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Tool: Mentor self-assessment

Purpose of this tool: This tool is designed to support mentor development through self-assessment and goal setting. Ongoing formative assessment promotes mentors’ ability to provide quality educative support to beginning teachers.

How to use this tool: 

  • This tool should be used at the beginning of the year, mid-year and at the end of the school year. 
  • Focusing on one mentor role at a time, first identify your strengths.
    • The characteristics listed under each role should guide your thinking about the aspects of mentoring.
    • Your assessment will be stronger and more useful by providing concrete evidence such as descriptions of practice or specific instances of support.
  • Next, identify areas of desired growth for each mentor role.  
  • Considering the areas that you would like to improve, determine a few appropriate goals for yourself.
  • Most importantly, you should then brainstorm specific activities or steps to take to help you move towards your goals. Creating a concrete, specific and manageable action plan is key to your continued development. 
  • Some mentors may choose to get input or even complete the assessment with their mentee or in their mentor learning community.

Strengths and evidence

Mentor role

Areas for growth


Establish and maintain a positive relationship

  • Understand typical beginning teacher needs
  • Discuss expectations of relationship
  • Connect frequently with beginning teacher
  • Maintain open and honest communication
  • Model empathy and responsiveness
  • Be flexible, dependable and responsible
  • Listen for understanding and without judgment
  • Paraphrase and check for understanding
  • Maintain confidentiality



Provide support for growth and development

  • Observe and conference
  • Analyze student work together
  • Co-plan
  • Model teaching strategies
  • Promote goal setting and checking for progress
  • Assist in identifying steps for growth
  • Invite self-reflection
  • Probe to clarify explanations and ideas
  • Encourage examination of beliefs and assumptions
  • Explore questions rather than provide answers
  • Model and encourage problem solving
  • Connect practice to effects on students



Provide logistical support

  • Introduce to key people
  • Show and explain key materials
  • Inform about important dates well in advance
  • Explain important procedures and policies
  • Share and help obtain resources
  • Share strategies and techniques



Provide emotional support

  • Compliment and provide positive reinforcement
  • Provide a safe place for sharing highs and lows
  • Check-in on regular basis
  • Support in interactions with colleagues, parents and administrators
  • Share passion and enthusiasm for teaching and learning



Seek growth as a mentor

  • Enjoy learning and teaching
  • Commit time and effort to mentoring
  • Demonstrate initiative and leadership
  • Participate in mentor learning community




Next steps


Typical goals for mentors include finding more time and resources to both prepare for and meet with beginning teachers. Below are some suggestions to help with these issues:

Finding time

  • Meet before school, after school, during lunch or during free periods.
  • Have someone videotape your mentee’s class if you are unable to get in for observations.
  • Double up classes with a colleague. Take turns leading the instruction for both classes, freeing up some time to meet or observe your mentees.
  • Share responsibilities within your mentor learning community. Take turns leading the instruction in each other’s classrooms to allow time for mentoring
  • Suggest these ideas to your principal:
    • Schedule a common lunch period for you and your mentee.
    • Schedule some common preparation periods for you and your mentee.  (Note that you don’t want all common periods because you want to be able to observe your mentor teaching at times).
    • Assign multiple mentors to a beginning teacher.
    • Provide refreshments and/or compensation for before- or after-school meetings between mentors and beginning teachers
    • Hire a substitute teacher for mentors in the school or district. (Even hiring a substitute one or two days a month will provide more free time).
    • Place you and your mentee’s classrooms near each other for easy access.
    • Teach a mentor’s class to provide free time for mentoring.
    • Assign mentors fewer classes or non-instructional duties.
    • Recruit retired teachers to assist with mentoring.

Finding resources

  • Share resources within your mentor learning community.
  • Use an on-line chat room for suggestions and sharing of ideas.
  • Search for other virtual mentor networks.
  • Refer to the list of sources provided in this website for articles, books and websites on mentoring.
  • Connect with a local university for support
  • Seek out your own mentor.

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