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When conducting direct mentoring, the mentor acts as a problem solver and model for beginning teacher. Direct mentoring is often used for beginning teachers who are not yet confident in their own skills, are stuck on a specific dilemma, or do not have the knowledge base to identify and implement specific solutions. The goal of this type of mentoring is to provide modeling and specific strategies to new teachers. Some examples of direct mentoring include: "One way I have dealt with this problem in the past is..." "A good suggestion for this issue is..." "Strategies that have proven successful for increasing fluency include..." "This is a good place to go to for resources for this problem..."

1. Direct Mentoring Clip #1

This video clip highlights how a mentor helps a mentee move past a difficult relationship with a parent. The situation is especially delicate because the parent is also a staff member at school. The parent was originally upset due to some teachers' tardiness at a parent-teacher meeting and has subsequently shut down. While watching this clip, notice especially how the mentor offers the beginning teacher direct advice on how to handle the situation.

2. Direct Mentoring Clip #2

In this video clip, the mentor begins by asking a reflective question. The mentee experiences some difficulty in answering the question well, so the mentor provides an answer. Notice that the mentor in this clip is being very directive, and provides the mentee with the information that is needed.


Reflective mentoring is primarily used to help mentees reflect on their own teaching strategies to develop and improve instruction. It works best when mentoring beginning teachers that have already acquired basic pedagogical skills, can identify successful and unsuccessful teaching strategies, and strive to improve. Reflective mentoring is less directive than direct mentoring, and uses questioning to help beginning teachers reach appropriate conclusions on their own. Reflective mentoring works best after a mentor has observed a beginning teacher's lesson and knows the beginner's strengths and weaknesses. Some examples of reflective mentoring include: "What are some of the problem solving techniques that you might use?" "What elements of the lesson do think helped your students be successful or unsuccessful?" "If you could re-teach the lesson, what things would you do the same? What would you do differently?" "If someone else were to teach this lesson, what suggestions would you have for him/her?" "What does your data tell you about the lesson?"

3. Reflective Mentoring Clip #1

In this clip, the mentor discusses some of the strengths of the beginner's lesson, then asks a prompting reflective question, "Can you think of some other strengths that you wove throughout the lesson?" Note that the mentor does not provide direct answers but prompts the beginning teacher to reach her own conclusions through thoughtful reflection.

4. Reflective Mentoring Clip #2

In this video, the mentor asks the beginning teacher a prompting question. Note that the mentor also reiterates what the mentee has just said, demonstrating active listening. She also makes sure she understands exactly what the mentee is saying by checking in with her.


Collaborative mentoring can be viewed as a partnership between a mentor and beginning teacher. strong relationship between mentor and mentee is needed in order to work together in a comfortable, collaborative context. This type of mentoring is often used as a bridge between direct and reflective mentoring as it allows the mentee to take more responsibility in the mentoring process. Some examples of collaborative mentoring include: "Let's brainstorm some ways that we might be able to work this problem out together." "That is a great idea. What about adding this?" "Can you tell me about some of the strategies you used while you were teaching this lesson? I'll jump in if I can note something additional." "Have you ever dealt with this problem before? What worked for you?"

5. Collaborative Mentoring Clip #1

Just prior to this clip beginning, the mentor and mentee are discussing how to practice "unexpected behaviors" in a social skills class. The mentor and mentee are discussing how to pick a setting to use to demonstrate unexpected behaviors. Note how the mentor and mentee work together to brainstorm additional settings to use in the lesson.

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