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Center for
Lifelong Music Making
Mentorship Program

Teacher-to-Teacher is a free program that provides new music 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 about 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 cannot be involved in any evaluation of the mentee. Without fear of evaluation, the mentee is more likely to be open to trying new teaching strategies and techniques.

Joyce and Showers' study documented that learning new strategies and techniques in workshops or classes rarely changes teachers' practice. Only when teachers are coached in the classroom do they reliably transfer what they have 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.