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Paraphrasing is a technique in which the listener restates what the speaker has said to him or her.

Paraphrasing allows the mentor to:

  • Show interest in what the beginning teacher has to say
  • Focus on the beginning teacher’s ideas
  • Clear up misunderstandings
  • Communicate acceptance
  • Model an important element of professional dialogue

To paraphrase:

  • Listen to the speaker carefully
  • Focus on the key ideas of what s/he is saying
  • Restate what you understand the speaker to have said

Paraphrasing sounds like:

  • So you’re feeling frustrated at the amount of time it is taking you to plan.
  • The parent left you four messages on your voice mail!
  • It sounds like classroom management is your biggest concern at this point.