Three Questions On Mentor Applications


(posted August, 2001)

Original Member Request from Cynthia Lehman:

1) I would like an application form or information that other mentor program participants include on their district's mentor application form.

2) Do you have your meetings throughout the year during the school day with substitutes provided?

3) Do you have the elementary and secondary mentors and mentees meet together?

MLRN Responses To Question 1:

"I would like an application form or information that other mentor program participants include on their district's mentor application form."

We do not use an application; mentors are selected by their respective building administrators.

We do not use a form per say, the teacers contact me the new teacher coordinator and are placed in a mentoring pool. They must attend training sessions during the summer to qualify as a mentor. The program is structured so these mentors, once trained will be paired with a beginning teacher and participate in our new teacher induction program.

Answer: No, The new teacher induction program at the high school is a two year pilot program. As you know, mentoring is one component of the new teacher induction program. I believe that the groups should be separated. Their concerns and strategies are often very different. I believe the focusgroup meeting would not be as productive. The elementary schools and middle
schools are still using the state mandated mentoring program.

To apply for a mentor position in Baltimore County, a teacher must submit a letter of interest in December or January, saying why they wish to be a mentor and what they can bring to the position, along with an up to date resume. If the letter is accepted, a first round of interviews is set up in February which looks very much like a job fair. The interviews are done by administrators and mentors in pairs, and everyone is asked the same 8 questions. The applicants who "pass", go on to another interview in May, then a pool or cadre of 20-30 is created. As positions open up throughout the spring nd summer, mentors are assigned based on a match between skills and school needs.

Our mentors are selected by the Personnel Subcommittees of the School Site Councils.

We don't have a mentor form as we ask our department chairs and grade level curriculum assistants to recommend folks - actually, the principal does too - we have a pool of mentors but since we're trying to also "match" content area we often need to add more mentors. We many times have two mentors for one new teacher - one for content and one for everything else - especially where we have a mentor from another building working on the content piece. They then share a stipend.

We will have mentor training throughout the school year with either subs or pay stipends for after school or Saturdays. The buildings try to have monthly mentee/mentor meetings during the school year.

We do have elementary and secondary together during orientation but then we meet by building.

We don't use a mentor application form. Our mentors in Albemarle County are selected by principals at the building level.

Our mentor program is subject matter specific - Marketing Education - a program that spans the state, not a school district. Mentors are selected based on geographic proximity, experience, demonstrated interest in serving as a mentor, and a match with the protege involving the Myers Briggs instrument. We have three group meetings during the school year, with subs reimbursed.


MLRN Member Responses To Question #2:

"Do you have your meetings throughout the year during the school day with substitutes provided?"

No, our mentor training sessions are held quarterly after school.

The mentors and their proteges attended monthly focus group meeting to discuss strategies and interventions implemented. These meeting are held after school. All mentors and new teachers are required to attend. We had100% attendance this past year! 3 new teachers were mentored.

We provide a 4 hr. training session for the mentors during an evening.

Mentors here are not also classroom teachers. We meet with teachers before and after school, during planning periods, on staff development days,etc. We have our mentor monthly meetings from 3-5:30, at 3 sites around the county in distance learning labs, so we can all see and talk to each other. We are also occasionally pulled out for a half or whole day of training in data, new curriculum, assessment, etc. The program coordinators act as facilitators, one or two at each site. All mentors, elem. and secondary meet together. The topics are always something affecting everyone.

Yes, we do provide substitutes for mentor training sessions during the school year.

We will have mentor training throughout the school year with either subs or pay stipends for after school or Saturdays. The buildings try to have monthly mentee/mentor meetings during the school year.

New teachers report to work 1 week prior to experienced county teachers. They are paid for their time. As far a during school meetings it varies. At some schools meetings are held with an entire group, after school but still on contract hours. Some meetings are after school hours. Some are held through the County office and substitutes are provided through their funds for those meetings. It is a requirement that new teachers attend a set number of staff development sessions specifically for them. These include one on parents, conferences, assessments, etc. Other meetings are held with a mentor teacher and the new teacher at their planning time. (We assign new teachers to someone on the same grade level if possible). I do know that at the high school level there is time built into the mentor's schedule to meet with new teachers.


MLRN Member Responses To Question #3:

Do you have the elementary and secondary mentors and mentees meet together?

Yes, for both initital training in August and on-going quarterly training elementary and secondary mentors meet together. Their mentees join themfor half of the August day and part of each quarterly support group meeting/mentor training session.

We try to match the mentor/mentee by grade level/ school/teaching area (bilingual ed., special ed. etc). We have 4 quarterly meetings after school 4-6:00 p.m. in which the mentor/mentee attend together. During those meetings we have a general session, and then usually have a break out session in which we plan specifically for the mentors and the mentees separately. Our program is for a two year cycle. Mentors get paid a stipend of $750 per year...and should meet with mentee weekly or bi-weekly. There are 6 release days for observations, to attend conferences together during the two year period.

No, The new teacher induction program at the high school is a two year pilot program. As you know, mentoring is one component of the new teacher induction program. I believe that the groups should be separated. Their concerns and strategies are often very different. I believe the focus group meeting would not be as productive. The elementary schools and middle schools are still using the state mandated mentoring program.

We generally conduct separate program meetings for elementary and secondary mentors because of the different schedules of each level.

We do have elementary and secondary together during orientation but then we meet by building.

No. We tried that once and it did not work since their needs are soooooo different.