"The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires." – William Arthur Ward

Why Teacher Mentoring?

“Teaching is an occupation that loses many of its newly trained members very early in their careers,” says national researcher Richard Ingersoll. The National Center for Educational Statistics shows about one third of America’s teachers are leaving the field during their first three years of teaching. At the five year mark nearly half will have left. Teaching is one of the only professions that expect new hires to assume all the responsibilities of the experienced employee with little support from the system.

Being a novice teacher can be overwhelming. A good mentoring program supports new teachers while they transition from theory to practice. Mentoring programs also help transition more experienced teachers into new teaching assignments. Supporting the well-being of these new teachers will improve the quality of instruction. Mentoring has been shown to decrease the number of teachers leaving the profession. Students are the greatest benefactors of the support given to new teachers.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Slate Valley Unified School District Educator’s Mentor Program is to provide students with quality instruction by promoting the professional development of our teachers.


The purpose of the Educator’s Mentor Program is to aid the transition of teachers, new to the district or position, into the classroom while encouraging best practices through collaboration with experienced educators.

  • To create a structured mentoring system for professional staff.
  • To reduce new teachers’ feelings of isolation, improve teacher performance, increase new teacher retention and satisfaction, and encourage openness and dialogue between teachers of all levels. 
  • To create an “integrated professional culture” (Johnson, 2002) with characteristics such as:

-frequent and meaningful interaction among all faculty members of all experience levels;
-higher expectations for increased teacher contribution to their school’s learning community;
-curriculum guidance;
-collaborative lesson planning; and
-peer observation

  • To continue to increase educator quality, which is essential for desired learning outcomes, as required by Vermont and federal law and regulations.

-Vermont School Quality Standards state that each school should
implement a mentoring system for professional staff in their first two years of employment.
-Title II of No Child Left Behind provides schools with the opportunity to receive grant funds to develop and implement initiatives to develop mentoring and induction programs.

Program Components

The Educator’s Mentor Program is a structured program to train, orient, assist and support a teacher who is new to the profession or new to the school. The focus is on the one-to-one mentoring relationships that pair a new teacher with a more experienced colleague and may also include orientation days and a series of workshops/seminars for groups of teachers.

The Slate Valley Mentor program has two components. Mentors will work with their mentees on the Components of Professional Practice as set forth in Enhancing Professional Practice: A Framework for Teaching by Charlotte Danielson. Mentees will also meet on a regular basis for seminars/meetings on various topics of interest and need.

The level of participation in the mentoring program will be determined primarily by the type of license held by the teacher. Other factors for consideration are the previous teaching experience of a teacher, administrative recommendation, etc.

View Handbook.