Simply having experience as a teacher and a mentor does not necessarily make one exemplary at either. Unfortunately, mentor training is often not required and varies greatly in content, time, nature, and mode of delivery.
Research suggests mentor teacher preparation efforts focus on developing key skills indicative of highly effective mentors (Hobson et al., 2009). These include strategies for
working with adult learners,
providing emotional support,
engaging in feedback cycles,
gradually releasing responsibility and control, and
scaffolding reflection on teaching and learning.
Mentor training should also support mentors’ personal professional development, including through the provision of time to engage in training experiences such as shadowing experienced mentors, time to develop their skills as a mentor, and time to formally and informally discuss mentoring experiences at regular intervals with colleagues (Hobson et al., 2009; Hudson & Hudson, 2010). Additionally, mentor training should equip mentors to evaluate their own practice, enhance their skills, and be able to support the development of best practices within their mentees.
What Are High Leverage Practices?
All classroom teachers are faced with the responsibility of providing high-quality, inclusive instruction for all students, regardless of their background, disability, learning preferences, or behaviors. Meeting this variety of needs requires teachers to effectively employ research- and evidence-based practices.
The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability and Reform (CEEDAR) partnered together to identify specific practices proven by research and evidence to leverage student progress, particularly those with disabilities. The collection of identified practices are referred to as High Leverage Practices, or HLPs and are divided into the four areas of collaboration, assessment, social/emotional/behavioral, and instruction (McLeskey, 2019).
Effective mentors demonstrate the ability to effectively implement these practices, to frequently reflect on improving their own practice, and to confidently model and think-aloud these practices for their mentees. Review which practices have been identified to be the most effective to support the learning of all students.
Introduction to High Leverage Practices
Take a moment to watch the video to the left and review the slide deck below that lists all 22 High Leverage Practices. After watching the video, and reviewing the slide deck, you'll have a better understanding of what HLPs are.
Consider which HLPs resonate with you.
Citation: Kennedy, M. J., Peeples, K. N., Romig, J. E., Mathews, H. M., & Rodgers, W. J. (2018)
Pause & Reflect
Directions: Pause and reflect on what you learned. Use the HLPs self-assessment link (interactive Google Sheet) to create your own copy. Or you can use this printable PDF version. Follow the directions to help identify your areas of strengths and weaknesses. Record your thoughts in your Module 1 Companion Guide.
How can you utilize your strengths to support these skill developments with your mentees?
What are some ways you can strengthen your weaknesses to enhance your mentorship?
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