentoring team members to investigate and reflect on their practice. The language used in this log is based on studies of Teacher Action Research and Teacher Professional Development programs. Like the mentoring team, Teacher Action Research is a collaboration among teachers who focus on learning from their own practice.

What are Mentoring Logs?

Mentoring Logs are reports about your close collaboration with colleagues as you explore polar science, the process of science, and paths to bring these experiences into the classroom in authentic, diverse ways.

Each member of your polar team will submit an on-line report. The report does not have to be long and the reports are not intended to be onerous!

Overview - some reflection / background questions - submitted one time

Meeting Report - reflections on each meeting; this does not have to be long!! Bullet points are welcome so long as they are comprehensible!

Annual Overview - a summary of milestones passed and goals met.

What is a "Team?"

The term "team members" is used throughout the log. A "team" can be two or more people; TEAs may collaborate with more than one team. A team is considered the group of colleagues collaborating closely to explore polar science, the process of science, and paths to bring these experiences into the classroom in authentic, diverse ways.

Why is the Mentoring Log Important?

Mentoring Logs help demonstrate the impact of TEA - close collaboration implies in-depth collaboration, investigation, reflection, and growth of all team members.

What is the Online Submission Form?

The online submission form is a file that you create and edit that contains information about your teaming efforts for the year. It is password protected. You are the only one who can change the online report. Note that they are viewable by the TEA Program facilitators, TEA evaluators, and NSF program managers. The are NOT viewable by team members or other TEAs.

How do I get my own, individual, special password?

Contact Steph. Note that the password is the same as for your Annual Report and Activities forms.

How do I use the Online Submission Form?

Log in with your individual login and password. Select either a new form or a previous form (if you have created one already). Add your report information and save it (hit the "create" button at the bottom of the form). When you select "create", the system stores your information for you. You can continue to edit / add to the form, or log off and return at a later time. When you return, request your form file and you can edit or add new information.

How Often Can I Post?

As often as you wish. Hourly, daily, quarterly, yearly...

Are the Mentoring Logs Secure?

Documentation is strictly confidential. The TEA Management Team, Evaluator, NSF, and the TEA author will have access to the team journals (but not to other team's journals). TEA team members will have access only to their individual journals.

When are Mentoring Logs due?

All aspects , including all meeting descriptions and the annual report, must be completed by January 15th of each year until you complete your mentoring responsibilities. Note that by submitting your form, you are ensuring your eligibility for attending TEA events for the following year.

You are encouraged to add the meeting reports as soon as the meeting is completed; this helps the TEA Program and Evaluators follow your involvement.

The Mentoring Log Online

Online Mentoring Log

TEA Mentoring / Collaboration Objectives

The objectives of mentoring mirror the objectives of the TEA Program. Just as the polar research experience contains a significant component of professional development, the mentoring/collaboration process is considered professional development for the TEA AND the other team members. Objectives include developing a collaborative relationship with peers to:

  • Share the depth of the research experience so that peers can build upon the TEA's experiences and be empowered to undertake investigations of their own - and to facilitate authentic research conducted by their students.

  • Work to have the research experiences inform teaching practices; science investigations in the classroom should model the scientific process and the manner in which science is conducted. This means that pedagogy and professional development (in addition to content and technology!) are a focus of the mentoring process.

  • Carry the polar research experience into classrooms in rich, engaging, and innovative ways that underscore the relevance of science and the scientific process to society and individuals.

  • Establish a growing, collaborative "Polar Learning Community" of teachers, students, school districts, researchers, and the community.

  • Why is Mentoring / Collaboration Important?

    Mentoring/collaboration is a critical component of TEA: It is a "multiplier" of the TEA experience, it reduces the cost per parcticipant invested by the NSF and increases the number of individuals benefiting in a meaningful way (NSF must adhere to the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) of 1993).

    Few individuals will have the opportunity to parcticipate in research experience programs. Sharing TEA experiences informs science teaching practice.

    Mentoring a few individuals in a concentrated manner, rather than several individuals in a cursory manner, helps transfer the depth and richness of the experience (e.g., combats the "mile wide, inch deep" analogy).

    All individuals involved in the collaboration grow personally and professionally.

    What are the outcomes of Mentoring / Collaboration?

    The outcomes of these collaborations are anticipated to be unique to each team and fulfilling to all team members. There are as many models for successful collaboration as there are teams! Remember to concentrate on the sharing of content, pedagogy, and technology - and enjoy your collaboration!

    Possible Models for Sharing the Research Experience

    Always remember that you are part of a very supportive community - a community that is there when you need some fresh ideas, have something to share, or just want some ears to listen.

    Think: Pedagogy / Content (and the Process of Science) / Technology !

    Think: Data to Information to Knowledge to Understanding to Wisdom

    1) Establish goals: the goals of the team members for themselves; the goals of the TEA for themselves; and the goals of the TEA for the team members. These should be recorded in detail at the start of the TEA's and team member's journals.

    Why is sharing the polar research experience important to the TEA and the colleagues? How will this be accomplished and measured? What personal and professional growth is desired by the parcticipants? It is hoped that this is a rewarding professional development experience for ALL involved; how can this happen? Discuss these goals and revisit periodically.>

    2) Clarify roles. What do the team members expect of the TEA? What does the TEA expect of the team members? What are positive forms of feedback for all parcticipants?>

    >3) IMPORTANT: Alert Steph to the presence of the team members - provide contact information. The Protege's are TEA Associates - they will be added to the TEA Mailing List and kept informed of all national and local TEA events. Team members are encouraged and welcome to use the TEA Web Page. Network, network!>

    4) The TEA may wish to host collaborative working sessions that include the TEA and the two three team members. These meetings can occur in an extended workshop format, in a monthly or weekly meeting, or in another format that works well for the parcticipants.>

    5) Assist the team members in becoming familiar with the TEA Web site. If the TEA already has been in the field, encourage the team members follow (and have their students follow) a TEA currently in the field. Have the team member and his/her students develop questions about the field work and correspond with the TEA to learn more.>

    6) Expand the science knowledge of the parcticipants. Investigate topics together. The TEA should share their parcticular research experience and personal impressions of conducting research. Perhaps each session starts with a discussion of recent polar research investigations or events in the news collected by the parcticipants. Perhaps the questions from the journals trigger investigations by the parcticipants.>

    7) Reflect on the process of science - not just the science content. How was the scientific process evident in the TEA's own field experience? How can this experience be leveraged to bring the process of science into the classroom? How can authentic research be conducted in the classroom? What is authentic research?>

    8) Invite a local researcher to be part of a session or workshop. The researcher can provide feedback on the content of classroom materials.>

    9) Ask the team members to select a TEA activity and critique it for content and pedagogy. This can serve as a jumping off point for discussion about bringing research into the classroom in a meaningful way - i.e., in a manner consistent with the TEA's own field experience.>

    10) Develop classroom activities. How can the topics be transferred into the classroom? Are they appropriate for the classroom level? How do they integrate with local science standards? How can the topics be made hands-on and inquiry- based? How can the learning be assessed?>

    11) Identify data and resources that are available to use in the classroom. How might these be incorporated in meaningful ways?>

    12) Have the TEA visit the classroom to share the TEA experience with the students. How should the students be best prepared for the interaction? What materials, resources, activities should be introduced before, during, and after the TEA visit? Debrief as a team after the visit. What did the visiting TEA observe in the classroom? Did the TEA model solid teaching practices? What exceptional teaching practices were displayed? Where might the team members consider focusing further? Have the team members present to the TEA's classroom; continue the discussion of teaching practices and implementation.>

    13) Bring authentic research experiences into the classroom. How can these best be implemented? Can these be based on the polar research experiences? Can "local" research experiences be tied to the polar investigations? >

    14) As a team, document collaboration of the mentoring team. Can collaboration be extended into the classroom? How does it impact the students? The teachers? Discuss the observations of the group.>

    15) As a team, document the student reaction and learning in the classroom. Are the students in the roles of investigators? Do they use the scientific process? Do they see that science is a human endeavor? Discuss the observations of the group.>

    16) As a team, discuss the professional growth of the teacher parcticipants. How have the team members changed their teaching practice?>

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