Damen middle school
Meet Damen middle school
Damen middle school is a fictional school used to explain to you how informal group mentoring can work at a school. This use case will explain how you can use it, what type of challenges informal group mentoring can solve, and the benefits.
552 students are divided into 19 classes in the 8th, 9th, and 10th grades. The school has special educators, contact teachers, assistants, subject teachers, and leaders. It is located in a condominium with a short way to green surroundings. There are nice football fields and basketball courts on the school grounds. The school accepts students from the teacher education as co-teacher in certain periods of the year.
Reduced employee turnover
Improved student results
The challenge: Frequent changes and teachers with a low sense of achievement
The teachers at the middle school have had to deal with constant changes and are tired. They also notice a difference in the students who are tired of change. Many of the teachers quit due to the experience of constant pressure and a feeling of little achievement in everyday work.
The teachers who still work there have not had time to talk so much together lately. They do everything they can to give students the best foundation they can get and good social relationships. There are many issues that teachers face on a daily basis that they want to discuss and air. This has been downgraded recently in favor of many changes at the political level.
After a period of time, the changes began to calm down somewhat. The school leaders want to initiate a measure where the teachers have time to talk together. It is important for the school leaders that the measure is not perceived as another change or control. None of the previous measures work in the new context in which they now stand.
Informal group mentoring as teachers' own initiatives
Anna is the principal at Damen middle school. She often has contact with the other principals in the local area to hear how they solve cases. A principal colleague at another secondary school named Lene said that she had recently started informal group mentoring and recommended this to Anna.
Lene faces some of the same challenges as Anna. Therefore, Anna decides to read up on informal group mentoring at peer-it and get to know how the tool works. She meets Anna to get some more information before she decides that this is something she wants to try at her school.
Anna suggests the idea to the teachers and gets a good response. She explains why she thinks the measure could work for them and says what she expects to achieve with the measure. The teachers agree that the measure is something that could be sensible to try out.
Anna selects three group leaders who will be responsible for informing and recruiting teachers and special educators for the program. Several teachers and special educators report their interest. To keep the group size down, they decide to have 5 people in each group. They have a time frame of ½ where they will complete with their group and then evaluate before they start a new round.
Problem-solving, security, and academic discussion
Anna and the teachers have now been using peer-it’s tool informal group mentoring for half a year. The group leaders have an evaluation meeting with Anne. They say that the teachers give good feedback on the program. There are several who show interest in joining. The group leaders experience that the teachers actively listen to each other and help each other to see challenges and solutions from several perspectives.
Teachers like that they can choose what to develop. At the same time, Anne sees the effects she wanted – that the teachers who participate should experience greater mastery in everyday work and feel safer in decisions. Everyday work has changed for many. The teachers greatly appreciate the space they have been given to speak subjects and solve challenges. There is now a lower threshold for speaking subjects.
The groups have finished their first implementation and the group leaders will now start with round number two, where new teachers will be allowed to participate. Those who are chosen as group leaders think it is fun to decide who will be in the group together.
The group leaders thought it was a little scary at first, to lead the mentoring, but they quickly became confident in the role. They especially liked it when they started to see what benefit it could be for the teachers and when they are unsure of the new role, they can get support from each other.
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