Mentor Teacher Guidelines

Teaching and Learning Together

Mentoring is a process.

Preparing to Mentor

Learn what others say about how to build successful mentoring work together.

A mentor is...

  • Cheerleader - gives supportive & positive feedback
  • Model - demonstrates what good teaching is all about
  • Colleague - collaborates on problem-solving, planning, and learning together

A mentor does...

  • Relate - build & maintain relationships
  • Assess - identify strengths and targets for growth
  • Coach - help fine-tune repertoire of skills
  • Guide - nudge toward independence

Tips for mentors:

  • Set ground rules.
  • Help changes happen.
  • Avoid info overload.
  • Share decision-making.
  • Know when to intervene.
  • Maintain the relationship.
  • Don’t forget content.
  • Know when to wean.
  • Find time to mentor.
  • Reflect on your mentoring.
  • Remember, student learning is the goal!

Think about what you are bringing to the mentoring relationship.

  • Your teaching strengths.
  • Your content knowledge.
  • Your communication skills.
  • Your experience.

Negotiate the Relationship

Teaching is about relationships, and learning to teach is as well.

  • Respect
  • Trust
  • Communication


  • Get acquainted
     - Discuss your knowledge, experience, and expertise.
     - Relate your expectations and discuss theirs.
  • Set ground rules.
  • Keep communication lines open.

Example Ground Rules

  • Honor one another's words and actions.
  • Speak only for yourself and your experiences.
  • Stay in today's story.
  • What is said stays between us.
  • If one of us feels the need for outside intervention, we will say so.

Enabling the New Teacher

Give teachers what they need, when they need it. Research suggests that most teachers go through these stages:

  • Idealism, Enthusiasm, Altruism
  • Disillusionment, Frustration
  • Personal Survival
  • Dealing with Difficulties
  • Hitting a Plateau
  • Rejuvenation
  • Moving On - Choosing a Teaching Path

Give feedback.

  • Provide constructive feedback.
  • Focus on specifics, the concrete.
  • Use "I" statements.
  • End each mentor conference with a plan.

Receive feedback.

  • Listen, listen, listen!
  • Say what you are hearing and seeing.
  • Share your rationale for the decisions you make.

Come to Closure

Think ahead to the end. How will you come to closure at the end of the semester?

  • Process what you have learned together.
  • Celebrate successes!
  • Talk about redefining the relationship. Will you stay in touch?
  • Find a comfortable way to move on.