Purpose of Mentoring
    Mentoring is a mechanism to articulate and share the craft of teaching.  It helps to ensure that new teachers have access to the accumulated instructional knowledge and expertise of their colleagues in ways that contribute to student success.  It is an intentional process to guide a protégé to proficiency.
    Purpose of Mentoring Programs
    Carefully designed mentoring programs can help in three ways to met the challenge of securing quality teachers.  Mentoring can be used as a recruitment tool, it can improve teacher retention rates; and it can help to improve the skills and knowledge of both the new and experienced teachers.  A good mentoring program combines the best new approaches to teaching with time-tested strategies known to work well for students thusly improving student achievement.
    Thompson Falls Mentoring Committee
    A 5 member committee will be composed of 2 coordinators, teacher representatives from each building, primary, elementary, junior high and high school and the district superintendent will make up the Thompson Falls Mentoring Committee.  The committee will be responsible for appointing replacements and will meet quarterly to discuss the progress of the program.
    It will be the responsibility of the Thompson Falls Mentoring Committee to implement the mentoring program, delineate the roles and responsibilities of the mentors and protégés, monitor and document program effectiveness, select mentors, match mentors and protégés, provide consultation to mentors, handle mismatches/reassignments, serve as an official record keeper of paperwork and appoint new committee members.
    Thompson Falls Mentors
    In order to be considered for a mentoring position in the Thompson Falls Mentoring Program, teachers must have 3 years of teaching experience and attend the Mentoring Matters Class.  They must be able to demonstrate an exceptional knowledge of the disciplines they teach and possess a repertoire of effective classroom management skills and instructional techniques to a degree that they are recognized by their peers and administrators as outstanding.  Mentors must have excellent communication skills.
    Mentors must be willing to commit the necessary time to be involved in mentor training while still providing a meaningful experience.
    All teachers with 3 years of experience will be invited to take the class when offered.
    Thompson Falls Protégés
    The Thompson Falls Mentor Program will provide new teachers with a mentor to welcome them to our district.  Teachers will have the opportunity to work with a mentor anytime they change positions.  Teachers with no experience or are new to the district will be provided a mentor for their first year with the option of continuing for a second/third year.
    Thompson Falls Mentor/Protégé Matches
    The Thompson Falls Mentoring Committee makes mentor / protégé matches before the start of the new school year.  Matches will occur within the same building when possible.  It will be the responsibility of the Mentor Coordinators to notify the mentors, protégés and building administrators of the matches.
    The Mentoring Committee will handle concerns about any aspect of the Thompson Falls Mentor Program.  Questions or concerns about the program should be directed to the building representative of the Mentoring Committee and/or Program Coordinators.  The Program Coordinators will contact the mentor and/or protégé within a week to evaluate the problem.  If the problem continues to exist, the Mentoring Committee will meet within two weeks to mediate a solution to the problem.  The Mentoring Committee will make a decision to reassign if necessary.
    Thompson Falls Mentor/Protégé Activities
    Statistical data indicates that the efficacy of mentoring is linked to the amount of time that a mentor and protégé work together.  The Thompson Falls District will commit to providing adequate opportunities for mentor/protégé teams to observe one another, model good teaching, and discuss instructional strategies and resources.
    Mentor/Protégé teams will begin the year by meeting one full day or two half days before the start of the school year to provide district orientation.  A Protégé Needs Assessment form will be used to target specific needs and provide a starting point for the mentor/protégé team.
    Mentor/Protégés will meet and correspond on a regularly scheduled basis.  The mentor and protégé will meet 2 - 4 times per month.  Mentor / protégé discussion checklists and protégé needs list will be utilized to direct these meetings.  Meeting times will be logged by the mentor indicating the date, time and topic of the meeting.
    Observation opportunities are essential to the success of the Thompson Falls Mentoring Program therefore, all mentor/protégé teams will set up specific observation times.  Pre and post conferences will be required for each observation.  The paperwork required for an observation will include the pre-observation form, data gleaned from the observation and protégé reflection form.  the mentor will be responsible for keeping this documentation.
    In the first and third quarters the mentor will set up opportunities for the protégé to observe 2 different classrooms.  In the second and fourth quarters the mentor will observe the protégé at least once per quarter.  The mentor is encouraged to accompany the protégé at the first observation to point out notable aspects of classroom instruction, management, etc.
    Note - observations done by mentors are in no way a part of the evaluation process of the protégé.  Such paperwork will not be shared with building/district administration.
    Thompson Falls Mentor Training
    In order to be a mentor for the Thompson Falls Mentoring Program, teachers will receive training on the role of the mentor.  Training will include facilitating reflective practice; understanding state/local mandates; establishing collaborative relationships premised on trust, collegiality, and confidentiality; developing classroom observation skills; creating long-term professional development plans for new teachers; and understanding the academic professional, and social needs of new teachers.  The Mentor Coordinators will be Mentoring Matters Trainers and provide classes as well as ongoing training for mentors.  A professional library of mentoring resources will be available.
    Thompson Falls Mentor/Protégé Compensation
    The program coordinators will receive 10% of the base on the salary schedule.  Mentors working with protégés with no experience will receive a $500 stipend and their protégé will receive a $300 stipend.  This same mentor/protégé team may also receive a free hot lunch, a maximum one time per week, if they meet during their designated lunch period.  Mentor/Protégé teams, where the protégé has teaching experience, will each receive a $300 stipend.  All mentor/protégé teams will receive release time necessary for training, meetings and observations.
    Time Commitments
    Mentors and protégés will make an attempt to use creative scheduling of time to meet with each other and other mentors and protégés.  The following are suggestions for arranging common time:
       - Using teacher prep times to meet or observe each other
       - Trade time with another teacher so sub doesn't have to be hired
       - Shared lunch / duty time
       - Classrooms are close together
       - Use e-mail and telephone
       - Hire a sub that would rotate and cover several pairs for a day
       - Use early out time
    Thompson Falls Mentoring Evaluation/Documentation
    At the end of the year, both mentor and protégé will do an evaluation of the mentor experience.  All evaluation forms and documentation will be submitted to the Thompson Falls Mentoring Coordinators who will compile the information and presnet it to the mentoring committee.  The committee will review and make suggestions for improvements as needed.
       - Mentor Logs - logs will include date and time of mentor/protégé meetings, observations and training/professional development
       - Observations - observations will include the pre-observation questions/planning conference, observation data and protégé reflection
       - Evaluations - evaluations will include the protégé and mentor evaluations