How do you stay on top of your mentor teacher responsibilities while also taking care of stuff for your own classroom? Organization! Nobody has time to waste trying to find scattered papers and files. What really helped me to stay organized when I started my mentoring role was to set up a mentor teacher binder.
What is a mentor teacher binder?
Exactly what it sounds like! It’s an actual binder you use to hold everything you’ll need while mentoring a new teacher. Having all the calendars, checklists, forms, and everything else in one spot makes it super easy to grab and go on the way to meetings and observations.
Another option is to add a mentoring section to your regular teacher binder, but I like to have a separate binder since I don’t always need to have my mentoring stuff with me.
What goes inside a mentor teacher binder?
What you keep in your binder is up to you! Here are some must-have items to include:
- pacing guide, curriculum map, and list of standards-at-a-glance
- mentor log
- list of mentoring requirements
- relevant mentor handbook pages
- meeting notetaking pages and agendas
- tips for supporting the new teacher
- checklist of topics to cover each month
- important dates for the school year
- planning calendars (yearly, quarterly, and monthly)
- unit and lesson planning templates
- goal planning templates
- pre-and post-observation questions lists
- observation forms
- feedback sentence starters list
- reflection forms
- self-evaluation forms
- pages to copy for mentees (i.e., teacher evaluation cheat sheet)
- pocket to hold notecards and sticky notes
Having all of these items in one ready-go-binder is super helpful for collaborative planning, observations, feedback discussion, and meetings. Plus, it makes it easy to track the mentoring requirements you need to complete.
Organizing the binder
You’ll want to have sections in your mentor binder to make everything easy to find. I love printing cute dividers on cardstock, but you can also use tab dividers or sticky notes.
Here are some sections you might include:
- mentor requirements (logs, records, and any paperwork you have to submit)
- observations and evaluation/feedback forms
Where can I get a mentor teacher binder?
If you want to save time, you can grab my editable mentor teacher binder. It has everything already done for you!
I hope this gives you some ideas to get started setting up your mentor teaching binder. Let me know your other tips for staying organized as you mentor first-year teachers!