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The "High Impact Mentor Strategies Training"

By Barry Sweeny, © 2008


PAGE INDEX:


What is Meant by "High Impact"?

Typical mentor trainings prepare mentors to orient, support, and encourage new teachers so as to ease their transition into their new career as teachers. These typical trainings usually include a review of district checklists, some ground rules for the mentoring relationship, effective communication, advice for working with another adult, and expectations for mentors' time.

The High Impact Mentor Training accomplishes A WHOLE LOT MORE, but does not include unnecessary elements.

1. We know that you can already provide the elements described above as 'typical" mentor training content, so WE don't address those easier topics in the High Impact Mentor Training. Why pay us to do what you can do for yourself!

2. We do not include staff development in instructional strategies that are specific to any subject area. There is no doubt that your district is already heavily invested in just such staff development, and so, you don't need us to provide that.

3. What you DO NEED is mentors who know how to facilitate their protege's implementation of those instructional strategies in their classroom with students. That's the "high impact" we target.

4. The term "High Impact" identifies that the primary goal of this powerful mentor strategies training is to prepare mentors to have a high impact on the effectiveness of their proteges' teaching and on the learning of their students. In learning how to promote that quality of mentoring, mentors themselves must learn the same high impact strategies. That is why the mentor's own teaching is improved as well.

The emphasis on increased instructional skills for novice and mentor teachers AND results for their students is our specialty and is what makes this High Impact Training so unique from every other training available. This is not just a "marketing claim". This is the result we deliver!


A Description of the High Impact Teacher Mentor Training

This training is designed to give mentors the knowledge and skills they need to effectively promote and accelerate the professional growth and instructional effectiveness of beginning teachers. The mentors' professional skills are also increased because each completes three self-assessments to analyze their mentoring skills and style, each sets improvement goals for their work as mentors, and each plans how they will implement their intentions in practice. The training works because it is inspiring, yet practical and specific, and because it utilizes best practices from effective staff development, leadership development, adult learning, coaching, and performance appraisal and improvement.

Each participant also receives a mentoring manual and several other support materials.
THIS TRAINING HAS BEEN UPDATED AND PROVEN OVER 20 YEARS OF MENTORING EXPERIENCES.

What is the specific content of the training?

Click on the link to see the New Teacher Mentor Training Agenda.


How many days long is the training?

The training can be adapted to fit different time schedules. How it is scheduled depends on whether the training is one step in a sequence of development or intended as the only event, and also on the goals of the training. Here are some possibilities. Let us know what meets your needs.

OPTION #1: THREE DAYS - The "High Impact Mentor Strategies Training" is most powerful and efficient when it is a comprehensive 3 day training, including effective mentoring strategies, plenty of involving activities, and training in high impact observation and coaching skills. This format saves about 1/2 day overall because it places all mentor learning within three consecutive days. The result of this event will be mentors who are ready and able to effectively mentor and coach for instructional improvement.

OPTION #2: THREE & 1/2 DAYS (SPLIT INTO 2 INITIAL DAYS and 1 & 1/2 DAYS LATER) - A very effective and engaging "High Impact Mentor Strategies Training" can be provided in 2 initial days by postponing the coaching skills training component until later on. This is the most common format, as it is often most appropriate to begin new teacher coaching later in the middle of the first school year. In this format, the coaching strategies training requires an additional day and 1/2, and is often scheduled in November or January. Again, the result of this sequence will be mentors who are ready and able to effectively mentor and coach for instructional improvement.

OPTION #3: TWO INITIAL DAYS and NO COACHING - The same "High Impact Mentor Strategies Training" as described above is all that is provided. This option makes sense when the district already provides an effective coaching training to mentors and new teachers and does not need Barry Sweeny to do so, when program implementation plans do not yet call for coaching by mentors, or when the program goals do not include support for new teachers' instructional improvement.

OPTION #4: 1 DAY - The "High Impact Mentor Strategies Training" can be adapted to one day for experienced mentors who have previously received other mentor training. This time reduction is accomplished through analysis of the prior training content and by eliminating those activities and content areas which have already been addressed. This is assumed to take a full day, as there are some components of barry Sweeny's High Impact Mentor Strategies Training Model which are completely unique.

The "High Impact Mentor Strategies Training" should not be reduced to just one day when mentors are not previously trained and experienced as mentors. To do so requires elimination of critical activities which provide the powerful personal learning experience for mentors which helps them to build their skills as mentors.


Can the training for mentors be adapted for other situations?

Yes, just let me know what you need and we will customize the training to address those needs. The basic mentor training has already been adapted for DOZENS of different settings, not just in education, but in business, high tech R&D, not-for-profit community organizations, even for a Las Vegas casino!

The easiest mentor trainings to do will incorporate materials which have already been developed for one of the following 6 different settings and for which these materials are immediately available:

  • - Mentors trained ALONE by themselves (without their protege)
  • - Mentors and beginning teachers who are trained together as a TEAM
  • - Mentors who are "cooperating teachers" or university supervisors with PRE-SERVICE student teachers/interns
  • - PEER Mentoring as in the work of a pair of experienced teachers to support implementation of staff development
  • - Mentoring by SUPERVISORS AND ADMINISTRATORS to support instructional improvement in teachers
  • - University faculty who will mentor new faculty members and students

Barry's experience includes a wide range of mentor trainings in other settings in which, unfortunately, the materials which were developed are proprietary. That means that Barry signed a non-disclosure agreement as a part of the contract to develop those materials and that they are now owned by that specific client. As such, those materials are unavailable for use with other organizations.

Never-the-less, these many other diverse experiences allow us to quickly develop just the training YOU need. Let us know what your setting requires and your goals for mentor training. You'll be impressed with the results!


Participant Comments about the High Impact Mentor Training

ONE DAY INTRODUCTION FOR MENTORS - "Thank you for your role as the presenter in the three recent, one-day mentor trainings around our state for the Missouri NEA's Professional Development Series. We had heard so much about your work from others that we were really looking forward to working with you. We were very pleased with the trainings you did for us and the good start on mentoring you have given to our Missouri educators." - Marty Pavlik, Professional Development Director, Missouri NEA

"Barry, I want to thank you for the outstanding presentation you provided at the Houston TX Focus Conference. I heard numerous positive comments from your audience before we headed back to Austin and also excitement about your ideas. We were very pleased. During the presentation, it was easy to see that the participants were engaged in your topics. Thank you ever so much for all the effort and thought you put into it to adapt to our special educators. I'm really glad that I now know about all the resources you provide. You WILL be hearing from me again."   - Ruth Ann Marsh, State-Wide Mentor Coordinator, TX School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Austin, TX

TWO DAY FOR NEW MENTORS - "The two day training you provided last year provided an excellent foundation for the new mentors. This letter confirms our plans to repeat the training this year for new mentors and a "refresher" training for returning 2nd year mentors Thanks for your willingness to adjust to our evolving vision for this program." - Claudia Kasper, Director of Human Resources, Hinsdale Elementary School District, Hinsdale, IL

TWO DAY FOR EXPERIENCED MENTORS - "All seven of the full time Milwaukee Teacher Mentors really enjoyed your training last week. We wondered how much more we could learn, since all of us have been mentoring full time and already have learned quite a bit! However, we learned a great deal from you that we know will improve our work with the new teachers in our system. At our mentor meeting that Friday we unanimously voted to purchase all of your fine mentoring resources . Thank you so much." -  Mary Ellen McCarty, MPS/MTEA Mentor, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

- "Barry is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about helping new teachers, mentors AND their students. Any one needing guidance for making induction and mentoring more effective will find time with him to be informative and insightful, and that his strategies are workable and useful to accomplishing that purpose." - Rebecca Braaten, Mentor, Farmington, New Mexico.