Peer Mentoring and Coaching

Course Outline

Course Description

This course is designed to assist all educators in developing and utilizing effective practices to successfully mentor novice teachers. In addition, the course will explore the benefits that experienced teachers can gain by collaborating with colleagues in peer coaching programs.

Because teaching is such a complex and demanding profession, it is important for new teachers to be provided with a support system that allows them to transition from theory to practice. Recent legislation in many states calls for mentoring new teachers in order to help them improve and strengthen their skills and practices and thus, keep them in the profession.  Meanwhile, veteran teachers need to remain current with new teaching methods, stay energized in the classroom, and experience periodic professional renewal in order to avoid burnout.

Many reports suggest the next decade will see a huge turnover in the teaching profession as older teachers begin to retire and younger ones replace them. This course supports the premise that all educators are lifelong learners and that working in partnership with colleagues enhances classroom practices, improves student learning and builds school communities. The book Creating Dynamic Schools through Mentoring, Coaching, and Collaboration by Judy F. Carr, Nancy Herman, and Douglas E. Harris will provide the framework for the course.


  • Define and differentiate the terms mentor, mentee, protege, mentoring and coaching.
  • Examine the purposes and benefits of mentoring and coaching.
  • Assess individual mentoring aptitudes and qualifications.
  • Explore methods to match new teachers with their mentors.
  • Evaluate the characteristics of effective mentors.
  • Assess the roles and responsibilities of mentors in the mentoring relationship.
  • Formulate a framework of professional practice and strategies for mentors to utilize successfully with new teachers.
  • Develop effective communication and facilitation skills.
  • Identify and analyze the needs of new teachers.
  • Problem solve challenging situations in the mentoring relationship.
  • Develop productive conferencing techniques.
  • Model and coach effective teaching practices that meet state standards.
  • Examine federal and state legislation regarding mentoring requirements.
  • Review successful mentoring and coaching programs and design new programs.
  • Measure and analyze the impact of mentoring on teacher success and student performance.
  • Successfully complete the mentoring process.
  • Plan ways to provide ongoing support for new teachers once the mentoring relationship formally ends.
  • Practice techniques to help both the novice and veteran teacher become reflective practitioners.
  • Review current research about mentoring and coaching.

Curriculum Design & Time Requirements

Participants in this course will be involved in a variety of tasks and activities to complete the course requirements including lectures, readings, individual and group discussions, reflective written and oral activities, applied practice assignments and cooperative learning groups. This is a forty-five hour graduate level course taught in the classroom and online.

Course Materials

The required text for this course is Creating Dynamic Schools through Mentoring, Coaching, and Collaboration by Judy F. Carr, Nancy Herman, and Douglas E. Harris. A variety of readings and resources will be referred to throughout the course and additional supplemental readings and resources will be provided to participants to enhance their knowledge of the course topic.

Session Outline

Session 1: Introduction and Overview
Objective: Evaluate mentoring knowledge and experiences
  1. Written reflection about mentoring knowledge and past experiences
  2. Group introduction activity and sharing of reflections
  3. Personal goal setting
  4. Establish group definitions for the terms mentor, mentoring, protege, mentee and coaching
  5. Brainstorm what mentoring is and is not
  6. Course overview
  7. Course requirements
  8. Course registration
  9. Instructor's expectations

Session 2: A Rationale for Mentoring New Teachers
Objective: Review the legal requirements for and research on mentoring
  1. Review handout of NCLB definitions for highly qualified teachers
  2. Provide several examples of and review state mandates for mentoring programs
  3. Determine who should and must be mentored
  4. Read research support from Harry Wong and others for mentoring and teacher induction programs
  5. Brainstorm a list of benefits for mentors and new teachers
  6. Outline a plan for an effective mentoring program (to be used for final integration project)

Session 3: Qualities of Effective Mentors
Objective: Evaluate what makes an effective mentor
  1. Develop a list of characteristics of effective mentors
  2. Complete a mentor assessment for mentor qualifications
  3. Utilize a personality profile
  4. Develop a plan that outlines mentor eligibility: who should be a mentor?
  5. Review scenarios that emphasize the best ways to match mentors and new teachers
  6. Address teacher concerns about being a mentor

Session 4: Productive Mentoring Relationships
Objective: Develop the components for beginning and sustaining the mentor and new teacher connection
  1. Determine the factors related to establishing successful mentoring relationships
  2. Develop an assessment of the needs of beginning teachers
  3. Role play the first meeting between the mentor and new teacher
  4. Read and discuss the stages of development in the mentoring relationship
  5. Establish the mentor and protege; expectations in the mentoring relationship
  6. Establish ethical guidelines that guide the mentoring relationship including the issue of confidentiality
  7. Review the role of the administrator in the mentoring relationship

Session 5: The Six Critical Focus Areas For The Novice Teacher
Objective: Explore the major needs of new teachers
  1. Helping the novice teacher understand the school climate and culture
  2. Improving core knowledge and skills for successful classroom instruction
  3. Supporting novice teachers to balance professional demands and personal life
  4. Classroom management strategies and techniques
  5. Assisting the new teacher in meeting state standards and assessments
  6. Developing and sustaining collegial relationships between the new teacher and the school community

Session 6: Methods of Mentoring
Objective: Explore and implement strategies to strengthen mentoring relationships
  1. Appropriateness and timeliness of sharing past teaching experiences
  2. Strengthening facilitation and communication through practice
  3. Working towards shared decision making in the mentoring relationship
  4. Using reflective practice for professional growth
  5. Note taking and record keeping for new teacher improvement
  6. Reviewing the risks of mentoring

Session 7: Strengthening the New Teacherís Classroom Instruction
Objective: Help new teachers improve classroom instruction
  1. Utilizing classroom observations
  2. Effective evaluation versus criticism and critique
  3. Conferencing with new teachers
  4. Role modeling effective teaching
  5. Peer-to-peer observations and classroom visits for the novice teachers
  6. Providing constructive feedback
  7. Developing ongoing needs assessments tools

Session 8: Problem Solving Strategies
Objective: Resolve problems and challenges that develop in the mentoring relationship
  1. Identifying and resolving problems
  2. Working with the reluctant or resistant novice teacher
  3. Utilizing real life scenarios to problem solve
  4. Bringing the mentoring relationship to a successful completion
  5. Extending support for the novice teacher after the mentoring relationship ends
  6. Article sharing

Session 9: Peer Coaching to Improve Classroom Instruction
Objective: Utilize peer collaboration to enhance teaching practices
  1. Define peer coaching
  2. Partnering veteran teachers effectively
  3. Commonly accepted peer coaching practices
  4. Establishing an open door classroom
  5. Observing peers to enhance practice
  6. Using peer coaching for school improvement

Session 10: Effective Mentoring and Coaching Programs and Course Completion
Objective: Evaluate successful mentoring and coaching programs
  1. Components of successful programs
  2. Review nationally recognized mentoring programs
  3. Review successful peer coaching programs
  4. Share final integration programs
  5. Course review
  6. Final exam
  7. Course evaluations


    Assignment Points   Grading Scale  
  Group & Classroom Participation   30      100 – 93 A
  Reading Assignments   20       92 – 85 B
  Final Integration Project   30       84 – 77 C
    Final Exam   20            
  Total Points 100    

Student Requirements

1. Attend all class sessions for the requisite number of hours and actively participate in all class activities.
2. Complete all reading assignments including a written summary of two current articles on mentoring or coaching.
3. Complete the final integration project. Review research and literature on mentoring and develop a school mentoring program.
4. Pass a final exam.

Student Academic Integrity

Participants guarantee that all academic class work is original. Any academic dishonesty or plagiarism (to take ideas, writings, etc. from another and offer them as one's own), is a violation of student academic behavior standards as outlined by our partnering colleges and universities and is subject to academic disciplinary action.


To register to take TEI's Peer Mentoring and Coaching course, go to the Course Registration page.