A DEFINITION OF "MENTOR" AND "GUIDE" ROLES: Providing Peer Assistance Structures That Are Matched to New Teacher Experience
Barry Sweeny, 1989

- Return to Roles, Tasks and Strategies for Mentors -


"New" teachers are employed every year, but there is a large range in their life and work experiences. Mentoring assistance needs to be tailored to the needs and experience of these new employees. Some programs define the difference by calling teachers "new" or "beginning". While this is fine, more needs to happen to customize the assistance provided.

When the author was a Mentor Program Coordinator (1988-1992) he also coordinated the district's "Guide Teacher Program" which addressed the needs of experienced but new employees or staff whose assignment had changed due to transfer or change of grade or course assignment. Here is how this was structured to work.

A GUIDE is assigned to any educator who has more than one year of professional experience, and who is either:

A. New to the school district, or

B. Transferred within the school district to a new subject, grade, or school

A MENTOR is to be assigned to any employee just beginning in the profession or to any new employee who has a year or less of professional experience in another district.

IF a beginning teacher is assigned to two buildings that teacher can work with a mentor in the major building and with a "building" guide in the second building.



 MENTOR =>  A HELPER ROLE

1. ORIENTATION TO: 

The Building

The Curriculum

The School Community

Staff's View of the Profession

<=GUIDE 
A COLLEAGUE  2. A FRIEND, LISTENER, & CONFIDANT

 

A MODEL ROLE 

3. CHALLENGING & FACILITATING THE PROTEGE'S PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT BY:

Acting as a one-to-one staff developer

Modeling the continuous search to be the best educator possible, through openness to learning and to feed back from others

Full details about the Guide Teacher Program are available on the RSOD web site on the "Materials List" page