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Department of Defense Education Activity

DODDS Europe
Isles District

SHAPE American Elementary School


SHAPE, Belgium

MENTOR
PROGRAM

Page 2 SHAPE American Elementary School Mentor Handbook

SHAPE AMERICAN ES MENTOR PROGRAM


MISSION STATEMENT
The purpose of SHAPE Elementary Schools Mentor Program is to provide continuous personnel
and professional support to staff members who are new to SHAPE ES, grade level or position. This
program aims to enhance the collaborative and interconnected environment in our schoolsand enable continuous professional growth for novice and veteran teachers in effective teaching strategies
and promote student achievement.

PROGRAM GOALS

To introduce and integrate new staff members into the culture and climate of the school and the
school district.

To assist novice teachers with common professional challenges.

To facilitate novice and veteran teachers professional growth through professional learning and
reflection on their teaching strategies and on student learning.

To encourage teacher leadership in the school.

To improve teaching performance in line with the DoDEA Community Strategic Plan and
AdvancED standards.

MENTOR ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES


Communication: Clarify communication between mentees and the district/school.
Documentation: Assist mentees in submitting documentation in an appropriate time and manner.
Professional Development: Be familiar with DoDEA policies and standards.
Support/Sponsorship: Meet regularly with mentees to provide emotional and professional support.

MENTEE ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES


Communication: Communicate specific needs to mentor
Documentation: Fill out needs assessments and reflection sheets.
Professional Development: Be familiar with DoDEA policies and standards. Participate in the mentor
program. Participate in formal and informal observations.

SHAPE American Elementary School Mentor Handbook Page 3

Page 4 SHAPE American Elementary School Mentor Handbook

DoDDS-E ACRONYMS
AVID
BAS
CONUS
CSC
CSI
CSP
DDESS
DoDEA
DSO
ESL
ET
FLES
GE
IEP
ISSP
IT
LI-M/M
LI-M/S
LLI
OT
PCS
PSCD
PT
PTSO
SAC
SIS
SPED
SRI
SST
TDY
504

Advancement Via Individual Determination


Benchmark Assessment System
Continental US
Case Study Committee
Continuing School Improvement
Community Strategic Plan
Domestic Dependents Elementary and Secondary Schools
Department of Defense Education Activity
District Superintendents Office
English as Second Language
Educational Technologist
Foreign Language in Elementary Classrooms
Gifted Education
Individual Education Plan
Instructional School Support Specialist
Information Technologist
Learning Impaired-Mild/Moderate
Learning Impaired-Moderate/Severe
Leveled Literacy Intervention
Occupational Therapy
Permanent Change of Station
Preschool Children with Disabilities
Physical Therapy
Parent Teacher Student Organization
School Advisory Committee
SHAPE International Schools
Special Education
Scholastic Reading Inventory
Student Support Team
Temporary Duty
An environment modification plan to support learning

SHAPE American Elementary School Mentor Handbook Page 5

MENTOR ACTION TIMELINE


Local Hire
Upon selection for
the position

School mentor makes initial contact with the mentee by email or phone. The mentee will explain role in getting the new hire settled in the position in his or her new personal and professional environment.
Pick the mentee up at the airport and bring directly
to the hotel.
Present a welcome basket put together by the
school that includes: water, fruits and meal items.

Upon arrival in Belgium

Before reporting
for duty

First day at work

Second day at work

CONUS Hire

Meet the mentee for a tour of the installation.


Point out the base facilities that the
mentee can avail of.
Present a welcome basket put together
by the school that includes: water, fruits
and meal items.

Meet the mentee for a tour of the area and installation. Provide contact information and helpful hints:
Housing office/realtor contact information
Cellphone companies
Things to do in Belgium

The school mentor will escort the mentee to meet with the school secretary. The mentee will
fill out all necessary employment paperwork provided by the school secretary, to include:
Setting up direct deposit
Health insurance options
TSP coverage
Using accrued and sick leave hours
Calling for a substitute
Getting a CAC card
Getting a school identification pass
After the mentee is done with the paperwork, the mentor will bring the mentee to the classroom/office to begin settling in.
The school mentor will escort the mentee to meet with the administrators. The administrators
will conduct the New Teacher Orientation meeting with the following agenda items:
Going through the handbooks (Faculty, Parent-Teacher, Substitute)
Performance Appraisal System
Continuing School Improvement
Specialists mini-presentations (when available):
ET (logging in, Outlook features, providing support)
Counselors (schedules, services)
IT (hardware issues)
Information Specialist (schedules, services, rules)
Nurse (policies, services, rules)
Registrar (cumulative folders, grade policies)
Administrative Officer (school policies and procedures)
Supply (supplies and procurement)
Pictorial list of school personnel
Tour of the school

Page 6 SHAPE American Elementary School Mentor Handbook

MENTOR ACTION TIMELINE


Local Hire
First week
of school

CONUS Hire

The mentor will assist the mentee with anything that might be needed for the first week of
school. It is at this time that both parties will decide on a regular schedule to meet for the mentoring program.

End of first semester

The mentor and mentee will share feedback and assess the effectiveness of the mentoring
program. Both parties will develop new goals for the second semester.

End of
second semester

The mentor and mentee will share feedback and assess the effectiveness of the mentoring
program. Both parties will celebrate the conclusion of the mentoring program.

MENTORING CALENDAR
The mentoring activities are divided into eight categories:
Personal: This section addresses life beyond the work place as well as creating a welcoming work environment where new teachers feel a part of both the learning community and the social fabric of the school.
Professional: This section addresses both the professional development and learning that teachers continue throughout their careers and the human resource issues of contracts, finances, benefits, etc.
Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment: This section addresses the daunting task of knowing what
students are supposed to know and know how to do as a result of the instructional program designed and
implemented by their teachers.
Organizational Systems: This section addresses systems for organizing professional papers, instructional materials, student materials, and the classroom.
Students: This section addresses systems for getting to know the students as learners and as people, for
building a learning community, and for developing a repertoire of ways to deal with unmet expectations that
are not grounded in compliance and control but rather in increasing student learning.
Colleagues: This section addresses issues of collegial collaboration including working with the administrative staff, teaching staff, and support staff in professional and productive ways in the interest of student
learning.
School and School Systems: This section addresses the policies and procedures, written and unwritten,
for the operation of the organization.
Parents and Community: This section addresses the need to work collaboratively and proactively with
parents as partners in their childrens education.
Important note:

The following pages contain the suggested tasks for the mentor in each category. No one
mentor is expected to implement all of the suggestions. Instead, mentors should read
through the suggestions, decide which are appropriate for the mentees at this state, decide
who should complete the tasks, and facilitate the implementation.

SHAPE American Elementary School Mentor Handbook Page 7

MONTHS 1 AND 2
Personal:

Contact mentee at the earliest opportunity, prior to new teacher orientation or the reporting date.
Share the forms of personal contact information the mentor is willing to share with the mentee.
Make a welcome bag or basket.
Greet new staff members on first day of orientation and sit with them in the meetings.
If the new staff members are moving into the area, provide information and assistance in locating a place
to live, identifying important offices, shopping areas, and hospitals.
Email the staff introducing the new additions with their photographs, if possible.
Provide the mentee with pictorial information of the current staff members.

Professional:

Explain the mentor program to the mentees. Include what they can expect from the mentor and the mentors responsibilities. Inquire about their hopes and dreams for their work this year. Ask about their hopes
and dreams for their jobs this year. Use In My Minds Eye to capture their thinking.
Identify the problems, concerns and challenges that are the biggest issues for them at this point. Use the
New Staff Member Needs Assessment. Use the data to set collaborative monthly goals for the mentoring relationship.
Discuss professional attire.
Go over payroll and benefits.

Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment:

Locate and provide, either hard copies or online links, DoDEA curriculum standards, pacing guides and
other curriculum documents.
Use the pacing guide to assist the mentees in chunking the year.
Assist the mentees in creating detailed plans for the first week of school.
Provide an overview of the TerraNova assessment as it relates to and is aligned with curriculum and instruction.
Provide an overview of the different resource assessments such as BAS, SRI, Exemplars, IXL, CSI.
Choose one curriculum standard to focus on.

Organizational Systems:

Explain procedures for attendance, lunch count, e-mail, voice mail, etc.
Check classroom for furniture and supply needs.
Explain the communication tools used by the school to the staff members, primarily through Outlook and
the Daily Bulletin.

Page 8 SHAPE American Elementary School Mentor Handbook

Collect materials needed by mentees.


Coordinate with the learning leader/department chair to ensure that mentees have what everyone has.
Share examples of hall passes, nurse passes, etc.
Go over district/school calendars and schedule of testing dates, fire drills, assemblies, special events, etc.
Facilitate the training with the ET and mentee on how to use the Outlook calendar to schedule appointments with administrators and time at the computer lab and information center.
Show how to fill out the Facility Use Request Form and Gym Use Request Form.
Share how to request funding from the PTSO .
Provide an overview of the special education services offered in the school and in the district.
Explain the referral process and pre-referral process used in the school.
Assist in developing substitute folders and emergency lesson plans.

Students:

Go over the student demographics. Describe any recent changes.


Discuss building a learning community in the classroom.
Explore how to establish and implement procedures and routines with students.
Provide a list of extracurricular events in which their students might be participating.

Colleagues:

Keep the administrators (principal and assistant principal) of what the mentor is doing with the mentees.
Explain to colleague the role they can play in welcoming the mentees and helping them be successful and
contributing staff members.
Introduce mentees to all appropriate staff members.
Explain the support services available and go over the support provided by the school and the DSO.
Provide mentees with a map of the school with teacher and staff member names.
Go over policies, possibilities, and potential pitfalls of working with paraprofessionals.
Discuss relationships and co-teaching with regular or special educators.

School and School System:

Provide overview of procedures and policies such as fire drills, evacuation plans and other school crisis.
Take the mentees on a building tour.
Provide a map of the district with important buildings highlighted.
Identify whom to contact for what at the district level.
Explain which resources will and will not be provided.

Parents and Community:

Take a tour of the community pointing out demographics and local institutions of note.
Discuss the importance of keeping parents informed about curriculum, course content, student behavior,
and important dates throughout the year.
Explain the variety of communication tools (Outlook, Facebook, Google Docs, Gradespeed, school and
class newsletters) used with the parents and community.

PSHAPE American Elementary School Mentor Handbook age 9

Explain the norms and procedures of Open House/Back to School Night.


Remind them of the important of multiple positive and productive parental contacts before progress reports are sent home result in far fewer questions about grades.

MONTHS 3 AND 4
Personal:

Check on balance of work and life. Reality sets in during October.


Place cartoons and inspirational quotes about school, teaching and students in the mentees mailboxes.
Attend a school extracurricular event together.
Monitor mentees for fatigue and disillusionment.

Professional:

Preview professional development opportunities and make suggestions as appropriate.


Ensure that mentees are informed and ready for the formal observations.
Remind them to save receipts for tax purposes.

Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment:

Revisit the curriculum and pacing guide and their corresponding lesson plans.
Have the mentees complete a self-assessment of how their classroom assessment repertoire is working.
Use Assessment of Learning and the Instructional Program.
Introduce new teachers to the cumulative records and the student achievement data on their students.
Discuss how this data matches the classroom assessment date and how they can use both data sets to
plan instruction.
Be sure that mentees do not fall into the turkey and Pilgrims trap. Help them make plans to maximize
meaningful active learning experiences the day before Thanksgiving vacation and to refocus learning following the four-day weekend.
Assist the mentees with the CSI formative assessments.
Choose one curriculum standard to focus on.

Organizational Systems:

Review grade book and record keeping systems. Examine the effectiveness and efficiency of current review and grading of student work and the way the information provided on returned papers is used by students and teachers.
Discuss time management both at school and during the after-school hours.

Students:

Ask the mentees to share stories about evidence of student learning that has been rewarding.
Have mentees describe how students are becoming more comfortable with each other and the learning
process.
Discuss concerns about students who are struggling and identify interventions that might work.

Page 10 SHAPE American Elementary School Mentor Handbook

Go over learning profiles of special education students and assist the mentees in scaffolding instruction
for those students.
Ensure that the mentees are comfortable contacting building and district specialists for assistance.
Discuss impact of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and other special events on student learning.

Colleagues:

Debrief department, grade level, team, and committee meetings. Answer questions about unknown terms
or unclear processes.
Invite the mentees to join grade level groups to analyze student achievement data and to discuss how to
use the information to inform instructional decisions.

School and School System:

Explain the process of late openings, school closings, and early dismissals.
Go over end of the grading period procedures and emphasize the importance of completing forms correctly and submitting them in a timely fashion.
Discuss the school holiday policies.
Go over field/study trip procedures.
Discuss leave policy surrounding Thanksgiving and other holidays.

Parents and Community:

Explain the norms and procedures for parent conferences.


Discuss the pros and cons of having student led conferences.
Share examples of letters and other communication home about conference schedule and purposes.
Do a room tour and help the mentee see the classroom through the eyes of parents. Ensure that student
work dominate.
Brainstorm ways to stay on schedule during conferences.
Discuss what to do should the conference become confrontational.
If a mentee is expecting a particularly challenging conference, role play the conference and if necessary,
sit in on the conference.
Suggest that general education teachers collaborate with special educators in planning and holding parent
conferences of students they both teach.
Assist mentees with any questions about mid-quarter progress reports and first quarter report cards.

MONTHS 5 AND 6
Personal:

Escort mentees to staff gatherings at school or out of school.


Write the mentees Welcome Back notes with candies on their desks or mail boxes.
Meet them for coffee or a meal to debrief the first semester.

Professional:

SHAPE American Elementary School Mentor Handbook Page 11

Ask mentees to share reflections on their professional challenges and successes.


Discuss how the mentoring process is working. Use Goal Setting and Reflection Sheet.
Make plans for the mentoring relationship for the second semester.

Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment:

Explain the days before the winter break have the potential to be lost instructional time. Guide them in
planning meaningful and engaging learning experiences.
Choose one curriculum standard to focus on.

Organizational Systems:

Discuss the dilemma of the piles of papers that have accumulated on shelves, in boxes, and on desks.
Help the mentees figure out what to throw away and what to file.

Students:

Inform the mentees to be sensitive to the religious and ethnic diversity of the students so that they will not
make references to only the celebrations in which they participate.
Let the mentees know not to penalize students for decisions made by adult family members about school
attendance by giving high stakes assessments the day before the school holidays.

Colleagues:

Ask colleagues to assist in providing moral support to new teachers who are going through the slump and
need personal and professional support.

School and School System:

Go over policies for holiday decorations, celebrations and gifts.


Preview semester exam policies and procedures.

Parents and Community:

Alert mentees about the various religious holidays, rituals and festivities in which students, parents and
community members engage.

MONTHS 7 AND 8
Personal:

Celebrate Valentines Day with a cartoon or a candy bar with the mentees.
Make a Spring Break survival kit with magazines, novels, sun screen, and chocolate candy.

Professional:

Notice and comment on appropriate professional dress.


Assist in planning for formal observations.

Page 12 SHAPE American Elementary School Mentor Handbook

Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment:

Discuss how bell work, openers, and anchoring activities provide opportunities to revisit concepts and information as well as provide opportunities for needed standardized test preparation and practice.
Choose one curriculum standard to focus on.

Organizational Systems:

Concentrate on the use of time. Focus on instructional time and then focus on time management beyond
the classroom.
Explore ways to better use technology to manage professional, instructional and student information.

Students:

Review the learning profiles of students to identify those who might need referral for special services.
Have the mentees preview standardized testing procedures and processes with students.

Colleagues:

Encourage mentees to build in time to meet with their colleagues to examine student work. Help them decide what student work samples to bring to the table.

School and School System:

Just before standardized testing events, review the policies and procedures for administering the assessments.

Parents and Community:

Help mentees develop a plan for letting parents know what they can do to help create a positive and productive testing environment.

MONTHS 9 AND 10
Personal:

Be supportive of those who, for whatever reason, is leaving school at the end of the year.

Professional:

Review the effectiveness of the mentoring relationship and discuss how to make the best use of your
time, energy and expertise.
Ask them to summarize their learning from this year by identifying the key strategies they want to remember for future use. Use Instructional Tips I Want to Remember.

Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment:

SHAPE American Elementary School Mentor Handbook Page 13

Identify the concepts and information that students have not yet mastered and discuss how to revisit and
reteach those concepts while extending and enriching the learning of those who have already mastered
them.
Encourage the mentees to offer students more choice in their learning.
Choose one curriculum standard to focus on.

Organizational Systems:

Encourage systematic collection and storage of instructional materials and student artifacts they want to
have available for the next school year.
Assist in identifying materials mentees needed for next year and making plans for obtaining or creating
them.

Students:

Discuss with mentees how to recognize and celebrate the bursts of energy students display and how to
channel it into active, meaningful learning experiences.
Use student work and the results of classroom assessment to help the mentees plan engaging and focused end-of-the-year learning experiences.

Colleagues:

Discuss how collegial interactions are going and hold a coaching session around any problem areas.
If there is a change in teaching assignment, ask colleague with whom mentees will be working next year
to reach out to welcome them to the team and to share well in advance any instructional and assessment
materials the team uses.

School and School System:

Debrief the standardized testing that has been completed and discuss what needs to be done differently
for the next round of testing.
Review study trip procedures.
Preview exam schedule and end-of-the-year time lines.
Go over the End-of-the-Year procedures for student and teacher check-out.

Parents and Community:

Assist mentees with any questions about third quarter report cards.
Discuss strategies for dealing with parents who are upset about events at or communication from the
school.
Help mentees identify ways they will let parents see the big picture of what their children have learned and
accomplished this year.

LAST FEW WEEKS


Personal:

Page 14 SHAPE American Elementary School Mentor Handbook

Celebrate the learning of the mentees and the students by having dinner or coffee away from school.
Write the mentees a note stating how much the mentor learned by participating in the mentoring process
and from working with them.

Professional:

Mentor and mentee will fill out the Reflection and Evaluation Sheet.
Join the mentees in reflecting on their accomplishments this school year. Revisit the goals they set and
the dreams they held for the year. Celebrate those accomplishments.

Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment:

Discuss the pacing of the instructional year and help the mentees consider what they will do better nxt
year.
Choose one curriculum standard to focus on.

Organizational Systems:

Assist the mentees in designing a system for packing up their own instructional materials for the summer.
Advise what to leave at school and what to take home with them.

Students:

Suggest and end-of-the-year note for each student celebrating individual and group accomplishments.

Colleagues:

Meet with mentees colleagues and share reflections on professional growth during the year.

School and School System:

Go over book count and storage procedures.


Explain procedures when students lose books or damage school property.

Parents and Community:

Advise mentees to send thank you notes to parents and community members who have assisted in any
way during the school year.

SHAPE American Elementary School Mentor Handbook Page 15

IN YOUR MINDS EYE

Page 16 SHAPE American Elementary School Mentor Handbook

NEW STAFF MEMBER NEEDS ASSESSMENT


Challenges and Concerns
Personal: This section addresses life beyond the work place as well as creating a welcoming work
environment where new teachers feel a part of both the learning community and the social fabric of
the school.
Professional: This section addresses both the professional development and learning that teachers
continue throughout their careers and the human resource issues of contracts, finances, benefits,
etc.
Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment: This section addresses the daunting task of knowing
what students are supposed to know and know how to do as a result of the instructional program designed and implemented by their teachers.
Organizational Systems: This section addresses systems for organizing professional papers, instructional materials, student materials, and the classroom.
Students: This section addresses systems for getting to know the students as learners and as people, for building a learning community, and for developing a repertoire of ways to deal with unmet
expectations that are not grounded in compliance and control but rather in increasing student learning.
Colleagues: This section addresses issues of collegial collaboration including working with the administrative staff, teaching staff, and support staff in professional and productive ways in the interest
of student learning.
School and School Systems: This section addresses the policies and procedures, written and unwritten, for the operation of the organization.
Parents and Community: This section addresses the need to work collaboratively and proactively
with parents as partners in their childrens education.

SHAPE American Elementary School Mentor Handbook Page 17

NEW STAFF MEMBER NEEDS ASSESSMENT


Challenges and Concerns
Personal

Professional

Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

Organizational Systems for Teacher and


Classroom

Page 18 SHAPE American Elementary School Mentor Handbook

NEW STAFF MEMBER NEEDS ASSESSMENT


Challenges and Concerns
Students

Collegial Interactions and Collaborations

School and School System Policies and


Procedures

Parents and Community

SHAPE American Elementary School Mentor Handbook Page 19

ASSESSMENT OF LEARNING AND THE INSTRUCTIONAL PROGRAM


New Teacher Self-Assessment and Goal Setting
____Check for understanding across all students by using signal cards, slates, think pads, choral responses,
and circulation, and adjust instruction accordingly
____Select assessment tools from a wide range of options including, but not limited to, paper and pencil assessments
____Do a pre-assessment as part of the planning for a unit of study
____Design rubrics, performance task lists, and checklists that articulate in precise language performance
and assessment requirements
____Provide students with clear criteria and exemplars of processes and products before they begin the
work
____Provide formative rehearsals for summative assessments at appropriate levels of thinking
____Design and give assignments, to include homework, that provide practice and rehearsals and then analyze the results
____Include student self-assessment of products and of the effectiveness of the effort
____Go beyond grading student work to critiquing and analyzing student work to see which components of
the standards are at mastery, which are progressing, and which are in need of teaching and re-teaching
____Teach students to give each other feedback through peer editing and review
____Use every assignment as data on what to teach next and to whom and in what ways
____Engage students in the design of assessment criteria
____Have students score anonymous work to help them understand what the scoring criteria looks like in
student work
____Structure individual accountability in group work
____Monitor impact of teacher behavior on student success and modify behavior, plans, and instructional
strategies accordingly
____Compare desired outcomes with actual outcomes and adjust plans accordingly

Page 20 SHAPE American Elementary School Mentor Handbook

INSTRUCTIONAL TIPS I WANT TO REMEMBER

PSHAPE American Elementary School Mentor Handbook age 21

GOAL SETTING AND REFLECTION

Page 22 SHAPE American Elementary School Mentor Handbook

REFLECTION AND EVALUATION

SHAPE American Elementary School Mentor Handbook Page 23

REFLECTION AND EVALUATION

Page 24 SHAPE American Elementary School Mentor Handbook

REFLECTION AND EVALUATION

SHAPE American Elementary School Mentor Handbook Page 25

REFLECTION AND EVALUATION

Page 26 SHAPE American Elementary School Mentor Handbook

REFERENCES
Lake Region School District. (2007, May 30). H.E.L.P. Helping new teachers learn the profession.
Retrieved July 9, 2013 from http://maine.gov/education/teacherinduction/forms/manual.pdf
Learning for the Future, Inc. (2005-2010). The educators virtual mentor. Retrieved July 9, 2013
fromhttp://educatorsvirtualmentor.com/
New York City Department of Education (n.d.). Roles and responsibilities of school-based mentors.
Retrieved July 9, 2013 from http://schools.nyc.gov/NR/rdonlyres/EC6D30FF-B47B-4ACB-84804FC10DE122FB/0/MentorGuide20112012.pdf
Rutherford, P. (2005). The 21st century mentors handbook. Alexandria, VA: Just ASK Publications.