When mentors are well-selected, well-trained, and given the time to work intensively with new teachers, they not only help average teachers become good, but good teachers become great.
–Dara Barlin, Education Week
Vermont-NEA has been supporting school districts with mentoring needs for a decade. Strong mentoring programs for new teachers leads to both greater teacher retention and student learning. Mentoring also provides an avenue to use master teachers in leadership roles, and provide ongoing professional learning on stills such as questioning techniques, analyzing student work, and reflective practice.
Building a strong cadre of mentors and mentor leaders is a lengthy process involving several years. The goal at Vermont-NEA is to work with school districts to first, build a mentoring program, and then support districts in creating leadership within the schools to sustain the program through the leadership of district-wide mentor coordinators. Vermont-Nea provides training and updated materials for the mentor coordinators to carry on this important program in their districts. Districts wishing to explore the Vermont-NEA Mentoring Program should contact Juliette Longchamp at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mentors can also remind teachers that all of their students are chock-full of extraordinary potential. Teachers are among the most influential adults in the lives of children, and encouraging them to challenge their potential can and will change their lives.
The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.
–Robert M. Hutchins