5 Mistakes a Teacher Mentor Makes

A teacher mentor is one of the most powerful ways to support the growth of educators. A teacher mentor is a colleague who has shown tremendous impact in the classroom and is willing to help new or struggling colleagues learn how to do the same.

5 Mistakes a Mentor Teacher MakesIn order to be an effective teacher mentor, there are five mistakes to avoid. Explained below are those five mistakes, as well as additional resources to help you prepare for a successful school year as a mentor.

Mistake #1: Inconsistent Meetings

A teacher mentor should meet regularly with their mentee. This allows potential problems to be discussed before they get out of hand and a coveted time to ask questions. Find a day/time that works for both of you and commit to meeting at least twice a month.

Mistake #2: Tell, Not Show

Teachers who are new or struggling need to visualize great teaching habits. It is not enough to just tell them what to do. Model and role-play as often as possible. You might even invite them to observe you live in front of students so you can demonstrate a specific action. Show more than tell.

Mistake #3: No Feedback, Follow-Up, or Follow-Through

It is hard to get better at something if you are not sure how to get better. A teacher mentor should provide feedback to their mentee on their lesson plans, lesson materials, or instructional delivery. Following up with your mentee on action items holds them accountable for doing what you both discussed during your meeting. Also, if you as the teacher mentor say you’re going to do something (ie. deliver resources), follow- through on your promise. Set the bar for excellence and dependability.

Mistake #4: Multiplying Yourself

A teacher mentor is not trying to duplicate themselves; they need to create the best version possible of their mentee. With that being said, you can share your teaching personality or preferences, but you should allow the mentee to explore how they want to do things and what feels authentic to them.

Mistake #5: No Celebration

Teaching is hard. Sometimes you have more bad days than good. Be sure to celebrate the progress, not just the perfection. Click To Tweet

Additional Resources for a Teacher Mentor

Podcast Episodes

Blog Posts

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What mistake would you warn a teacher mentor not to make?

About the author, Gretchen

I am a teacher trainer and coach. Working elbow to elbow with teachers and teacher leaders to ensure instructional proficiency and student achievement soar lights me up. We have a real need in our nation for strong educators to remain in the field. My blog, book, podcast, courses and instructional materials are geared towards empowering teachers (and those that lead them) to receive the support needed to grow and thrive today, tomorrow and always.