Steps for Cycle One – Mentors
Cycle One of the New Teacher Mentoring program focuses on Component Two of Danielson’s Framework: The Classroom Environment. The purpose of this cycle is to help new teachers get a clear picture of their classroom environment as the teacher of record. Research indicates that reflective teachers are able to evaluate their own practices and make decisions for improving personal performance based on evidence of practice.
Just as in the initial phase, the new teacher’s journey is a personal one. The length of time that they may take to complete the steps is not prescribed. Your role is to help them assess their performance so that they can make accurate decisions about their current performance levels. Your may be asked to secure resources or other support for them as they work to refine a component of practice.
Refresher Before You Begin
1. You are a coach in this process. Resist the urge to tell the new teacher how you would do things. Allow them to develop their own skills and knowledge. They may not be what you would do, but the question is "Are they effective?"
2. Remember to reflect on your biases so that you are able to focus on the practices that you see and hear without being influenced by your own professional style.
3. You are an advocate for the new teacher. This role may require you to see that the new teacher has the support, resources, and other things needed to be successful. This may mean that you are the person who goes forth and makes the requests. If you discover a barrier to the new teacher’s success over which you have no control, it is appropriate to bring this to the attention of the mentoring site coordinator.
4. You are not the judge of practice in this role. While you may disagree with the decision(s) of the new teacher in terms of his/her practice, it is ultimately his/her own responsibility to assess and highlight their current performance levels. If you think their assessment is not accurate, you should use questioning techniques and ask them for concrete evidence of practice to help them consider their ratings. Remember, your role is to point out what you see and hear in terms of their practices.
5. Please review the Mentor Roles & Responsibilities.
Documents used in this Cycle:
Guiding Questions for Classroom Environment - This document consists of potential questions that you may ask the new teacher. The questions are not to be answered in a written form. You should review the questions and ask several of them during your discussion to help the new teacher develop confidence in responding.
Cycle One Observation Logs - These documents will be used by you during the observations as guidance in collecting and recording evidence that is seen and heard during the observations. In the first observation you will be collecting evidence as it relates to Component Two - Classroom Environment using Observation Form Once for Cycle One. In the second observation you will be collecting evidence as it relates to the criterion of Component Two that has been identified by the new teacher as an area of focus using Observation Form Two for Cycle One. Provide a copy of each form to the new teacher after the conferences and keep a copy as a reference for the post-observation meetings.
Discussion Logs - (Discussion Log One / Discussion Log Two)These one page documents are to be completed by you as you meet with the new teacher after each observation to discuss their practice. Give them the notes and either make or ask for a copy for your files. The purpose of each document is to celebrate the new teacher's successes, identify their challenges, and determine the support and resources you may need to secure for them.
New Teacher Video Form – New teachers are provided with a username and password for Educational Impact Online Learning Academy which contains a video streaming program to assist them in identifying evidence of practice for the criteria of Danielson's Domains. (This provides visual and auditory connections to the components and elements of the framework) Each video clip ranges from 3 to 10 minutes and features Charlotte Danielson presenting an overview of the component, a clip of a teacher demonstrating solid practice in the area, and an analysis of the performance. The new teachers may ask you to review a section with them or they may refer to what they adopted or adapted from the clip to use in their classroom. Each new teacher should complete a Teacher Video Form after viewing at least three (3) video clips related to their chosen area of focus. You should ask them what they learned from the video clips and review the form with them after the second observation meeting.
1. Set up the initial meeting with the new teachers. Try to have all meetings take place in their room. Establish a date for your observation to take place. We encourage you to video your observation as it allows both of you to see the practices in action. You should give a copy of the video to the new teacher prior to your second meeting. If you are unable to use the video method, record notes of what you see and hear during the lesson. It is a good idea to provide the notes to the new teacher as quickly as possible after the observation and prior to the second meeting.
2. During your meeting you will complete the discussion log with your new teacher’s comments and review their practice. Please remember a copy of the "A Framework for Teachers' Components" and the "Component Rubrics for Teachers" with you to the meeting. After considering the evidence related to their practice in this component, they will select one element as an area of focus. At the conclusions of this meeting you should determine any needs and resources that you will secure for the new teacher as they work on this area of focus.
3. The new teacher should spend 2 to 4 weeks refining their practice. If they spend more than four weeks on this process, you should check with them to assure that things are on track or to determine if you need to intervene with additional support. They will be reviewing the video streaming clips and may seek your input into which ideas or strategies they will use. Use your questioning techniques to help them evaluate the potential on their own.
4. When ready, the new teacher will ask you to schedule a second observational date. Again, you may video this class session. During the observation, focus only on the area of focus that they had selected.
5. As soon as possible after the second observation, set up the next meeting with the new teacher. Complete the discussion log, review their practice, and record any notes or questions that you wish to share. The new teacher should review the Framework Rubrics and assess their current level of performance level is in each of the elements for Component Two.
At this point you will be discussing their next steps in the process. If their ratings were in the “proficient’ range they should move on to Cycle Two. If the performance is still “basic” in some areas, you should discuss how refining some of those areas may lead to greater success in their classroom. Remember that evidence of practice is what should lead to movement forward. However, in the end, it is the new teacher’s decision as to what direction they will take.
Sometime during the first cycle you will be asked to attend a Parent Conference Workshop. During this session you will play a vital role in simulating conference experiences for the new teacher. You may be asked to bring materials with you, to play a role during the session, or to attend a set up meeting with the lead mentors. The powerpoint presentation and form below may be used during this workshop or you may be told by your site coordinator that you will be provided you with other resources unique to your district/charter for this workshop.
At the end of this cycle complete the Cycle One Verification of Services Form for Mentors. This should not be done while you are meeting with the new teacher. This is a personal statement. You only need to check the statements and sign the form. This is the opportunity for you to note any issues that you may have regarding the new teacher. If you feel that he /she moved on prematurely, this is the time to state so. If you feel that you are not able to continue your work with the new teacher, please be honest. Send the completed form to the lead mentor/site coordinator as indicated by your school/district.
New Teacher Documentation for Completion of Cycle One
The Cycle One Verification of Services Form for New Teachers should be completed by the new teacher at the completion of Cycle One and submitted to the lead mentor/site coordinator as indicated by your district/school.
Copies of the following documents should be kept by the new teacher in their portfolio for a period of three years: (you should check with your Site Coordinator as some districts/schools require copies to be submitted to the main district/school office as well)
- Discussion Logs as completed by the Mentor and provided to the new teacher
- Video Streaming Review Sheet
- Parent Communication Workshop form(s)
- Cycle One Verification of Services for New Teachers
- Cycle One Certificate of Completion
Documents to be completed by the mentor- 2-6 forms depending on the format of the observations (video tapes require no notes, but the discussion of the video may lead to notes). The site may have mentors bring forms to the Parent Workshop session. Record your hours on the Mentor Log and turn the log into the designated Lead Mentor or Site Coordinator as directed by the site. Please make certain that you follow their guidance and procedures to request your salary stipend. Mentor stipend requests are submitted by the sites in May and the stipends are normally disbursed in the second pay in June.
Additional Important Information
Mentors, please help the new teacher to determine whether the evaluation process is being properly followed and that he/she is provided with a summative DPAS II evaluation at the end of this year.
*** If a teacher moves to another district/charter school during the period of time when they hold an initial license, he/she will be required to present the specified documents related to each of the three cycles. If the person cannot provide the documentation, they may not be able to secure a new teaching position or may be required to repeat some or all of the cycle.
After the first year of teaching the new teacher’s portfolio should contain copies of his/her summative DPAS II evaluations. Teachers moving from the initial license to a continuing license must have proof of two successful summative evaluations. Failure to have these summative evaluations may result in a required extension of the initial license or the inability to secure a continuing license.
Please verify with your new teacher that they are moving through the correct path of evaluation and that they were provided with a summative evaluation at the end of each of their three years on the initial license. A lesson analysis is not a summative evaluation. In the event that administration does not provide the new teacher with a summative evaluation at the end of the year, you should notify your site coordinator immediately.
Click on link for access to the following: Cycle One for Mentors / Cycle Two for Mentors (coming soon)