Mrs. Bridget Passyn
410-758-2403, Ext. 226
Mentor Teacher Program
Queen Anne’s County Public Schools has structured a mentor program whereby full-time practicing teachers support novice teachers. Mentors are experienced teachers who meet the criteria established by the state and county, who have a firm commitment to the profession of teaching, and who have a strong desire to assist teachers new to the profession. Mentors receive training in areas such as qualities of a mentor, characteristics of the adult learner, peer coaching, and the Maryland College and Career Readiness Standards.
A key component of the program is the weekly interaction of mentors and mentees so that the novice teacher has timely support from an experienced teacher who has demonstrated proficiency in content knowledge and instructional technique, and who knows the culture of the individual school, the goals of the system, and of the state. The goal of the program is to enhance the skills and knowledge of the novice teacher so that student achievement is increased and the novice teacher experiences the job satisfaction necessary to inspire him/her to continue as a successful teacher in Queen Anne’s County.
The mentor program is an integral component of the Comprehensive Teacher Induction Program in Queen Anne’s County. During the week-long orientation for beginning teachers, mentors are involved in both central and school-based meetings with mentees. During the course of the year, mentors participate with mentees in regularly scheduled school-based professional development provided by teacher specialists and academic deans as well as periodic staff development sessions planned centrally and delivered by the Office of Curriculum and Instruction. Ongoing professional development is provided to mentors to assist them in their critical role through half-day sessions monthly. Mentors work primarily with novice teachers; that is, they are assigned to those new teachers who have three or fewer years of experience. Using the foregoing guidelines, principals and the mentor coordinator work together to assign mentors to mentees.
Mentors support novice teachers in the following areas: effective teaching methods, classroom management, implementing state goals (MCCRS), methods of assessing/monitoring student progress, communicating with parents, school policies, and procedures. Mentors help novice teachers with the procurement of resources and with understanding “how we do things around here.” Accountability is ensured through survey and feedback forms from participants as well Instructional Coaching Logs written and submitted by mentors and which include agreed-upon next steps between mentor and mentee to develop targeted improvement areas aligned to planning, environment, instruction, and professional responsibility components.
Mentors help the novice teachers by relating -- establishing a relationship of mutual trust that nurtures the new teacher’s growth, by assisting -- gathering and diagnosing data about the mentees’ styles of teaching and learning to provide counsel and build confidence, by coaching -- to fine-tune mentees’ professional skills, and by guiding -- assisting mentees in becoming independent by stimulating their creative and critical thinking through reflection. (Mentoring New Teachers by Hal Portner)
The effectiveness of the Mentor Program is measured via feedback surveys from principals, mentors, and mentees twice yearly, in January and June. Comments shared are used to refine and improve the program.