• The purpose of the Santa Maria ISD Teacher Mentoring Program is to establish and enhance a beginning teacher’s induction into the education system. A qualified mentor teacher will be assigned to an induction year teacher with the objective of developing and supporting both teachers. The goal of the program is to provide support and services in new teachers resulting in retention, quality instruction, and student achievement.

    The Teacher Mentoring Program at Santa Maria ISD assigns mentor teachers who are (1) accepting of the beginning teacher, (2) good at providing instructional support, (3) has effective interpersonal skills, (4) is a model of a continuous learner, and (5) communicates hope and optimism. An exemplary educator is selected to be a mentor teacher with the major goal of supporting and guiding the new teacher.

    New teachers work with their assigned mentor teacher to complete a variety of helpful recommended mentor program activities. Professional development activities and extra support is provided for the new teachers as they begin their career in Santa Maria ISD.Research on what works in schools informs the professional practice of mentoring and teaching. Several principles derived from the literature guide our work in preparing mentors to help beginning teachers succeed:

     Peer mentoring and coaching by experienced teachers is a powerful way to support

    beginning teachers (New Teacher Center, 2008; Kortman & Honaker, 2004).

     An experienced teacher does not necessarily make a good mentor (Daresh, 2003; New

    Teacher Center, 2008).

     The heart of mentoring is providing instructional support in the classroom (ASSIST

    Beginning Teachers, 2006a).

     The culture and belief system of the classroom and the school as a whole play an

    important role on the level of teacher success with diverse children (Villarreal, 2009).

     Highly qualified teachers teach all students to high standards (TEA, 2002).

     Teachers in diverse classrooms can teach for student success when they are empowered

    to become highly qualified culturally proficient teachers (Lindsey, et al., 2007; Michigan State University, 2007).