From the Field
What Makes a Great Mentor?
By Team Torace published on Jan 27, 2023
min read
A mentor teacher co-teaching with a mentee teachers in a classroom full of students raising their hands.

To wrap up National Mentoring Month, Team Torace is focusing on what makes a great teacher mentor. The following are quotes from the complete article, The Qualities of Exceptional Mentor Teachers, published on Edutopia, a trusted source on what is going on in education.

When educators were asked, "What makes a great mentor?" They answered with the following:

  • "The first few years in the classroom are a roller-coaster of emotions and second-guessing. The best kind of mentor ‘listens with empathy,’ says Cait Marie, an English teacher in New Jersey,"

  • “As teachers navigate unprecedented levels of professional stress and burnout, mentors can show early-career teachers how to set ‘clear work/life boundaries,’ impressing on them ‘the importance of caring for students and self,’ says teacher Kate Kluegel.”

  • “Mentors play a more expansive role, helping new teachers ‘manage the grind of daily struggles and the challenges of the profession,’ writes reading and language arts teacher Kimberly Long for .”

  • “The best mentors are more than hand-holders or tour guides. They’re skilled but accessible practitioners who ‘pass on their knowledge through informal conversation and everyday modeling,’ says middle school ELA teacher Heather Wolpert-Gawron.”

  • “The best mentors quietly model good pedagogical practices and leave ‘enough space’ for mentees to find their own voices, writes New Zealand educator Nicholas Orr,”

  • “Because mentoring takes time, the best mentorship often takes place within formal programs that provide participants with scheduled time and deliberate structure.”

If you are interested in starting, refining, or growing a mentoring program, please email [email protected] to see how we can help!

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