top of page

Section 2: Characteristics of Effective Mentors
Part 2


Characteristics in Practice

Professional learning is most effective when it is relevant, applicable, and practical. While reflecting on the identified characteristics of mentors, it is beneficial to examine what those characteristics look like in practice. Throughout these modules, a selection of High Leverage Practices (HLPs) will be highlighted to provide mentors with practical understanding, tools, and resources that are applicable and relevant to their current practice. Mentors who can effectively model and articulate how to implement HLPs will enhance their mentees’ effectiveness. 

Consistent, Organized, Respectful Learning Environment

High Leverage Practice 7

Success in the classroom begins with proactively establishing clear expectations and predictable daily routines that are consistently enforced. As students all have different backgrounds, behaviors, interests, and values, it is important to explicitly teach students these expectations and routines. The first few weeks of school are critical for laying the foundation that will set the tone for the rest of the school year. New teachers will need support from their mentors to implement effective expectations, routines, and procedures that will set them up for long-term success.

Classroom Expectations

Classroom expectations include academic and social behaviors that students should exhibit when they are in the classroom.

Keys to effective classroom expectations include:

  • Having no more than 5 broad principles, such as being responsible, safe, and ready to learn. 

  • Being worded in a positive manner, focusing on what students should do rather than what they should not do.

  • Inviting students to take ownership of the creation of classroom expectations.


Classroom Rules

After establishing classroom expectations, it is important to define what those expectations look like in practical terms. To enhance clarity, these rules should be 

  • Observable, behaviors that can be seen

  • Measurable, occurrences can be counted

  • Positively stated, actions students must do to be successful

  • Understandable, language is student-friendly and age appropriate

  • Constant, rule is applicable every day


Classroom Procedures

Predictable routines help the day-to-day activities flow more efficiently to maximize instructional time. They also help eliminate ambiguity for students who need direction on what they should be doing next. To create effective procedures, teachers should reflect on all tasks students will be expected to do and create a list of steps required to successfully complete each task.

Some examples of things to consider when designing classroom procedures are

  • Where will things be located in the classroom?

  • How should students access those things?

  • What will be the process for using the bathroom during class?

  • What will participation look like during whole-group, small-group, partner, or independent activities?

  • How will students turn in papers?

  • How will late assignments be handled?

  • What will students need to do after being absent?

  • How should class begin/end each day?

  • What will be the process for going to the nurse?

  • How will disciplinary infractions be handled?

This list is by no means an exhaustive list of routines to consider. Teachers should collaborate with colleagues to brainstorm all the procedures necessary to establish a consistent, organized, respectful environment.

Resources to support HLP 7

Highlight of HLP 7

Rubric for Implementation

Sample Lesson: Reviewing Expectations - Elementary

Self-Paced Professional Learning

Using Student Assessment Data, Analyzing Instructional Practices & Making Necessary Adjustments That Improve Student Outcomes

High Leverage Practice 6

Maximizing instructional effectiveness requires teachers to be able to collect, understand, and utilize meaningful data. New teachers will need guidance in this process. Mentors should model how to implement this practice, thinking aloud throughout the process. They should also provide guided practice to help mentees evaluate their own data and instructional practices. Below is a step-by-step cycle to support the implementation of this HLP. 

cycle of using student data.jpg
  • Establish Present Level of Performance through the use of reliable and valid Curriculum-Based Measures (CBMs).

  • Set an Ambitious Long-Term Goal that is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

  • Generate a Hypothesis about the student’s specific needs; Select Interventions to target the specific needs that are evidence-based; and Implement with Fidelity to ensure data collected is valid.

  • Monitor Student Progress at regular intervals to ensure the student is making growth towards the long-term goal.

  • Use Decision Rules to Determine Effectiveness of the Instruction, such as level, variability, and trend. Utilizing visual graphs to monitor progress supports visual analysis of effectiveness.

  • Generate a New Hypothesis depending upon the visual analysis of student progress and intervention effectiveness. If it is determined that the intervention is not effective, Implement Instructional Changes as Needed and repeat the cycle.


Resources to support HLP 6

Highlight of HLP 6

Rubric for Implementation

Evidence Based Intervention Network

National Center on Intensive Intervention

Pause & Reflect

Directions: Pause and reflect on what you've learned and use the question below to guide your thinking and record your thoughts in your Module 2 Companion Guide.  


Choose one checklist below to explore the possibilities of how you can implement the principles of the HLPs with your mentee.

Checklist 7 - Google Doc 

Checklist 7 - PDF

Checklist 6 - TTAC Website

In what ways could this checklist be beneficial to you as a mentor?

Screen Shot 2023-07-06 at 10.18.18 AM.png
Screen Shot 2023-07-06 at 10.16.50 AM.png
Screen Shot 2023-07-06 at 11.37.10 AM.png

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

bottom of page