The Baldwinsville Mentoring Program
Program ParticipantsAll teachers hired by the Baldwinsville School District become participants in the Mentoring Program. These "mentees" are matched one-on-one with a trained mentor. The mentor-mentee pairs stay together throughout the mentee's probationary period.
The Mentoring Program is coordinated by the Coordinator, a teacher on special assignment, who facilitates the program on a half-time basis.
The program is overseen by the Mentoring Committee. This committee is comprised of two teachers chosen by the BTA (Baldwinsville Teachers Association), four administrators chosen by BAPIS (Baldwinsville Association of Principals and Instructional Supervisors), the Coordinator, and the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction.
Mentor Selection and AssignmentThe Baldwinsville Mentoring Program utilizes a nomination system for identifying mentors. On an annual basis, members of the Mentoring Committee solicit nominations in each of the district's eight schools. Any tenured teacher is eligible to be nominated for the mentor role. Teachers are encouraged to nominate themselves and/or colleagues. Administrators may also nominate teachers. These nominations are forwarded to the Coordinator who, in conjunction with the Assistant Superintendent and the building principal, assigns mentors to mentees. Nominees are chosen to be mentors based on their willingness to fulfill this role, their teaching skills, their interpersonal skills, and their availability. Mentors are generally assigned to mentees based on their proximity in both teaching assignment and location.
Mentor TrainingIn August, all prospective mentors attend a three-day training session. During this time, mentors participate in a wide variety of activities designed to:
- deepen their understanding of the mentor role,
- deepen their understanding of the stages a new teacher goes through,
- provide them a repertoire of skills for working non-judgmentally with a colleague,
- teach them how to build trust with a colleague,
- make them aware of mentor pitfalls, and
- inform them of the resources and expectations of the Mentoring Program.
Mentoring ExpectationsMentoring expectations are communicated to participants during summer training and orientation as well as through the Mentoring Program Manual and the monthly Mentoring Suggestions sheet.
The mentor role includes:
- familiarizing the mentee with the district and building resources, guidelines, and expectations,
- linking the mentee to resources,
- guiding the mentee in areas of classroom management and design, discipline, scheduling, planning, and organization,
- sharing ideas, teaching strategies, information about the instructional process,
- visiting the mentee's classroom and offering the mentee opportunities to visit the mentor's classroom,
- promoting self-reflection and self-analysis by the mentee,
- assisting the mentee in setting goals,
- offering nonjudgmental, supportive listening,
- maintaining confidentiality and professionalism, and
- completing the Mentoring Activity Sheet at the end of each month.
The mentee is expected to make a commitment to the relationship, utilizing the resources that the mentor and the Mentoring Program offer. Additionally, the mentee is expected to complete the Mentee Feedback Sheet at the end of each month. This sheet asks the mentee to state in what ways he/she has grown as a result of mentoring.
Mentors and mentees are encouraged to create a mentoring plan at the beginning of each year to guide their activity. They are also encouraged to utilize the available release time for activities they design to meet their needs.