Become an AAPT e-mentor
I recently discovered that AAPT has started an e-mentoring program to provide first time high school physics teachers with a experienced high school physics teacher to serve as a virtual mentor. The expectations are simple and powerful—Mentors and Mentees should be in weekly contact and mentors should offer help with “subject matter expertise, the use of technology, classroom management and procedures.”
Having been mentored by a few outstanding teachers mostly through dumb luck, and later serving as the mentor two physics teachers, I can say that the mentoring relationships I have developed from these experiences count as some of my closest and most meaningful professional relationships, years after the titles of mentor and mentee are gone.
I’m very glad to see AAPT offer this service to its members, and I certainly plan to sign up as a mentor for next year. Hopefully this is a positive sign that AAPT is beginning to see the power of social media to take professional development and fellowship among physics teachers to an entirely new level.
One other thing I’d love to see AAPT provide is some sort of online directory that would allow members to opt-in to share contact information (including blogs and twitter handles) with physics teachers, so that contacting your neighboring physics teachers in your area would be as simple as a few clicks of a webpage.