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Mentoring New Teachers


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Table of Contents

Foreword by Gerald N. Tirozzi
Preface to the Third Edition
Who Should Read This Book
Overview of the Contents
About the Author
Support for Mentoring
Effective Mentors Are Made, Not Born
Mentoring Is Not Evaluating
Mentoring’s Role in Induction
The Mentor’s Primary Role
What Mentors Do: The Four Mentoring Functions
Teacher Mentor Standards
1. Relating
Establishing Trust
Paying Attention to Thoughts and Feelings
The Student Teacher Dilemma
Communicating Nonverbally
A Checklist of Relating Behaviors
A Mentoring Relationship Is a Serving Relationship
2. Assessing
The Nontraditional New Teacher
Generic Needs of New Teachers
Specific Needs of Your Mentee
Gathering Resources
Your Mentee’s Learning Preferences
Modes of Communication
3. Coaching
Coaching Assumptions
The Coaching Cycle
The Preobservation Conference
The Initial Classroom Visit
Focused Classroom Observations: When and How
Some Observation Considerations
The Postobservation Conference
When to Show and Tell
Coaching Adults
4. Guiding
Guiding Your Mentee’s Journey: A Decision-Making Process
Identifying Your Mentee’s Problems
Guiding Principles
The Unwilling and Unable Mentee
The Moderately Willing and Somewhat Able Mentee
The Competent and Confident Mentee
The All-of-the-Above Mentee
From Mentor-Mentee to Peer-Peer
5. Mentoring’s Legacy: Career-Long Professional Development
Teacher’s Inquiry Process
From TIP to MIP
6. Tips and Observations
Set Ground Rules Early
Help Change Happen
Avoid Information Overload
Share Decision Making
Know When to Intervene
Mentoring, Remediating, and Peer Review
Maintain the Relationship
Don’t Forget Content
What Is Your Mentee Asking For?
Know When to Wean
Find Time to Mentor
Earn Points Toward Teacher Recertification
Reflect on Your Mentoring
Consider Multiple Mentors
Build a Mentoring Community
Find Networking Opportunities
Remember, Student Learning Is the Goal
Pass the Torch
Resource A. Teacher Mentor Standards
Core Propositions
Teacher Mentor Standards
Resource B. Learning Style Inventory: Discovering How You Learn Best
Resource C. Mentor’s Inquiry Process for Experienced Mentors
What Will It Be Like?
What Are Your Chances Of Completing the Activities?
When Do You Want It?
Does It Represent a Worthwhile Challenge?
Resource D. The Connecticut Competency Instrument
Management of the Classroom Environment
Assessment of Student Progress
Resource E. Annotated Bibliography

About the Author

Hal Portner is a former K-12 teacher and administrator. He was assistant director of the Summer Math Program for High School Women and Their Teachers at Mount Holyoke College, and for 24 years he was a teacher and then administrator in two Connecticut public school districts. From 1985 to 1995, he was a member of the Connecticut State Department of Education’s Bureau of Certification and Professional Development, where, among other responsibilities, he served as coordinator of the Connecticut Institute for Teaching and Learning and worked closely with school districts to develop and carry out professional development and teacher evaluation plans and programs. Hal developed and teaches for Western New England University a 3 credit MEd in Curriculum and Instruction online core course in Mentoring, Coaching, and professional development.

Portner writes, develops materials, trains mentors, facilitates the development of new teacher and peer-mentoring programs, and consults for school districts and other educational organizations and institutions. In addition to Mentoring New Teachers, he is the author of Training Mentors Is Not Enough: Everything Else Schools and Districts Need to Do (2001), Being Mentored: A Guide for Protégés (2002), Workshops that Really Work: The ABCs of Designing and Delivering Sensational Presentations (2005), and editor of Teacher Mentoring and Induction: The State of the Art and Beyond (2005) – all published by Corwin Press. He holds an MEd from the University of Michigan and a 6th-year Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) in education admin­istration from the University of Connecticut. For three years, he was with the University of Massachusetts EdD Educational Leadership Program.


“The book gets straight to the point of mentoring and provides practical, doable strategies and guidance to mentors, as well as the opportunity to practice those strategies with immediate feedback. A short and easy read for people who need good advice but don’t have a lot of time to spare.”
*Kathy Grover, Assistant Superintendent*

“Provides a concise overview of all the issues mentors need to consider when working with a new teacher. Mentors who are working on their own can easily use this text to support their development.”
*Debra Pitton, Professor of Education, Gustavus Adolphus College*

"Bravo for basing this on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards! Standards for mentoring are long overdue. This book will become a primary resource for our annual mentoring staff development, to be used with both mentors and mentees."
*Mark Bower, Director of Elementary Education and Staff Development*

"A much-needed resource for teacher mentors. The new and updated strategies and practical approach will give mentors crucial support as they provide assistance and encouragement to new teachers. Portner has clearly demonstrated the importance of both theory and practice in this practical guide."
*Priscilla Miller, Director*

“With the guidance of Hal Portner, our new teacher induction/mentoring program made a turnaround from a bare minimum, “letter of the law” program into a dynamic, teacher-affirming program! Our mentoring team now has a shared vision of the components of effective mentoring and, more importantly, our mentees are reaping the benefits. I wholeheartedly encourage anyone interested in improving their school’s mentoring program to read this book.”
*William E. Collins, Principal*

“Mentoring is an activity in which both participants gain experience and knowledge, and this book reflects that. Portner presents very practical suggestions for both the mentor and the mentee.”
*Joy Rose, Retired Principal*

"An essential key to passing on wisdom and an important pick for any education collection."
*The Bookwatch, July 2008*

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