Mentor teaching is the process by which a practicing teacher, who has demonstrated commitment and competence and shares their expertise and training with new teachers. Therefore, a Mentor should:
1) provide support and training for new teachers in a structured and systematic fashion where in they share their expertise providing "access to success";
2) work regularly and directly with the beginning teacher in preparing lesson plans; creating units of study, or grade level goals for curriculum areas. They should engage in problem solving and facilitate the transition between teacher training and the realities of classroom instruction;
3) provide feedback, guidance, and support to the beginning teacher as well as provide research-based support for instructional strategies, the development of classroom materials, "culture", and organization;
4) have meetings to review progress of the Mentee, debrief successes and failure, and apprise them of opportunities in the district for in services and/ or workshops;
5) not evaluate their Mentees. This is because a supportive professional relationship between teachers and Mentors is vital to success. Conversations between the teacher and the Mentor are to be confidential;
6) be advisors, role models, peers with successful teaching experience committed to setting an example and sharing ideas.
Suggested qualifications for your Mentor Teacher:
Any classroom teacher who has the following qualifications could be a candidate Mentor Teacher. Keep in mind that these are not legal requirements but rather are meant to provide you with some possible questions to ask any Mentor you are considering. Your candidate should:
1) hold a valid teaching credential;
2) have achieved permanent status;
3) Should have provided direct instruction to students for at least 10 years as a classroom teacher. If some one you have under consideration is not working full time but has that kind of prior experience then they should have taught a minimum of 3 hours/periods per day during three of the past five years. You you not only want experience, but you want it to be current. You should also choose mentors that are working with the kind of students you are seeking to work with, by this I mean both their grade level and socioeconomic status.
4) He or she should be able to demonstrate effective classroom management, discipline, and be familiar with direct instruction as well as the use of centers and small groups; they should work well with and have good communication skills with their peers.
5) He or she should have received satisfactory performance ratings for the last three evaluations.
6) He or she should not have received any notice of unsatisfactory service or act in the prior five years of service.
7) They should be willing to let you observe them teach.