Mentor - Building a Learning Community

Characteristics of Mentors

• Approachable
• Willing to listen
• Sincere
• Confidential
• Willing to spend time
• Enthusiastic
• Accepting
• competent
• Trustworthy
• Respected by colleagues
• Willing to work hard
• Empathic
• Positive
• Confident
• Committed to the profession
• Open
• Experienced in teaching
• Tactful
• Cooperative
• Flexible
_ • Knowledgeable of school culture

Responsibilities of the Mentor


As a friend, the mentor’s responsibilities will include serving as a nonthreatening empathic listener. The mentor should understand the importance of a trusting relationship, serving as a confidant, and understanding the needs, feelings and concerns of the associate. The mentor needs to develop a relationship that will allow both parties to be realistic and objective in their assessment of progress.

The mentor shall:

• accept the associate as a peer;
• be a confidential sounding board to the associate;
• provide affirmation and identify areas for growth which will assist in classroom decisions;
• be considerate of feelings and frustrations of the associate; and
• act as a friend to the associate.


As someone who encourages, the mentor is responsible for affirming the associate for who they area and what they can do, inspiring them by their example and words, and challenging them to become involved in a variety of growth producing experiences.

The mentor shall:

• praise their success;
• promote stretching and taking risks;
• give messages that indicate, “It’s O.K. to fail.”’
• share successes and failures; and
• show enthusiasm for their work

Styles of Mentoring


Encourages the beginning teacher to ask for help and provides assistance when requested in areas of concern.


Frequently initiates informal visits with the beginning teacher and when beginning teacher expresses a concern or problem, provides assistance related to area of concern.


Accepts a responsibility to facilitate the professional growth of the beginning teacher to the greatest degree possible. In addition to providing assistance when requested, the mentor regularly makes suggestions to the beginning teacher to promote growth.