It is rare for substitute teachers to have a mentor their first year (or more) of substitute teaching while it is common for permanent teachers to have a mentor their first years of teaching. As a profession, we need to change this. It is very important for all teachers to have a mentor when they first start. As you will probably be responsible for finding your own mentor if you would like one (and I highly recommend finding a mentor), here are some tips for finding a good one.
- Network. Ask people if they know of a good teacher who has experience as a substitute. Ask people if they know an excellent substitute teacher with experience. Ask someone you already know to be an excellent substitute teacher. This is the best way to find a mentor.
- Ask a principal. When you are working at a school, or even before you start, and you meet a good principal, ask them if they know of anyone who they think would be a good mentor for a substitute teacher.
- Call your union. Your union may know of someone who has an excellent reputation, or perhaps someone who already does some training for them, who could be a great mentor.
- Call your Board of Education. Many Boards of Education have New Teacher Induction Programs for new permanent teachers. They may be able to introduce you to a mentor, even though you are not a permanent teacher.
- Look online. There are many professional learning communities for teachers on social media. If you are unable to find someone in person, you may be able to find a group or a person whose blog is very informative or whose discussion board has great answers. It would not hurt to reach out in a private message to ask for help.