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Mentor Program for Teachers

Contact Information

Physical Address:
Lincoln Complex 912 Oak St SE, Bldg. M Albuquerque, NM 87106 Map

Phone: (505) 253-0335
mentorprogram@aps.edu

Full staff listing

The Mentor Program: An APS/ATF Partnership

The Mentor Program provides qualified, program-approved Mentor Teachers to all Level 1, Beginning Teachers in the district. It is co-managed in partnership between Albuquerque Public Schools and the Albuquerque Teachers Federation, through the Joint Governance Panel, for an optimal comprehensive approach to support new teachers in the field of education.

What is Mentorship?

Comprehensive formal mentorship expands beyond traditional ‘buddy system’ induction, to include support and technical assistance that reflects the developmental nature of new, beginning teachers’ initial experiences in the classroom.

A Mentor Teacher provides guidance in lesson planning, instructional strategies, and the use of technology in instruction. Mentor Teachers, are a resource for assessment/data usage, effective procedures, time/organizational management, classroom/behavior management, as well as a support for affective factors.

How does The Mentor Program work?

The Mentor Program pairs all Level 1 teachers (new to the profession and within the district) an approved-program Mentor Teacher based on a combination of location, content, and grade level for one year.

Mentor Teachers and Level 1 teachers are able to schedule their time together as often as needed, however, the program requirements include: weekly minimum contact, needs assessment, SMART goals, and observations along with professional development for the mentor teacher as part of their continued professional growth. 

Who is eligible for Mentorship?

The NM Public Education Department (PED) mandates that all Licensure Level-1 teachers need one year (2 semesters) of formal mentoring by a state-approved program in order to be eligible to apply for Licensure Level 2, in addition to other requirements. Level 2 or Level 3 teachers new to the district, or who are adding a license, are not eligible for Mentorship. Preservice teachers must complete internship and course work before a mentor can be assigned.

What is a qualified Mentor Teacher?

Qualified Mentor Teachers include:

  • A teacher colleague/volunteer (must have a student caseload).
  • License Level 2 or, preferably, Level 3.
  • 3 years' experience in the APS District.
  • Approved by The Mentor Program through application, reference, and interview.
  • Accepted into the pool of Mentors for assignment, based on availability.

For more information on becoming a Mentor Teacher please visit our Intranet page.

 

What is the role of the Joint Governance Panel (JGP)?

The JGP monitors the effectiveness of The Mentor Program based on annual summative data.

  • The JGP is the governing body of The Mentor Program consisting of two classroom teachers, two administrators, one representative from Human Resources, one representative from Albuquerque Teachers' Federation, the Mentor Program Coordinator, and the PAR Coordinator.
  • The JGP monitors the mentorship work and makes recommendations as applicable, as outlined in the Negotiated Agreement, and subsequent guidelines.

How does Mentorship work with administrators?

Unlike other mentor programs in the country, the APS/ATF Mentor Program is non-evaluative. The documentation requirements are not a component of teacher evaluations, and is intended to be completed in collaboration between the Level 1 teacher and their Mentor Teacher. The reflections and notes of a Mentor Teacher have no bearing on a teacher colleague's performance, review, nor employment eligibility. The Program works together with principals and supervisors, however, only The Mentor Program can officially make formal mentor assignments and verify completion of mentorship. 

Here's What They're Saying:

“I think this experience has been as good for me as my first-year teacher.”
~ Mentor

“… mentors are supported with ongoing professional development so they can continue to learn as well as the first year teachers.”
~ Governance Panel Member

“... this program is invaluable to ALL of us! I believe we need a cadre of experienced individuals to offer continual encouragement, reinforcement, and positive feedback. Thank you for all you do, it takes all of us to make a school the best it can be for our students and staff.”
~ Principal

“I never realized how lonely teaching can be. We are surrounded by children all day long, but as a community of teachers, we are isolated. My mentor has filled a void for me. I no longer feel isolated in my portable and although I have made some ‘first-year teacher’ mistakes, my mentor has told me, ‘I will not let you fail.’ She has provided me with sound advice, pertinent materials, observations, and most importantly, her friendship. Thank you for pairing me with an experienced teacher!”
~ First Year Teacher

“More than anything else, my mentor goes above and beyond just mentoring me.  She is consistent and steady and helps me to set realistic expectations—and keeps me calm! I can always ask her anything and she is always available to me.”
~ First Year Teacher