Peer Mentoring and Partnership
Mentoring programs can help teachers improve their professional relationships while enhancing their SEL and instructional practice. Mentees gain a sense of connectedness in a challenging and often stressful profession, while mentors have an opportunity to deeply reflect on their own practices and share their learnings (Ingersoll & Strong, 2011; Peterson et al., 2010; Marable & Raimondi, 2007; Heikkinen et al., 2012).
There are many different ways that mentoring can be structured. The Mentoring Leadership and Resource Network provides examples of different kinds of teacher mentorships:
- Buddy System: A mentor is paired as a “buddy” with a new teacher from within the same department or grade band and orients the new teacher to the school’s policies, practices, and organizational culture.
- Experienced Teacher-Novice: Experienced teachers help newer teachers improve practice through bidirectional observations and feedback. The newer teacher has a chance to observe other experienced teachers and work through the administrative tasks directly associated with the teaching job.
- Group Mentoring: Sometimes referred to as a “Community of Practice,” group mentoring encourages collaboration and co-learning across the institution. The mentor-mentees may be inter-departmental or across grade levels.
- Collaborative Classrooms: Teachers use each other as a resource, a sounding board for ideas, and a partner for sharing successes and support. Collaborating teachers can also work together on activities or projects. They can collaborate across or within grade levels and subjects.
Additional Mentoring Resources:
The Mentoring Leadership & Resource Network
American Institutes for Research SEL Coaching Toolkit