- Mentor teachers are experienced teachers who have the enthusiasm and interest to assist beginning teachers by sharing their expertise with curriculum, strategies and classroom management.
- Mentors are trained using the Formative Assessment System, a support and assessment program developed by the New Teacher Center at UC Santa Cruz.
- Mentors will assess and determine the professional growth needs of the participating teachers and assist the teacher with growth and reflection in their practice.
- Mentors are matched as closely as possible with participants by credentials held and subject area taught. If and when a mentor does not exactly match credentials held by the candidate, the program assigns the mentor who most closely matches the criteria and ensures that the candidate also receives assistance from one or more experienced colleagues.
- Mentors meet with their candidates for an average of 1 hour per week, providing immediate (“Please help me with this!”) and long-term support in a variety of areas which include the following:
- Classroom management, lesson design, student engagement, assessment, equity, incorporation of technology, as well as differentiation for English Learners, students with disabilities, and advanced learners.
- Mentors also conduct informal and formal observations and provide objective, formative feedback to their teacher. In short, they have the responsibility of helping the candidate complete the program requirements while growing professionally.
New Teacher Center @ UC Santa Cruz Formative Assessment System
The NTC Formative Assessment System (FAS) develops professional habits of mind that will guide teachers' practice over their professional lifetime and supports the development of highly qualified teachers. FAS is a series of collaborative processes characterized by a consistent focus on student learning, multiple measures of classroom practice and reflection with a highly qualified support provider or mentor. A variety of carefully designed tools are used to assess and support each beginning teacher's development in relation to the California Standards for the Teaching Profession (CSTPs).
- Holds a valid California Clear Teaching Credential
- Has permanent status and has been a full-time certificated employee in the Whittier Union High School District for a minimum of three (3) years
- Has at least one year of classroom teaching experience within the past five (5) years
- Has demonstrated commitment to professional learning and collaboration along with the ability to work cooperatively and effectively with other teachers and administrators
- Has the ability, willingness, and flexibility to meet candidate needs for support
Site administrators play an important role for all candidates in the Induction Program.
- Site Administrators provide candidates with an orientation to the school site and on-going support that includes connecting teachers with grade-level or department colleagues, observing classroom lessons and providing individual feedback, limiting the number of site responsibilities during the Induction Program, and offering assistance with individual requests.
- Induction staff keep site administrators informed of current program components and events to allow for reflective conversations to be focused on the teacher’s professional growth as it relates to the Induction process.
- Site administrators participate in a Triad Meeting twice a year, at which time Candidates share the focus of the Inquiry portion of their Individual Learning Plans. Alongside their mentor, new teachers elicit feedback, suggestions, and/or related support from the administrator. Site administrators may not use the candidates’ ILPs for purposes of evaluation for employment.