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We wanted to highlight the ways mentors in Arizona schools do their work and partnered with 12 Arizona teacher leaders to share the variety of ways both the work of mentorship and the successes from mentorship can look.

Jul 30, 2020

A teacher’s first years bring a particular set of challenges. While college education programs, student teaching, and internships play a role in preparing new teachers, the responsibility of managing a classroom, connecting with parents, learning a school and district’s protocols, and other pressures add up.

Enter new teacher mentors. Mentors who specifically support beginning teachers can play a vital role in helping new teachers succeed and continue in the teaching profession. The Arizona K12 Center helps equip mentors to be able to best guide and assist new teachers through programs like the upcoming Mentor Institute, New Teacher Induction Network, and Cognitive Coaching. We at the Center wanted to highlight the ways mentors in Arizona schools do their work and the variety of ways both the work of mentorship and the successes from mentorship can look.

We partnered with 12 Arizona teacher leaders who mentor new teachers to tell stories out of their work and created Building a Culture of Induction: Case Studies in Mentoring 2020.

The cover of a "Building a Culture of Induction: Case Studies in Mentoring 2020" including a photo of a mentor standing near a teacher seated at a desk working with a student.

Each of these educators addressed one of these two New Teacher Center Induction Program standards:

  • 9.2: Program leader ensures that mentors have the knowledge, skills, tools, and resources to help teachers provide every student access to relevant and rigorous, standards-aligned lessons and curriculum.

  • 10.2: Program leader guides mentors to assist beginning teachers in using culturally responsive pedagogical practices to provide every student with equitable access to rigorous, grade-level content.


As teacher leaders, mentors, and coaches from a variety of schools and with different scopes of work, each shares a unique lens into the work of mentoring. The collection includes case studies by:

  • Jesse Delgado, Tolleson Union High School District

  • Anna A. Fermanis, Somerton School District

  • Shay Humphreys, Flowing Wells Unified School District

  • Heather Mace, Tucson Unified School District

  • Christie Olsen, Lake Havasu Unified School District

  • Kathleen Paulsen, Balsz School District

  • Michael Perkins, University of Arizona Center for Recruitment and Retention of Mathematics Teachers

  • Daniela Robles, Balsz School District

  • Wendy Sanchez, Tolleson Elementary School District

  • Elizabeth Sanchez Sgrillo, Tolleson Union High School District

  • Ginny Sautner, Lake Havasu Unified School District

  • Christena Tenney, Flowing Wells Unified School District

We hope you’ll take the time to explore these case studies with others at your school or district to spark dialogue about the complexities of mentorship, inspire reflection on your current mentoring structures, and plan for support for continued mentoring.

Gain the skills to become an effective new teacher mentor through the upcoming Mentor Institute, beginning September 2. Utilizing the New Teacher Center philosophy and model, Mentor Institute focuses on instructional mentoring, observation and conferencing, using data to inform instruction, and designing effective instruction based on the learning needs of students. Learn more and register here.

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