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Section 3: A Closer Look At Reflective Mentoring
Part 1

As we consider the "inside out" framework for engaging in reflective mentoring, let’s explore how each of these layers currently informs your work as a mentor teacher. As you begin the next sections of Module 1, consider the varied roles of mentors to teacher candidates, on-the-job interns, and new teachers and what role(s) you may fill.   


We begin by understanding the big picture of our work. Then we will move through each of the layers to ultimately look at how your context and your beliefs about mentoring will impact how you approach this role. 

National and International Context

As noted above, teachers, teacher candidates, and teacher educators — and their respective, distinct, and often intersecting institutions — must address a range of pressing national and international issues. Here we provide a glossary of these topics and concerns to guide mentors in this responsive approach.

Glossary of Terms

Explore the glossary of terms using the slide deck to the left. Navigate using the arrows in the bottom left corner, click      to view full screen, or click "Google Slides" to open in or save to your Google Drive.

Download the glossary of terms as a Word document

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Your State

Virginia is (and has been) experiencing a significant teaching shortage. In fact, Virginia has had approximately 1,000 openings at the beginning of each of the last few school years.  Each year, Virginia has identified 10 critical shortage areas. This is the list for 2020-2021— some of which may surprise you:


Because of the availability of teaching positions, increasingly new teachers are bypassing their capstone internship experience in lieu of an on-the-job option, or skipping traditional teacher preparation altogether. And while the student population in Virginia is increasingly diverse, with just 50% of the student population being non-white, the percentage of diverse teachers entering the profession is significantly lower. While statistics on race are not collected by the Virginia Department of Education, according to data from the 2018-2019 school year obtained by the U.S. Department of Education, 79% of school teachers in the United States are white. Each of these contextual factors has implications for you as a mentor.

Special Education

Elementary and Early Childhood Education, PreK-6

Middle Education, 6-8

Mathematics, 6-12

Career and Technical Education

Science (Secondary)

Foreign Language, PreK-12

English (Secondary)

Library Media, PreK-12

History and Social Science (Secondary)

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Pause & Reflect

Your School Community

Directions: Look back to The Reflective Mentoring Model Fillable Tool that you began in the previous section. How would you characterize your school community? Use the following questions to deepen your consideration of this context. Add more information to your Reflective Mentoring Model and your Module 1 Companion Guide, as you answer these questions:

  1. How is the teacher shortage impacting your school and community?

  2. How does your school and district partner with your local university? 

  3. In what ways have you engaged in professional learning related to anti-racism, culturally responsive pedagogy, and trauma informed instruction?


This website contains references. View references here to see sources.

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