Mentor Teacher Program
The Amherst County Public Schools Mentor Teacher Program includes experienced teachers who have received intensive training to serve as mentors for all teachers new to the Amherst County Public Schools. Also, The New Teacher Center (Santa Cruz, California) serves as the ACPS Mentor training model. This model is designed to assist teachers as they make a smooth transition into actual classroom teaching. In addition, the program utilizes formative tools that assist the mentor and new teacher in their reflective process. This collaborative work results in a reflective teaching team. Experienced ACPS mentors have participated in two years of training academies based on the new Teacher Center Model. As mentors, they have an opportunity to grow professionally; therefore, this program is viewed as a vehicle for growth for new and experienced teachers.
The program is designed to meet the new professional’s needs whether the teacher is an experienced teacher new to the Amherst County Public Schools or a new teacher in the first year of teaching. Mentors have been trained to recognize the stages of teaching so that they can tailor their assistance to meet the specific needs of the new teacher. For example, an experienced teacher new to the Amherst County Public Schools may need orientation regarding curriculum, specific school and division procedures, and networking with other professionals, while a beginning teacher may need more strategies for classroom management and effective instruction. Regardless of the needs, the mentor is available to assist the new professional to help him/her be a successful member of the Amherst County Public Schools team.
When new teachers and mentors collaborate to enhance their teaching strategies and skills they will more effectively meet the needs of children. The ACPS Mentor Teacher Program is dedicated to improving student learning by supporting the development of an inspired, dedicated and highly qualified teaching force.
Amherst County Public Schools Mentor Teacher Program is based on New Teacher Center Santa Cruz mentor training and formative assessment tools. Specific time for mentoring is scheduled so that our well trained mentors have quality time for mentoring new teachers. They work closely with new teachers during their first and second years of teaching. Also, they assist veteran teachers who are new to the Amherst County Public Schools. The NTC model utilized by the Amherst County Public Schools focuses on building reflective, autonomous teachers who are leaders in their classrooms and in our school division.
Praise for the Program
“Having a mentor my first year teaching was without a doubt priceless. I doubt I would have survived my first year without my mentor’s encouragement, wisdom, and help with lesson plans.” ~K. Gugino, second grade teacher
“My mentor met with me to discuss/help in all areas from instructional planning to classroom management. My mentor was a great help.” ~M. Barnes, fourth grade teacher
“I have been here for four years and I still go to my mentor assistance. The great thing is that no matter how much I bug her, she always helps and she still thinks I am a great teacher!” ~J. Kish, second grade teacher