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Section 1: Understanding Your Mentoring Beliefs


Your Beliefs

Your beliefs about mentoring inform how you will engage as a mentor of teacher candidates.  Think for a moment about your own mentoring experiences.  Were they positive? Negative? What about your mentoring experiences would you replicate and why?  What would you never do? 


Mentoring orientations are often conceptualized by the various roles that mentors envision for their work: coach, counselor, supporter, trouble-shooter, parent figure, socializing agent, scaffolder, evaluator, collaborator ...the list goes on and on, which speaks to how multi-faceted mentoring really is!  


At the heart of what you believe about your mentoring role is how you believe your mentee learns to teach. For example do you believe that you, as the mentor, 

  • serve as the expert who transmits teaching practices to a mentee? 

  • provide technical guidance and knowledge?  

  • work collaboratively to engage in ongoing learning alongside your mentee?  

  • Prefer to listen and support as mentees problem solve on their own? 


Research scholars have used myriad terms to describe these orientations (instrumental vs. developmental, transmissive vs. transformational, direct/collaborative/non-direct etc...) (Glickman, 1985; Graham, 2006; Orland-Barak & Klein, 2005; van Ginkel et al., 2016).   


The first key to effective mentoring is articulating what you believe as it relates to mentoring others.  

Pause & React

Directions: The Mentor Teacher Beliefs Inventory is designed for mentor teachers to assess their own beliefs about mentoring and professional development.  The inventory assumes that mentor teachers believe and act according to three theoretical orientations to mentoring. Keep in mind mentors may have elements of each of these three orientations in their beliefs system, but typically one is the more dominant approach. In addition, there may be instances in which a situation calls for a specific mentoring approach: directive, collaborative, or non-direct (Glickman, 1985). 

Click the link below to create a fillable worksheet in your Google Drive or download a PDF. The inventory is designed to be self-administered and self-scored.

Three Approaches to Mentoring Image
Inventory Image

Take a few minutes to complete this document. Then click here to review a bit more about each of the orientations from the Mentor Teacher Beliefs Inventory. 


Then think back to the Interrogating Self Reflection you completed in Module 1 and any insights you gained from completing The Mentor Teacher Beliefs Inventory. Ask yourself the following questions. Record your thinking in your Module 2 Companion Guide: 

  1. What approach to mentoring (direct, collaborative, non-direct) resonated with you most? 

  2. How will that dominant orientation impact your mentee? 

  3. What do you value most and how will that impact your mentee?  

  4. What implicit biases do you hold? 

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

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