New Teacher Treasure Hunts

by Lynn Nolan, Teacher, Nequa Valley High School & by Colette Henley, Teacher, Naperville Central High School
Both Of Naperville Community School District 203, Naperville, IL

These new teacher activities are the result of a mentoring course offered on site to the mentors. Two teachers designed this activity for the purpose of providing necessary information to new staff and opening communication lines between the mentor and the protegè.

If you use this model in its current state or modified it in some way, please provide feedback to The Mentoring Leadership and Resource Network to share your findings with others interested in implementing this activity.


This Treasure Hunt is designed to be an orientation program tool. It is OK to ask for details as you hunt.

Don't panic as you look through this packet! We tried to think of everything we thought a new teacher might need and include those things in this packet.

In reality, you won't need all of this information in week #1. Also, some of these pages we will use as guides during the "Blue and Gold Training Camp" sessions.

All of the questions do not have to be completed today. Do what you can and come back to the tasks as you have a few minutes. We want you to feel comfortable and welcomed in the new environment, not frantic!

Hints for Understanding the Chart

Filling in the Chart

When it says, "Questions to ask my mentor:"

We suggest that you use your mentor as a guide/reference to help you understand the issues raised by the charts.


Write down any of the requested information that you may already know. When you don't know the answer, try to explore the school, ask others for help, use your staff directory, or ask your mentor for help. Use this as an opportunity to get to know the "treasures" that are on our staff and available to support your success!





 Dean of Students      
 Learning Center Director      
 Attendance Clerk      
 Security Director      
 Quill & Pen Club      
 Future Teachers of America      
 Staff Social Committee      
 Assistant Principal for Instruction      
 P.T.A. Speakers Bureau      
 Site Technology Coordinator      

TREASURE HUNT #2 - Now We Are Ready to Teach

Elements of successful teaching in your lessons will not only enhance your students' skills and your daily experience, but you will also be evaluated on them. This checklist is designed to help you focus on some important aspects of what is happening in terms of instruction in your classroom, and to guide your reflection on ways you might choose to improve your impact on the students even more.

Instructional Areas to Explore 

Personal rating

1=I need help, not my strength
3=I regularly incorporate this
5=A strength, I have ideas to share


Who? Where? 

3 months later

(Rate yourself again.

How are you doing? 

 1. Weekly Calendar      
 2. Daily Objective      
 3. Anticipatory Set      
 4. Delivery of Instruction      
 5. Transitions      
 6. Use of Instructional Aids      
 7. Questioning Techniques      
 8. Checking for Understanding      
 9. Wait Time      
 10. Integrating Technology      
 11.Guided Practice      
 12. Independent Practice      
 13. Closure      
 14. Praise      
 15. Movement Around Room      
 16. Professional Goals      
 17. Co-operative Groups      

Questions to ask my mentor:

TREASURE HUNT #3 - Classroom Management

Even the best made plans can be twisted by the difficult student or the unanticipated "disaster". Knowing how to react and where to go for help can help you reduce your stress level and feel more confident when dealing with difficult situations. Doing that requires advanced planning and strategies you are prepared to use at just the right time. Need help thinking of these or planning responses for these? Remember you are not alone! Go back to you staff treasure hunt and consider the resources the school provides to support you. Also, remember your mentor.

Classroom Management:

Areas & People to Explore 



Who? Where? 

Follow-Up Check 
 1. Class rules (Policies & expectations)      
 2. Grading      
 3. Late Work      
 4. Make-up Work      
 5. Lack of Preparedness      
 6. Student Disruptiveness      
 7. How Much is Enough?      
 8. Where to Get Immediate Help?      
 9. Sending Students Out of the Room      
 10. Paper Trail (Dept., Couns., Dean)      
 11. Parent Contacts - Phone      
 12. Parent Contacts - Mail      
 13. Confrontational Strategies      
 14. Repeated Tardy Violations      
 15. Student Medical Issues      
 16. Group Work      
 17. Motivating Students      
 18. Classroom Organization      

Other questions I want to ask my mentor are:

The Mentoring Leadership and Resource Network invites you to submit other ideas for design and implementation for teacher induction programs.

Please feel free to send these to any of the directors of this network. Your input is valuable.

If you have any questions or comments about the program design or the new teacher activity, please submit these to:

Ami Hicks <>.