NSEA-Retired members have a wealth of practical expertise in the classroom while NSEA student members start off with virtually no practical classroom experiences let alone expertise.
What is Intergenerational Mentoring?
The NSEA-Retired Intergenerational Mentoring Project brings together NSEA-Retired members and student NSEA members in their junior year in teacher education. NSEA-Retired members act as mentors to the student members from their junior year through their senior student teaching semester and their first year as professional teachers.
The relationship between the mentor and the student is a non-judgmental, non-evaluative one. The mentor can help the prospective teacher get through the tough day-to-day moments and challenging situations that every student teacher and every first-year teacher faces. Through telephone, e-mail, and face-to-face conversations, the student knows he or she has an experienced mentor to ask for an idea for a lesson, a hint for handling a discipline problem, or a trusting shoulder to lean on.
History of the project
In 2003, NEA-Retired leaders invited five states to send two retired and two student members each to Reno, Nevada, to be trained for the an Intergenerational Mentoring Project. Nebraska was one of the states in that initial group. NSEA-Retired members Ruby Davis and Joe Higgins and SEAN members JoLynn (Funk) Julius and Marta Walker attended.
After Reno, Tom Black, NSEA-Retired President, and Maureen Nickels, NSEA Staff Liaison for the Retired, quickly committed leaders and resources to begin the project in Nebraska. Gary Osborn, NSEA Staff Coordinator for the Students joined the Team and together NSEA-Retired and SEAN leaders worked to find volunteer retirees and students to participate in the Intergenerational Mentoring Project.
During the first year the Nebraska team organized retired-student teams through Midland Lutheran College, University of Nebraska at Omaha, and St. Mary's College. After a successful experience and with the assistance of an NEA-Retired grant, the Team, in its second year, included Nebraska-Wesleyan University in Lincoln and matched a new group of retirees and students. This year the team went to the University of Nebraska at Kearney area.
How can you help?
To continue this very successful project, the Team needs retired teachers who still want to work with young people and who want to continue their contributions to public education to volunteer for the program.
If you are interested
Contact Maureen Nickels, Maureen.Nickels@nsea.org or 1-800-742-0047, for Application Brochures.
If you have questions
Remember all the help you had when you began teaching?
Now this is your chance to "complete the circle" by helping a future teacher!