Oregon Mentoring Program - Teacher Training that Works


Research to Practice • Practice to Research

Oregon Mentoring Program - Teacher Training that Works

Posted on May 13, 2015

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By Carol Dennis


You are finally a teacher

Empty Classroom

You walk into the classroom for your first day of prep – not just this school year, but ever. You are finally a teacher – a career you have dreamed about since you were 10 years old.

As you step through the door you notice the bulletin boards and walls are empty. This is almost a surprise, since every classroom you have ever been in was covered with posters and artwork and positive messages.

But this is YOUR classroom and YOU get to choose what goes up.


The first day of school finally arrives


Back of students who are raising their handsIt feels like only hours, not days that have passed, but there is the morning bell starting the first day of school, and the voices you had only imagined become real. Your classroom fills with students, all wondering who the person is standing at the front of the room.

And in that moment, you find yourself wondering the same thing. All your planning, all those classes you took at the university seem just out of reach when looking into the eyes of your students – YOUR students, with their future in your hands.

Then, in the back of the room, a familiar face, smiling, nodding, and reminding you that you have what it takes. This person is your mentor and, in this moment, you couldn’t be happier to see her.


Mentoring works



"My teachers, after finishing two years with me, are at the point in their careers that I was in 10 years..."


Mentoring saves districts money


Studies have shown that 50% of beginning teachers leave the profession within their first 5 years, costing Oregon school districts $40 - 50 million dollars a year.


Beginning teachers who are mentored through the Oregon Mentoring Program were asked in a 2014 survey to describe their future plans. Seventy-two percent (72%) of these mentored teachers said they would stay in the profession. Fewer than 2% said they would be leaving teaching.*


Mentoring improves student achievement

Three-quarters of the beginning teachers (76%) indicated their mentor helped them impact their  students’ learning.* When asked to provide examples of the impact having a mentor had on their  performance in the classroom, the most frequent example was constructive feedback.  As the comments  of  the 737 beginning teachers were further investigated, several themes emerged:

  • Recommendation for effective teaching strategies
  • Guidance with differentiated instruction
  • Assistance with approaches to classroom management
  • Coaching about student behavior
  • Directions on coordinating student data analysis
  • Content-­‐specific curriculum methodology

* Data from the ODE Mentoring Evaluation Report 2014.


Sharing information with the Oregon Education Service Districts


Christina ReagleTRI has had the responsibility of evaluating all the regional Mentoring Projects across Oregon and then reporting the results to the Oregon Department of Education. On May 15, 2015, TRI's Christina Reagle presented some of those results at the Oregon Association of Education Service Districts (OAESD) Spring Conference. We are very excited to be participating in the OAESD Conference and hope this is the beginning of future collaborations.


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