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Tool: Self-evaluation selection criteria for mentor teachers

The purpose of this tool: This tool will help you assess your potential as a mentor and to determine the attributes that you can build on and the characteristics you should strengthen. Mentoring requires different skills and knowledge from those used in teaching children. Not all effective teachers are necessarily effective mentors.

How to use this tool:  Think about yourself in terms of the research-based suggested criteria. Keep in mind that most mentors will not exhibit or possess all of the criteria, so also consider evidence of your efforts to further develop such characteristics. Provide evidence to substantiate your self-assessment.

Suggested criteria and evidence

  • Sees self as learner and continually strives to improve own practice
  • Works well with colleagues: Models empathy, integrity, flexibility and genuine concern for others’ growth
  • Exhibits a passion for teaching
  • Shows a willingness to devote the time and resources needed to develop as a mentor
  • Shares resources and ideas with colleagues
  • Takes initiative and a leadership role
  • Articulates and explains own thinking processes and reasoning
  • Demonstrates dependability, responsiveness and responsibility
  • Displays classroom expertise/viewed as expert teacher by peers
  • Possesses knowledge of subject matter
  • Uses culturally responsive teaching practices
  • Reflects the school’s philosophy about teaching and learning
  • Understands the politics and culture of the school and community


Other important considerations:

  • Understands the school or district requirements of mentors. Is willing and able to commit the time required of mentors.
  • Certification and licensure
  • Tenure or years of experience as a teacher
  • Workload
  • Experience working with student teachers


Gold, Y. (1996). Beginning teacher support: Attrition, mentoring and induction. In Sikula, J., Buttery, T.J., & Guyton, E. (Eds.), Handbook of research on teacher education, 2nd ed. ( pp. 548-616). New York: Macmillan.

Portner, H. (2001). Training mentors is not enough: Everything else schools and districts need to do. Thousand Oaks, CA.: Corwin Press.

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