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Virginia Department of Education. MENTOR TRAINING. Why Mentoring?. Retaining quality teachers Improving beginning teachers’ skills and performance Supporting teacher morale, communications and collegiality Building a sense of professionalism, positive attitude

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Why mentoring
Why Mentoring?

  • Retaining quality teachers

  • Improving beginning teachers’ skills and performance

  • Supporting teacher morale, communications and collegiality

  • Building a sense of professionalism, positive attitude

  • Facilitating a seamless transition into the first year of teaching

  • Putting theory into practice

  • Preventing teacher isolation

  • Building self-reflection

    Guidelines for Mentoring Teacher Programs for Beginning and Experienced Teachers

    Virginia Department of Education

Why mentoring

Why Mentoring?

Teacher Retention Statistics

  • 17% of teachers leave after one year

  • 30% of teachers leave after two years

  • 40% leave after three years

  • Nearly half leave after five years

    Mentoring Beginning Teachers: Guiding, Reflecting, Coaching

    Boreen, Johnson, Niday and Potts (2000)

Why mentoring1
Why Mentoring?

Cost Impact

  • The cost of replacing a teacher is 25-35% of the annual salary and benefit costs.

  • It costs $11,000 every time a teacher leaves the profession.

    Center of Best Practices of the National Governors Association

Understanding the needs of the beginning teacher
Understanding the Needs of the Beginning Teacher

  • Work in table groups.

  • Get chart paper and markers.

  • Draw a picture of what a first-year teacher looks like.

Most commonly reported problems facing beginning teachers
Most Commonly Reported Problems Facing Beginning Teachers

  • Classroom discipline

  • Motivating students

  • Dealing with individual differences

  • Parent relations

  • Planning class work

  • Evaluating student work

  • Insufficient materials and supplies

  • Students’ personal problems

  • Relations with colleagues

    Veenman, 1986

Why mentoring

Phases of First Year Teachers’

Attitudes Towards Teaching


I can!

I’m ready!








Winter Break!

Ellen Moir, UC Santa Cruz, 1990

Roles of a mentor
Roles of a Mentor

  • Resource

  • Problem Solver

  • Advocate

  • Facilitator

  • Coach

  • Collaborator

  • Learner

  • Assessor

  • Trusted Listener

  • Teacher

  • Find the role assigned for your table.

  • Generate a list of specific activities a mentor might do in that role.

  • Write one activity per Post-It Note.

Roles phases
Roles & Phases

Using your Post-It Notes, place each Post-It Note on the beginning teacher phase where you feel it would most benefit the beginning teacher.

  • Anticipation

  • Survival

  • Disillusionment

  • Rejuvenation

  • Reflection

  • Anticipation

Characteristics of an effective mentor


Think about someone who has been a mentor in your life.

Jot down what that person was like.

What characteristics made them an effective mentor?

Share with an “elbow partner.”

“The message mentors provide is twofold: You are worth my time and effort because you are a valuable human being. And I can offer you – by my word or deed, or by the example of my life – ways to expand your horizons and to increase the likelihood that you will achieve success.”

One on One: A Guide for Establishing

Mentor Programs, USDOE

Characteristics of an Effective Mentor

Building a trusting relationship
Building a Trusting Relationship

Silent Share

  • Begin a “silent share” by having one person jot down one of the characteristics of this trusting relationship.

  • Continue recording “round robin.”

  • You may pass at any time.

  • Appoint someone to be prepared to share with the rest of the participants & post your chart.

  • Silently scan the charts and identify similarities.

Give one get one
Give One – Get One

  • Jot down 3 strategies you will/can use to develop a trusting relationship with your mentee.

  • Get up and find someone at another table.

  • GIVE ONE idea from your list to your partner. GET ONE IDEA FROM YOUR PARTNER.

  • If your list and your partner’s list are identical, you must brainstorm together an idea that can be added to both of your lists.

Give one - Get one Chart

Note: Exchange no more than one strategy with any given partner.

Evidence vs opinion
Evidence vs. Opinion

  • In your table groups, use a T-Chart to compare evidence and opinion.

  • Develop a definition of “evidence.”

  • Be prepared to report out to the whole group.


Why mentoring

Main Entry: ev·i·denceFunction: nouna: an outward sign: INDICATION;

b:something that furnishes proof : TESTIMONY

  • Based on truth

  • Material items or assertions of fact

  • Free from opinion and prejudice

Language of support


Letting the teacher know that you hear, understand, and care


Letting the teacher know that you hear, but you’re not sure of what you heard

Language of Support

  • In other words …

  • What I’m hearing …

  • From what I hear you say …

  • I’m hearing many things …

  • As I listen to you, I’m hearing …

  • So, you think …

  • It sounds like you want …

  • Let me see if I understand …

  • To what extent …?

  • I’m curious to know more about …

  • I’m interested in …

  • Tell me how that idea is like (or different from) …

  • So, are you suggesting …?

Language of support1


Allowing the teacher to reflect

or raise awareness


Helping the teacher to think

about alternatives.

Language of Support

  • What’s another way you might ...?

  • What criteria do you use …?

  • What would it look like if …?

  • When have you done it like this before …?

  • What might you see happening if …?

  • How was … different from …?

  • How do you determine …?

  • It’s sometimes useful to …

  • A couple of things you need to keep in mind …

  • Something you might try considering is …

  • To what extend might … work in your situation?

  • There are a number of approaches …

  • What do you imagine might …?

The coaching cycle putting it all together

Case Study #1

Selective Scripting

The Coaching Cycle:Putting It All Together

Read Case Study #1.

Individually analyze the observation data and, as a table group, generate questions you might ask the beginning teacher in the post observation conference.

Tomaree is a first-year teacher who completed a fifth-year teacher preparation program. Her background is in secondary social studies education, and shehopes to one day be a high school history teacher. She is teaching in a new middle school, recently opened by alarge suburban school district that serves students from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds. At the time of this observation,Tomaree has been teaching for approximately three weeks, and this is her first formal observation by her mentor. Her classes meet for 90-minute blocks. . . .

3 2 1 summarizer
3-2-1 Summarizer

Think about your learning today and write …

  • 3 things that really interested

  • you

  • 2 things you might like to

  • know more about

  • 1 idea or thing you will use

  • with your beginning teachers

  • and why

Thank you
Thank you!

We are grateful to the committee members

who designed this mentor training model:

  • Dr. Eric Cunningham, Director of Human Resources, Spotsylvania County Schools

  • Dr. Terry Dozier, Director of the Center for Teacher Leadership, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Education

  • Denise D. Hunt, Recruitment and Licensure Specialist, Culpepper County Schools

  • Tina Lane, Specialist, Fairfax County Public Schools

  • Rebecca Waters, Coordinator, VCCS Career Switcher Program

  • Pam Wright, Curriculum and Instruction Facilitator, Southside VA “No Child Left Behind” Office