News Releases

Mentor practices that focus on instruction and learning have greater impact on student achievement

NEWS RELEASE May 3, 2018

Media Contact: Lauren Empson, Director of Communications,

Mentor practices that focus on instruction and learning have greater impact on student achievement

New Teacher Center publically releases Mentor Practice Standards for the first time

SANTA CRUZ, CA ― Mentor practices with a strong focus on students’ academic, social, and emotional learning have a greater impact on student achievement and equitable outcomes than traditional mentor practices that focus on teacher emotional support. This comes from the California-based nonprofit, New Teacher Center, who, for the first time, has publically released its Mentor Practice Standards. Capitalizing on 20 years of research and experience, the release of the Mentor Practice Standards comes directly after the organization publicized its Teacher Induction Program Standards earlier this year.

While the Teacher Induction Program Standards identify the essential programmatic elements that districts can implement to best support new teachers, the Mentor Practice Standards specifically identify the characteristics of high-quality, effective mentoring practices that increase student achievement.

Student learning outcomes are at the foundation of the Mentor Practice Standards. A mentor must: 1) Develop as an instructional leader to advance mentoring, teaching practice, and equitable outcomes for every student; and 2) Deepen and maintain their own knowledge of rigorous content standards, social and emotional learning, learner variability, and culturally responsive pedagogy. Additional characteristics of strong mentoring practices include:

  • Creating and maintaining collaborative, respectful, instructionally focused mentoring partnerships to foster beginning teacher ownership of continuous improvement of practice and advance the learning of every student.
  • Engaging school leaders and instructional leadership team in productive partnerships to advance beginning teacher effectiveness and the learning of every student.
  • Building beginning teacher capacity to advance equitable learning by providing rigorous, standards-aligned instruction that meets the needs of every student.
  • Building beginning teacher capacity to advance equitable and inclusive learning by providing an environment that meets the diverse academic, social, and emotional needs of every student.

“The goal of any educational effort is to, ultimately, help students learn and prepare them for the world beyond the classroom,” said Jenny Morgan, Vice President of Program Development at New Teacher Center.  “With that in mind, and backed by research, New Teacher Center’s Mentor Practice Standards put student learning at the heart of every interaction between a mentor and a new teacher.”

Results from New Teacher Center’s Investing in Innovation (i3) Validation grant from the U.S. Department of Education proved that students gain up to an additional five months of learning when their teachers received high-quality mentoring. The Mentor Practice Standards have been revised over time to reflect these findings and other best practices from the field.

Without clear standards for effective mentoring that are focused on student outcomes, mentor practice and the impact on teaching and student learning can vary widely across contexts, even within the same school,” says New Teacher Center Program Consultant, Clarissa Williams.  The mentor standards help districts ensure that their mentors have clear descriptors of the proper skills and tools to elevate teachers and their instructional practice.

When mentors receive this type of clarity and direction on how to best support teachers, their practice goes beyond providing teachers with emotional support. The mentors improve, as do the teachers they mentor. Teachers with high-quality mentors better understand how to plan and deliver standards-aligned instruction, how to develop student skills required by the standards, how to  promote learner agency and opportunities for self-directed learning, and students benefit from this increased understanding.”

All of New Teacher Center’s partner districts currently use both the Teacher Induction Program Standards and the Mentor Program Standards. With these two resources, districts now have the evidence-based information on how to best support and accelerate new teacher practice.

View the full Mentor Practice Standards here.

# # #

New Teacher Center (NTC) is a national nonprofit focused on improving student learning by accelerating the effectiveness of teachers and school leaders. NTC partners with states, school districts, and policymakers to design and implement programs that create sustainable, high-quality mentoring and professional development; build leadership capacity; work to enhance teaching conditions; improve retention; and transform schools into vibrant learning communities where all students succeed.


Leave A Reply

Media Contact:

Yael Bailey