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The First 180 Days:
A First-Year Teacher and Her Mentor

LaurieKim CenterKimberly Johnson, a recent graduate of the University of North Dakota (UND), is a first-year English teacher at Valley Middle School in Grand Forks, North Dakota. As one of three new teachers participating in the district's "Middle Level Resident Teacher Program," Kimberly is also pursuing a master's degree in education at UND.

Laurie Stenehjem, a graduate of North Dakota State University and a teacher with more than 25 years experience, is a mentor for the Grand Forks Middle School Resident Teacher Program. She also teaches a class at UND on exploring teaching and supervises student teachers. Laurie is Kimberly's mentor teacher at Valley Middle School.

Click here to go directly to Kimberly's first journal entry or here for Laurie's first notebook entry.

Do you have comments, questions, or advice for Laurie and Kim? Would you like to talk about your own experiences with mentoring? Share your thoughts on "The First 180 Days" message board.

"The Middle Level Resident Teacher Program," Stenehjem told Education World, "is a joint project between Grand Forks Public Schools and the University of North Dakota. In the program, three fully certified first-year teachers have full-time responsibility for their own classrooms at Valley Middle School. At the same time, they take classes to earn a master's degree at UND. The new teachers are paid a stipend through the university, with money provided by the Grand Forks schools. They also receive tuition waivers from UND for most of their degree work. The teachers start their studies in June and are scheduled to graduate the following August. As part of the program, the first-year teachers work with a resident mentor at Valley Middle School and with a mentor from UND."

This year, in alternating weekly journal entries, Laurie and Kim will chronicle their experiences and share with Education World readers their individual thoughts and perspectives about teaching, learning, and mentoring! Whether you're a new teacher tackling your first classroom experience, a mentor charged with supporting and nurturing a fledgling educator, or simply an educator interested in the process and product of teacher training, you won't want to miss a word of their observations and insights!

About Kimberly Johnson About Laurie Stenehjem
August 30, 2001 September 6, 2001
September 13, 2001 September 20, 2001
September 27, 2001 October 4, 2001
October 11, 2001 October 18, 2001
October 25, 2001 November 1, 2001
November 8, 2001 November 15, 2001
November 29, 2001 December 6, 2001
December 13, 2001 December 13, 2001
January 3, 2002 January 10, 2002
January 17, 2002 January 24, 2002
January 31, 2002 February 7, 2002
February 14, 2002 February 21, 2002
February 28, 2002 March 7, 2002
March 14, 2002 March 21, 2002
March 28, 2002 April 4, 2002
April 11, 2002 April 18, 2002
April 25, 2002 May 2, 2002
May 9, 2002 May 16, 2002
May 23, 2002 June 13, 2002
June 6, 2002

Article by Linda Starr
Education World®
Copyright © 2002 Education World