Tag Archives: nycmenteach

NYC Men Teach Mentoring Program – BEDA Day 16 of 31

NYC Men Teach Mentoring Program

BEDA Day 16 of 31

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Greetings everyone!

Today’s post is a quick little run down of the NYC Men Teach Mentoring Program. The city is looking to provide mentoring and support services for men of color interested in entering the teaching profession. I know they’re offering guidance on the multiple entry points someone can take to get into the field. They’re also linking up new male teachers with year-long mentors to help them navigate through their first school year successfully.

Guess what? I’m a mentor! Quite a few of my peers have asked me if I was going to participate in the program. It was kind of a no brainer for me to try to get involved. Mentors have been training since about April. We’ve been to quite a few trainings, and gatherings together to get an understanding of our role and the programs goals.


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I even did some phone and email outreach to past teaching fellow applicants to encourage them to apply again for the Fellows Program. By the way, we were calling to notify people that the Fellows was looking for applicants for its December/January cohort they would be taking this year. The website doesnt speak of the application right now. BUT, if you’re interested dip over there and make an account. They definitely send email blasts when applications reopen. NYC Teaching Fellow Website.

I could go on and on about the benefits of joining the program. But if you’re here on this space, then you’re already participating in one of the biggest benefits gained. Finding my voice and learning how to stamp that shit into the space.

My Mentees!!!!

Can y’all believe I’m going to have mentees. I’ve always struggled with my mentorship. I just never quite feel like I give enough. I was at a training recently, and one of the recurring things was how many of the participants felt like the Black men in their lives didn’t show up! One place I know I’ve struggled to show up consistently has been in my mentorship. In college, I was a Big Brother/Big Sister. And… I just fell off. There’s been kats before that have asked me to mentor them and I tried, but just know it wasn’t enough. It honestly took me finding and beginning to foster my own relationships as a mentee needing guidance before I could really figure out how to start to be a good mentor! And i never feel like its ever enough. This time tho, I’m definiely tryna show up and show out!

My plan, its to not be too planned. I know the year will be ridiculous for everybody. My goal though is to create a space where they know there is a community of them, a community of us that we can depend on each other.

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Communication Tools:

Group Txt – So you know we’re all only a txt away.

Group Facebook Group – So you know you can post and share media with the group with relative easy.

 

Mentee Gatherings:

2 Meetings peer anchor (mentee) per month. My goal is to have one meeting be a community gathering. Bring us all together. The second can be an individual meeting. I’m interested to see what the group thinks about.

Some themes we can cover during our group gatherings are:

  • Curriculum Planning and Development Time
  • Group Grading Time
  • Grad School/Certification Project Time
  • Resource Sharing
  • General Group Discussion
  • Chill time w/ drinks of course
  • Sharing important DOE information/processes
  • Future Planning (in and out of the DOE)
  • School Problem Solving Sessions

A note about FREE SPACE: Well now that I know some Panera Breads offer and reserve their Community Room space, I can just call ahead and reserve space for my gatherings. This is a convenient and easy work around for your space concerns. At least here in NYC.

Just a few things that came to mind.

What do you guys think? If you were a mentee what type of support would you be looking for? To my master mentors out there are there any additional tools or services you think I should include? Lemme know!

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Houston, We’ve made Contact – BEDA Day 5 of 31

Houston, We’ve Made Contact!

(The story behind meeting my first reader)

BEDA Day 5 of 31

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So. Out of the blue.

A reader friend emailed me and asked to link up.

I was shocked man! That’s never happened before.

Like I see the numbers and the ticker behind here move with the different posts. But I never really imagined folks were reading and following the journey like that.

Part of me didn’t feel worthy. Like do you know that this is just me? Little ole me. Little Paladin from Chicago.

He said my blog had helped him through his first year teaching. And that my voice, our voices were something that was missing from the scene.

Man, I’m SO thirsty to find those voices past and present that match my own. Those voices that create the noise that I want and need to hear. The voices that break through the jungle and clear a path that help all of us grow.

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I am absolutely down to meet up and link with you bro!Tell me when and tell me where.

He was here in Brooklyn, and we set up to meet the very next day. Which happened to be yesterday.We decided on a small coffee shop here by the Brooklyn Museum. I was of course running late so I hopped in a cab, that dropped me at the corner instead of my destination. At first I was having a hard time finding the exact…. spot I was supposed to be. After a couple minutes of orienting myself I finally stepped into the deep bodied Breukelen Coffee House.

 

There at a small table sat the young black man. We shook hands, smiled, and introduced each other by our first names. I was definitely nervous. And I don’t get nervous for much.

I asked him to repeat how he pronounced his name. It was an interesting combination of sounds. But I locked it in my mind and finally felt composed enough for whatever was to follow.

My reader friend is a second year teacher. He said that my voice resonated with him as a first year teacher. I was shocked because I knew I half-way hadn’t posted, consistently, in over 2 years. I didn’t feel worthy of his praise and attention.

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I was felt smiley and giggly, and nervous and anxious, fidgety and somewhere toward the end of our 15 to 20 minute encounter I say I finally found my confidence and transitioned to my normal long winded, overly confident self. It’s kinda my thing if y’all haven’t noticed, LoL

He said my blog had answered many of his initial questions.
He had questions written in his phone.
He asked me about my thoughts and reflections as an educator.
He asked about advice I would give him going into his second year.
He asked me about the future of the blog.
To which… I shared there are immediate plans to update my online presence. 

He seemed like he had his shit to-gether!

It was so surreal y’all. So so so surreal. (Reflecting back… it’s such a blessing)

I wanna create that feeling and that connection a million times over. I wasn’t ready. Or better yet, I was caught off guard. But I will be better prepared next time.

Is it selfish of me to want y’all, my peers to have that moment a million times over, too? Pause for the people that do already. But, can’t we all do more to pave the road for our…future selves?

At one point my reader friend said that he had thought about creating a space to discuss and share his own journey. He stumbled on my blog and didn’t feel the need to do that anymore. This was actually the moment that I pulled myself out of that magical trance-like state I was in. I implored that it was still important for him to create the spaces he thought were missing.

It’s our mission. I want to challenge all my peers to do so in some way.

Leave your mark. Give us a journey we can follow.

We want to follow it!

I promise you we do.

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Message to Lil Homie: You ‘re the answer bro! You are so ready and are so powerful and knowledgeable already just even in who you are. You absolutely are giving your students the powerful education and leadership they need and deserve. Teaching gets better. But also you must get better! Perfect your learner self. Perfect your teacher self.

That Black Men’s Group you want to run. Here are the books you may want to use for programming and curriculum.

Courtland Lee, Saving the Native Son: Empowerment Strategies for Young Black Males – Has ready to go curricula for individuals looking to facilitate groups for Black men and boys of all ages.

Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me – Great Narrative that can be used to dissect and discuss America and its cultures of Blackness and Whiteness.

Keep reaching out to learn from those that inspire you. That is the move that shows me that you’re great!

Much Respect!
Paladin