Instructional mentoring is a professional relationship established between novice teachers and experienced teachers focused on strengthening the new teacher's impact on student learning. A strong relationship with a highly-qualified mentor promotes maximum growth in new teachers.
+ What's the difference between mentoring and induction?
Induction is the complete package of activities and supports that bring novice teachers into their districts. Induction focuses on key areas including hiring, orientation, mentoring, professional learning, and formative assessment for teacher growth. Mentoring is one piece of the entire package of induction. Relying solely on mentoring for induction deprives teachers of important support and learning opportunities. For more, see Standards for Beginning Teacher Induction.
+ What do mentors for novice educators do?
Mentors have three primary roles as they support new educators' growth: Providing support, creating challenge, and facilitating professional vision. Skillful mentors do this while coaching, collaborating, and calibrating. (Lipton and Wellman)
In addition, effective mentors observe instruction, gather data, provide feedback and, above all else, provide frequent and confidential opportunities for reflection.
+ How do I become a part of BEST statewide work as a contractor?
BEST is likely to need contractors to serve as facilitators for mentor academies and regional mentor roundtables as well as induction coaches. Those who want to be Mentor Faculty for mentor academies or regional roundtable facilitators should have a deep understanding of academy content, experience mentoring novice teachers, be engaged in mentoring and/or induction work in WA State, and have participated in multiple Mentor Academies—including beyond 101. Participation in regional Mentor Roundtables is also valuable. Mentor Faculty should have knowledge of the WA State Standards for Induction and WA State Standards for Mentoring. BEST will also need Mentor Faculty with capacity to lead trainings on race and equity. Induction coaches should have knowledge of the Standards for Induction, experience working with induction at a district or ESD level, and understanding of district systems in WA State.
Contractor Selection: Contractors are selected through an application and interview process through a Request for Qualifications (RFQ). In the spring, application information will be posted on OSPI's contracts page and announcements posted on the BEST webpage and sent through our networks (mentor academies and roundtables, grantee updates, etc.)
These positions are part-time work as contractors for our office.
For more, see the Mentoring section of the Standards for Beginning Teacher Induction.