New-Faculty Mentor Group 

Continued from the P.C.P.D.

First and foremost, the goal of the NFMG is to help new faculty and staff members feel welcome at Penn Charter. The group is committed to helping newcomers understand the culture of the school and make connections with people and resources to facilitate a smooth transition. The NFMG is in addition to the informal mentoring from other faculty that happens all the time in classrooms, department offices, hallways and the dining hall. New faculty and staff are making connections with teaching partners and colleagues that are meaningful, while also receiving support and guidance on their classroom teaching from department chairs and division directors.

The NFMG is a small group of teachers from different divisions who are involved in a variety of curricular and extracurricular endeavors at PC. Each member of the group offers their own unique experience and perspective. This year’s inaugural cohort includes Ruth Aichenbaum, Alice Bateman, Marianne Master, Teodora Nedialkova, Jim Pilkington and Stephanie Vogel.

The group officially began collaborating during a summer work day in July 2014, when we planned the year’s activities and worked on developing documents and other resources to support the new faculty and staff members. Here is a sample of the initiatives that the NFMG put in place for new faculty this year.

  • Introductory emails were sent to all new hires in the spring and summer, including a brief introduction to the members of the mentor group.

  • The group tried to anticipate the questions newcomers would have and developed a document, called 'Everything You Wanted to Know About Penn Charter But Were Afraid to Ask,' to answer many of those questions. This document includes a PC Dictionary, guidance on dress and meetings, lists of professional development resources and a “Who Can Help” section, among other things.

  • The NFMG did a short presentation during new faculty orientation in August, followed by a social event at Timmons.

  • Stephanie Judson hosted a new faculty book discussion group in October to discuss Quaker pedagogy.

  • New faculty and staff were invited to a lunch during the November in-service day to check-in and ask questions.  

  • The Teaching and Learning Center offered workshops to target the needs of new faculty and staff. The topics have included Professional Development 101, Comment Writing, Preparing for Parent Conferences and Learning About the Yearly Reflection.

  • Members of the NFMG have taken turns sending a monthly “heads-up” email highlighting upcoming events in the school year.

  • Several new faculty and staff and the mentors attended a social event at the Falls Taproom at the end of April (see photo).

New faculty members have already shared that they appreciate having a group of mentors, rather than one individual, to whom they can turn when they have questions. They also report that the monthly heads-up emails have been “invaluable.” In fact, one new teacher has asked to stay on the email list for next year! Plans for the end of this year will include formally surveying all new faculty and staff members to determine what elements of the program were most helpful. The NFMG is also eager to work with new Academic Dean of Curriculum and Professional Development to continue to develop the program and plan new faculty orientation for next year.

Return to the P.C.P.D.

Whoever rightly advocates the cause of some, thereby promotes the good of the whole.

—John Woolman (1720-1722)

 

 


 


 


 

 











 

 

Penn Charter

A Friends School for Girls and Boys, Pre-K to 12

3000 West School House Lane Philadelphia, PA 19144 215.844.3460
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