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Mentoring Matters: Fundamentals of Mentoring Beginning Teachers


Observe for the meaning behind the words. Don't interrupt. ... No Dream Denied: A Pledge to America's Children. Washington, D.C.: Author. 2003. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Mentoring Matters: Fundamentals of Mentoring Beginning Teachers

Mentoring Matters Fundamentals of Mentoring
Beginning Teachers
  • Alabama Teacher Mentoring Program

Learning Outcomes, Day 2
  • Participants will
  • Review and practice communication skills
    associated with the development of a
    collaborative working relationship between a
    mentor and a beginning teacher
  • Get comfortable with tools that mentors and
    beginning teachers can use to collaboratively
    plan, assess, and document their work
  • Explore alternatives for finding time to work
    with beginning teachers
  • Develop an informal plan for working with a
    beginning teacher prior to the opening of the
    school year and during the first 4-6 weeks of

Agenda Mentoring Matters, Day 2
  • Warm-up and review of Day 1
  • The HOW of Mentoring
  • Communication Skills
  • Observation and Feedback
  • Collaborative Assessment Log
  • The WHEN of Mentoring
  • Finding Time to Mentor
  • Planning and Making Commitments

Find a Partner
  • Find someone who is not sitting at your table to
    sign the classroom circle on your handout.
  • When they sign your classroom circle, you should
    sign the classroom circle on their paper.
  • Then wait to listen for directions.

Find a Partner
  • Now find a different partner to sign the personal
    circle on your handout.
  • Talk about what you remember from Day 1 about the
    emotional concerns of beginning teachers.

Find a Partner
  • Find a partner to sign the School circle on your
  • Think back to the Day 1 session when we talked
    about the Who of Mentoring. Who are the key
    players in helping the beginning teacher
    transition successfully?

The How of Mentoring Communication Strategies
  • Ordinary, everyday habits of communication wont
    work as a mentor
  • We need extraordinary skills of listening,
    rephrasing, clarifying, and prompting thinking

Areas of Communication Skills
  • General Communications
  • Listening to understand
  • Questioningto clarify, to elicit thinking, to
    promote reflection
  • Giving feedback
  • Communications Specific to Observing
  • Setting a focus
  • Observing, collecting data--evidence vs. opinion
  • Conferencinggiving feedback, stimulating

  • One of the best ways to persuade others is with
    your earsby listening to them.
  • --Dean Rusk

  • It turns out that most people want less advice
    but more opportunity to explore their own
    thinking with a caring coach who is paying

  • --Patty McManus

  • A committed listener helps people think more
    clearly, work through unresolved issues, and
    discover the solutions they have inside them.
    This often involves listening beyond what people
    are saying to the deeply held beliefs and
    assumptions that are shaping their actions.
  • --Robert Hargrove

How to Listen
  • Stop talking…to others and to yourself
  • Imagine the others point of view
  • Look, act, and be interested
  • Observe for the meaning behind the words
  • Dont interrupt. Wait until they finish and
    pause at least three seconds (they may have more
    to say!)
  • Speak only affirmatively while listening
  • Paraphrase to ensure understanding
  • Stop talking…this is first, middle, and last!

  • You cannot teach a man anything. You can only
    help him discover it within himself.
  • --Galileo Galilei

Mentor as Questioner
  • Reflectiveto engage a person in thinking about
    his or her perception and understanding to cause
    deep thinking about an issue
  • Probingto get behind the thinking of a person
    to cause them to go deeper in their thinking or
    be more explicit
  • Clarifyingto ensure a common understanding of
    what is said
  • Elicitingto get more information, Can you tell
    me more about that?

Examples of Reflective Questions
  • Tell me about…
  • Did you notice…?
  • What problems did you come across today?
  • How are you planning to address this?
  • What if…?
  • I wonder…?
  • How did you reach this conclusion?
  • Why do you think…?
  • Talk to me about what success might look like.
  • Lets assume for a minute that…
  • Imagine that you …
  • What might be the relationship between ____ and

Probing Questions or Comments
  • To clarify,
  • What do you mean when you say. . . ?
  • Help me get behind your thinking. . .
  • Paraphrase Let me see if Ive got this right.
    (Provide summary in own words.)
  • To elicit more information
  • Can you give me an example of. . .?
  • Talk about a time when you were able to . . .
  • Say more about . .
  • Youve told me about how you hope to engage the
    students in learning fractions. Now talk about
    how you will know if that strategy is successful.

Reflective Dialogue
  • Purpose
  • To better understand the strengths you bring to
    the role of mentoring
  • To identify skills and strategies that promote

Individual Reflection Personal and
Professional Strengths
  • In the left column of your handout, write about
    the work you imagine you will be doing as a

Individual Reflection Personal and
Professional Strengths
  • In the right column, reflect on what, in your
    personal and professional life, has prepared you
    to perform this role effectively. That is, what
    strengths do you bring to this mentoring role?
    How did you acquire them?

  • Form groups of three. Two people will engage in
    a reflective dialogue while the third observes.
  • Interviewer
  • Responder
  • Observer

  • Interviewer Pose reflective questions to
    surface your partners understanding of the role
    of mentor as well as the strengths that he or she
    brings to the role.
  • Your role is to listen intently, probing
    gently when necessary.

  • Reflector Talk to the interviewer openly about
    your perceptions of the job of mentor teacher…and
    how you see your own strengths helping you in
    this challenging role.
  • Reflect deeply about how your past
    experiencesboth personal and professionalhave
    enabled you to perform this job well.

  • Observer Look for evidence of deep reflective
    thought. What did you notice that facilitated
  • A. Verbal What did the interviewer say that
    seemed to prompt reflective thought?
  • B. Non-verbal What did the interviewer do
    that seemed to facilitate reflection?

Debrief Reflective Dialogue
  • In your triads, think about the following
  • What kinds of questions were most effective in
    promoting reflection?
  • What other factors contributed to the reflection?
  • What conclusions can you draw about reflective

The How of Mentoring Facilitating Reflection
  • What did you learn from this activity that you
    might be able to transfer to your work as a

The How of Mentoring Classroom Observations
  • Refer to the questions on the handout, Someones
    Watching Over Me
  • Quickly record answers to the questions
  • Stand and find your classroom partner to share
  • Be prepared to share one or two insights based on
    your discussion.

Classroom Observations
  • Positives
  • Negatives

The How of Mentoring Successful Observations
  • Successful classroom observations include three
    essential elements
  • A pre-determined focus
  • A specific method of gathering evidence
  • A structured conversation for feedback

The How of Mentoring The Observation Cycle
Pre-Observation Conference Establish the focus
Teach/Observe lesson
Follow-up Conference Debrief lesson
Identify the Focus
  • We see what we are looking for.

Identify the Focus
  • When appropriate, work collaboratively to
    establish the focus for an upcoming observation.
  • Let the beginning teacher take the lead in this

Identify the Focus Role Play
  • Form groups of three.
  • Each group needs to have one member playing the
    role of mentor teacher, beginning teacher, and
  • Select the card that describes your situation.
    Read through it and take a minute to prepare for
    the role play in which the mentor and beginning
    teacher will select a focus area for an upcoming

Data Collection Format
  • Once the focus is established, the mentor and
    beginning teacher should agree on a specific
    procedure for collecting evidence related to the
    focus of the observations

Evidence vs. Opinion
  • What is Evidence?
  • Actions, by teacher or students
  • Statements or questions, by teacher or students
  • Appearance of the classroom

Types of Evidence to Collect During Observations
  • Verbatim scripting of teacher or student
  • Could one person from each table collect

Types of Evidence to Collect During Observations
  • Non-evaluative statements of observed teacher or
    student behavior
  • The teacher stands by the door, greeting
    students as they enter.

Types of Evidence to Collect During Observations
  • 3. Numeric information about time, student
    participation, resource use, etc.
  • Three of the 18 students offer most of the
    comments during discussion.

Types of Evidence to Collect During Observations
  • An observed aspect of the environment
  • The assignment is on the board for students to
    do while roll is taken.

Evidence or Opinion?
  • Find your personal partner.
  • With your partner, read the example on your
    handout. Ss students T teacher
  • Decide if it is an example of evidence (E) or
    opinion (O).
  • If it is an opinion, rewrite it as evidence.

Review of AQTS
  • With your partner, identify which of the
    standards is best represented by each example.
  • Select a standard (numbered 1-5) and an Indicator
    (phrases in bold print, A-F) under the standard.

If your focus is
  • Are all students engaged? Are they all
    participating during class?
  • ….What data might you collect? In what format?

If your focus is
  • Am I differentiating successfullyso that my
    lower-achieving students are getting the
  • ….What data might you collect while observing?
    What other data might you want to look at with
    your beginning teacher?

If your focus is
  • Am I having any success improving the behavior
    of certain students in the classroom? What else
    might I do? Are they disrupting other students?
  • ….What data might you want to collect while
    observing? What would you want to know before
    you observe? What other data might you want to
    look at with the beginning teacher?

  • The emphasis is not on judgment but on providing
    a record of what happened in order for this data
    to be worked on by the mentor and the beginning
  • Adapted from Randall and Thornton, Advising and
    Supporting Teachers, 2001.

Scheduling Observations
  • Observations are well-planned they are not
    surprise visits
  • Schedule when the beginning teacher feels most
  • Schedule when the observing teacher has available
    time enlist the support of your principal to
    make these arrangements

How Long is an Observation?
  • It depends…on the focus, on the class, on the
  • Allow at least 20 minutes for an observation
  • Five minutes to get settled into the classroom
  • Fifteen minutes to collect data

Readying the Students
  • Dont forget to prepare the students!
  • Explain the role of the visiting teacher
  • Explain the role of the students during the

  • Coaching is not telling people what to do
    its giving them a chance to examine what they
    are doing in the light of their intentions.

James Flaherty, Coaching Evoking Excellence in
  • When you start giving people the solutions,
    its easy to take away their power. You take
    away their accountability….It is better to ask
    questions and to listen.

Robert Hargrove, Masterful Coaching
Extraordinary Results by Impacting People and the
Way They Think and Work Together, p. 56
The How of Mentoring Praise, Question, Polish
  • PQP is a tool for the structured conversation
    following the observation. Two essential
  • Inclusion of affirmations
  • Provision of non-directive feedback through
    questions, which give teachers opportunities to
    reflect on practice

Gloria Neubert, Improving Teaching Through
Coaching, PDK Fastback 277.
Effective Feedback
  • …is non-directive

Tell them what to do differently
  • Identify what went well in the observed lesson.
  • Remember the focus of the observation and relate
    the positive comments to that focus.
  • Ask the beginning teacher, What do you think
    went well?

  • Contingent
  • Specific
  • Sincere
  • Varied
  • Credible

  • Clarifying Questions are used to
  • Gather additional information
  • Help understand something you observed
  • Express reservations in a non-directive way

  • Eliciting Questions
  • Help teacher hypothesize or speculate
  • Extend teacher thinking

  • Remember, your main job is to LISTEN.
  • Ask questions that will help the observed teacher
    reflect and make decisions for POLISHing a lesson.

Give Polish Feedback in the Form of Questions
  • Leading Questions
  • Encourages reflection on specific methodology
  • Ask, dont tell
  • Gives teacher final decision about classroom

  • Watch the video of the mentor and beginning
    teacher as they participate in a PQP
    post-observation conference.
  • Be alert to what the mentor teacher does well…and
    the ways in which the conference might be

  • Based on what you know about the PQP as a format
    for feedback, in what ways does the protocol keep
    the conference focused? Positive? Reflective?

The How of Mentoring Practice the PQP
  • Turn to page 16 in the Continuum. Read through
    the first two levels of Indicator 2.7, Creates
    learning activities that optimize each
    individuals growth and achievement within a
    supportive environment.
  • As you read, imagine evidence you might (a) see
    in the classroom or (b) hear the beginning
    teacher describe…that would relate to this

Practice with PQP
  • Read the vignette of Shondra, a beginning
    teacher, imagining that you are her mentor. As
    you read, be thinking about how you might prepare
    for a post-observation conference.
  • Role play, with your partner, a PQP session.

Practice with PQP
  • Watch the video of a first-year teacher.
  • Think about how you would facilitate a PQP
    post-observation conference.
  • What questions would you ask?
  • Talk about how you would follow-up with this
    teacher after the conference.

The How of Mentoring Classroom Observations
  • What questions do you have about the strategy of
  • Around which kinds of issues would observation be
    a good strategy for mentors to use?

The How of Mentoring Mentor Stances
The How of Mentoring Mentor Stances
  • Mentor identifies the target or focus based on
  • Mentor provides information or prompts reflection
    by beginning teacher

The How of Mentoring Mentor Stances
  • Beginning teacher identifies a problem or target
  • Mentor responds to the problem by offering
    suggestions and solutions, directing beginning
    teacher to resources, or engaging in discussion
    and reflection with beginning teacher

The How of Mentoring Mentor Stances
  • Together, mentor and beginning teacher identify
    target or focus area for improvement
  • Together, under the mentors guidance, the mentor
    and beginning teacher create solutions

The How of Mentoring Mentor Stances
The How of Mentoring An Essential Tool
  • Collaborative Assessment Log
  • Heres what…
  • So what…
  • Now what…

The How of Mentoring Collaborative Assessment
  • Serves the following functions
  • Focus and clarity
  • Ongoing assessment data
  • Possible solutions, actions, next steps
  • Accountability for both the beginning teacher
    and the mentor
  • Guidance for the mentors support

The How of Mentoring Collaborative Assessment Log
  • Watch the video of a mentor and beginning teacher
    as they work collaboratively to establish goals
    and assess progress.
  • After you have watched, talk with a partner
  • What did you see that was positive in this
  • What suggestions do you have for improvement?

Practice with the Collaborative Assessment Log
  • The next activity will provide an opportunity to
    use the collaborative assessment log in a
    role-playing situation.
  • To prepare, review the Communication Tips
    introduced earlier in this session.

Partner Practice
  • Outcomes
  • To practice using the Communication Tips
  • To practice using the Collaborative Assessment Log

  • Read the scenario about Barbara, a beginning
    teacher, and Sandra, her mentor.
  • As you read, think about how you might facilitate
    her thinking and formative assessment in a
    collaborative manner.

Partner Practice
  • Hold a 10-minute conversation with one person
    being Barbara, the beginning teacher the other,
    Sandra, the mentor.
  • Use the Collaborative Assessment Log to guide the
    conversation. Sandra uses the Log to record
  • After 10 minutes, switch roles.

Debrief Partner Practice
  • What purpose(s) did the Collaborative Assessment
    Log serve?
  • In what ways did you use the Continuum?
  • How did you feel as Barbara? Which communication
    strategies were most supportive?
  • How did it feel to be the mentor?

The How of Mentoring Reflective Journaling or
  • One of the ways that mentors and beginning
    teachers can communicate is through the written
    word. A journalthat gets passed back and forth
    between the mentor and beginning teacheris one
    way to accomplish this.
  • Mentors can write a reflective note and drop it
    by the beginning teachers room.
  • After he or she reads it, the beginning teacher
    can respond in writing and send it back.
  • Alternatively, use email, facebook, and IM to
    communicate with one another.

The How of Mentoring Reflective Journaling or
  • Write about your expectations and concerns as you
    undertake the work of a mentor this year.

Tips for Journal Responses
  • Be sincere.
  • Respond with empathy. If appropriate
  • Summarize the problem and feelings in your own
  • Share a similar experience from your own
  • Pose questions to extend thinking
  • Question to clarify, to get behind thinking, or
    to pose a what if?
  • Remain non-judgmental
  • Share related resources and information
  • Respond to questions with suggestions
  • Stay focused and positive

Partner Practice Reflective Journaling
  • Trade journals.
  • Read through your partners entry and respond in
    writing. Try to use the Tips for Journal
    Responses on the previous slide.

Partner Practice Reflective Journaling
  • Read your partners response.
  • Talk with your partner about the experience of
    writing and responding.
  • In what ways is this experience different than a
  • What cautions must you take?

The When of Mentoring Documenting activities
  • Mentor Log Record of Time and Activity was
    created as a way for mentors to log the time they
    spend in this role.

Finding Time
  • Read through the ideas for finding time from
    Alabama mentors, who sent their ideas to the
    state department.
  • Which ones give you ideas for how you might find
    time to spend with your beginning teacher?

Finding Time
  • Find your school partner.
  • Share one idea you have about finding more
    timethat you can create on your own with your
  • Then identify one idea that you would like to
    share with your school and system administrators
    so that next year might provide more time for
    face-to-face contact.

The When of Mentoring Planning for the Mentor
  • The job of mentor can not be prescribed. But it
    should be planned.
  • Take some time to think about the school year,
    your beginning teacher, and where you believe the
    two of you want to focus your efforts across the
  • Use the planning document to guide your thinking.

  • Baron, Wendy and White, Jan. Professional
    Development for Mentors A Facilitators Guide
    for Induction Program Leaders. Santa Cruz, UCSC
    New Teacher Center. 2004.
  • Block, Peter. Flawless Consulting A Guide to
    Getting Your Expertise Used. San Francisco
    Jossey-Bass. 2000.
  • Carr, Judy F., Herman, Nancy, and Harris,
    Douglas E. Creating Dynamic Schools Through
    Mentoring, Coaching, and Collaboration.
    Alexandria, VA ASCD. 2005.
  • Chartier, Myron R. The 1991 Annual Developing
    Human Resources, edited by J. William Pfeiffer.
    San Diego, CA University Associates. 1991.
  • Darling-Hammond, L. Keeping Good Teachers Why
    it Matters What Leaders Can Do. Educaitonal
    Leadership, 60(8), 6-13
  • Hargrove, Robert. Masterful Coaching
    Extraordinary Results by Impacting People and the
    Way They Think and Work Together
  • Holden, J. Mentoring Frameworks for Texas
    Teachers Revised Edition. East Lansing, MI
    National Center for Research on Teacher Learning.
    (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED
    398227) 1995.
  • Ingersoll, R. and Kralik, J. The Impact of
    Mentoring on Teacher Retention What the
    Research Says. Denver Education Commission of
    the States. 2004.

References, contd.
  • Marzano, Robert J. What Works in Schools
    Translating Research into Action. Alexandria, VA
    ASCD. 2003.
  • Moir, Ellen. The Stages of a Teachers First
    Year. A Better Beginning Supporting and
    Mentoring New Teachers. Ed. By Marge Scherer.
    Arlington, VA ASCD. 1999.
  • National Commission on Teaching and Americas
    Future. No Dream Denied A Pledge to Americas
    Children. Washington, D.C. Author. 2003.
  • Rust, Frances OConnell and Freidus, Helen.
    Guiding School Change The Role and Work of
    Change Agents. Teachers College Press, 2001.
  • Senge, Peter and others. The Fifth Discipline
    Fieldbook Strategies and Tools for Building a
    Learning Organization. New York Doubleday.
  • Stansbury, Kendyll and Zimmerman, Joy. Smart
    induction programs become lifelines for the
    beginning teacher. Journal of Staff
    Development. Volume 23, Number 4. Fall 2002.
  • Support for Beginning Teachers Must Become a
    Top Priority. Working Toward Excellence A
    Newsletter of the Best Practices Center. Fall
  • Teacher Induction and Mentoring Manual, Alabama
    State Department of Education, Title II Teacher
    Quality Enhancement Project, p. V-103.