Center for
Lifelong Music Making
Teacher-to-Teacher
Mentoring Program

Teacher-to-Teacher is a free program that provides new teachers (in their first five years) with a music Teacher-in-Residence who models excellent instruction in an empathetic, non-evaluative and supportive manner. The program is based on grounded mentoring, an approach where both teachers collaboratively plan lessons, instruct students, and reflect together on student learning and achievement (based on Stephen Brookfield's Grounded Teaching). The goal is to improve instructional effectiveness and student achievement, and to modify teachers’ capacity to modify themselves.   

Each Home Teacher chooses areas to focus on throughout the residency in their own classroom. They generate ideas of how the Teacher-in-Residence can help with those areas, incorporating his/her abilities, strengths and resources. Rather than trying to “fix problems,” the Teacher-in-Residence and Home Teacher mutually create possibilities for long-term growth. The Teacher-in-Residence is not involved in any evaluative procedures regarding their mentee. Without the fear of being evaluated administratively, the mentee is more likely to be open to trying new teaching techniques.

Joyce and Showers' study documented that learning new theories in workshops or classes rarely changes teachers' practice. It was only when teachers had coaches that they reliably transfered what they had learned into practice with their students.

 

                                    Know and         Ability to         Transfer to

                                   Understand           Use           own Classroom

 

Theory                             90%                 25%                   5%                  

 

Demo                               90%                 50%                   5%

           

Practice & feedback       90%               90-95%                5%

 

Coaching                           5%               95-100%             90%

Joyce, B. & Showers, B. 1995. Student Achievement through Staff Development, 2nd ed.

A 2017 study about using retired teachers to mentor new teachers found a positive impact on students' math achievement. See Impacts of the Retired Teachers for New Teachers Program.