What is focused mentoring?
Mentors play a key role in supporting beginning teachers as they actively analyze and reflect on their instructional decisions. During Year 1 and Year 2 of the Resident Educator Program, educators are assigned a state-certified mentor to support them as they use the Ohio Standards for the Teaching Professional and apply the teaching and learning cycle to their instructional practices. These formative mentoring years are a time to practice through reflection and analysis of authentic teacher work (e.g., planning lessons, analyzing data and monitoring student progress). Through collaborative conversations, observation and feedback, mentors support resident educators’ professional growth and help them meet their annual goals.
Focused mentoring is a new component of the formative mentoring years. While mentoring overall addresses the instructional support resident educators need as they begin their professional teaching careers, focused mentoring is specific and targeted to address teacher competencies Ohio once measured in the Resident Educator Summative Assessment (RESA) in the years preceding 2017-2018. Through focused mentoring, teachers demonstrate their competency in the targeted skill areas at the local level instead of the state level.
Focused mentoring is delivered in two parts. Focused Mentoring I targets professional growth and communication during year 1. Focused Mentoring II targets use of student formative and summative assessment in year 2. Local districts/schools will determine the activities, materials and requirements of the focused mentoring based on the needs of resident educators. The goal is to provide a level of focused mentoring that supports growth in the practice of targeted areas.
During the transitional years, teachers who did not pass certain components of the former RESA (Task 2, Task 4 and/or Task 5) will participate in focused mentoring. Please refer to 2017-18 Pathways for Teachers with a Prior RESA Attempt for information on when focused mentoring is required.
The Ohio Department of Education will be providing sample resources that districts/schools may choose to use for focused mentoring activities.