Generate Discussion About Mentor Training

by Ami Hicks, Streamwood High School, School District U46, Streamwood, IL, USA

Mentoring programs are being initiated in many schools across the country primarily for new teacher induction. The question that continuously is asked is, "What should be included in a mentor training program?" A major issue in mentor training is this exact question, but an equally critical question is how to make support of mentors and mentor growth a continuous process, not just an initial training experience.

This article is the second in a series of articles which provide an example of a mentor teacher's reaction to and reflection on research in mentoring. This strategy can be included in an on-going mentor training program. Its value is that the interaction with research and ideas from other programs than just that of the mentor, keeps the mentor thinking about the role being played and the needs that are being meet. The mentor continues to assess the effectiveness of their own work and the appropriateness of the strategies they are using.

Read on. Take a minute to learn how this strategy for on-going mentor training works.

The mentor training at Naperville Central High School, Naperville, Illinois is offered after school hours and continues throughout the year. Mentors in training are asked to read an article which provides current research on mentoring. They are then asked to write a summary, which is a reaction or reflection paper, and state how this article might apply to their mentoring situation in education.

The primary purpose of this strategy is to keep mentors thinking about their own work. Another variation of the strategy would be for mentors to share what they have been reading and their reactions to it at periodic mentor training or mentor support group sessions.

Mentors are able to participate in a mentor training program for either graduate credit from Aurora University or for professional development credit. This program has been successful, in part because it has been under the direction of Ami Hicks, who developed and led the program as a result of her Master's Degree program and research. Ami is a MLRN Executive Board member.