Twenty Steps Toward a Successful Mentoring Program
Villani. 2002. Mentoring Programs for New Teachers: Models of Induction and
Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Set goals for your
mentoring program. What do you want to accomplish?
Identify the new teachers
who will be included in your program. Whom do you want to serve — beginning
teachers, teachers new to your district, teachers who have changed grade level
or subject area, teachers returning to the profession after being absent for
several or more years?
Identify your resources —
money, other forms of compensation, and most importantly, personnel.
Identify a coordinator or
steering committee. Determine whether the committee is advisory or will have
decision making responsibilities.
Consider the models in Part
2 and determine if any of them address your goals in ways that are feasible.
Continually research ways to provide professional development that supports
new and veteran teachers.
Formulate a plan to pilot.
Establish a timeline for
the implementation of your plan.
Meet with school
administrators, teachers’ association leadership, and the school committee or
board to make the case for the program.
Revise your plan and
timeline based on the input of the key shareholders, if necessary.
Communicate the beginning
of your program with all school staff and the community.
Establish criteria and an
application process to select mentors in the spring. Select extra mentors for
unanticipated summer and last-minute hiring.
Create handbooks for
mentors and new teachers that include the goals of the program, the
expectations for participation by mentors and new teachers, and the schedule
of meetings and professional development activities. Including other resource
materials will increase the likelihood that it will be referred to throughout
the school year.
Plan and offer new teacher
Form cohort groups of
mentors and new teachers, and schedule periodic meetings throughout the school
development for new teachers and mentors.
Develop ways to evaluate
your program. Begin collecting data when your program starts, and collect it
periodically throughout the year. Determine who will analyze the data, and how
it will be communicated to the administration, staff, and larger school
Revise your program based
on your analysis of the evaluations and your own perceptions.
Begin Year 2 with increased
confidence in the fit of your program to your school district’s needs and
Honor your mentors, who are passing the torch and welcoming new colleagues into the profession, and celebrate the induction of your new teachers into your school and district communities.