Mentoring Resources Collection


View images from The Just ASK Spring 2018 Mentoring in the 21st Century® Institute
that was held April 18-20, 2018, in Washington, D.C.


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Check out Points to Ponder IV, V, and VI now available on
Just ASK’s YouTube Channel!



These volumes build on Volumes I, II, and III which are available only in our resource kits for mentors and new teachers. They are the perfect “sussie” (aka unexpected surprise) to send protégées, mentors, other colleagues, or friends in celebration of birthdays or holidays or to make an ordinary day special. They are also great as closings to meetings or workshops. These collections of inspirational and often humorous pearls of wisdom from men and women through the ages and set to enchanting music were selected to promote smiles, nods, and reflection.  


The Just ASK Mentoring Memo features Tools of the Month and mentoring calendars for the current month; these monthly calendars, excerpted and updated from  The 21stCentury Mentor’s Handbook, offer suggestions for mentoring actions to support novice teachers and teachers new to the district in eight areas of concern: Personal; Professional; Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment; Organizational Systems; Students, Colleagues; School and School System; Parents and Community. When you check out these calendars, you will quickly see how useful it can be in your work with new teachers whether you are an administrator, mentor, instructional coach, or colleague.




Why reinvent the wheel? We are happy to provide you with over 60 online Tools and Templates you can use in your mentoring work. To make your task of identifying which tools might be most useful to you right now, they are organized into these categories:

  • Tools for New Teachers
  • Tools for Mentors
  • Tools for Peer Observation and Data-Driven Discussions
  • Tools for Instructional Planning.

Access these tools in one of two ways.


Mentoring Resources Collection

Click on The Graphics To Use and Share

Mentoring Program Reflections and EvaluationCelebrating Our Year Celebrations Reflections and Words of Advice

Review Strategies in Action ElementaryMaking Assessment a Learning ExperienceReview Strategies in Action Secondary

Procedure Potpourri

Second Semester Goal Setting Areas of FocusDo you hear what I say? Do I hear what you say?Question and Stem Guide for Teachers and Students

Parent as PartnersStudent Engagement Self-Assessment

PowerPoint Collection on Reflective Questioning


We are sharing with you an amazing “you-can-use-this-tomorrow” collection of PowerPoint slides on reflective questioning that will be handy for your own learning and use in workshop settings or one-on-one coaching sessions with colleagues. Developed by Just ASK Senior Consultant Brenda Kaylor, our resident coaching guru. (If you don’t believe me, just ask the educators in Kildeer Countryside School District 96 in Illinois or St. Vrain Valley School District in Colorado!)

Don’t miss the opportunity to check out this slide collection. For more information, if you can access a copy of Creating a Culture for Learning: Your Guide to PLCs and More, you will find that pages 56-68 provide powerful information about what we at Just ASK call The Three Cs which include coaching (with reflective questioning), collaborating, and consulting.   

Words of Wisdom for New Teachers 

videoThis amazing new clip was released in November and the response has been phenomenal!
We are including it again this month so that we can be sure that you did not miss it.
It, too, would make a great gift for your protégées! 

It is a 13 minute video clip that is a component of one of the DVDs in Just ASK’s TL21 DVD Collection. In this segment, Shari VanderVelde, 4th/5th grade teacher at Orchard Avenue School, Grand Junction, Colorado, is interviewed by Just ASK Senior Consultant Brenda Kaylor. Shari provides thoughtful and provocative responses to Brenda’s reflective questions. Brief classroom episodes add visual reinforcement for Shari’s comments.

Questions Brenda asks include:

  • How do you coach beginning teachers in terms of the world of planning?
  • What is the secret to success with formative assessment?
  • What about the classroom environment, the structure of what is on the walls, how you arrange tables, chairs, desks, and bean bags. That is, how do you set up the room as a learning place?
  • In a learner-centered classroom, what is the role of the student?
    Three of Shari’s great tips are:
  • Everything I’m doing in my classroom all day long leads to formative assessment. If I’m asking kids a question during a focus lesson and I’m listening for their answers, that’s a formative assessment because it provides me with information about what they know or what they don’t know.
  • I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been disappointed in the quality of talk. But that just means that I need to backup and do a better job of teaching how to engage in good talk.
  • The environment is crucial. I’m spending all day there so I would like it to be comfortable and welcoming and the kids are spending all day in there with me so I’d like it to be comforting and welcoming for them as well.

When you use either the video clip or the adapted transcript as a professional learning tool, processing options include having participants (or your mentee if you are working with one individual)

  • work in pairs and discuss the questions and write their own ideas about possible answers to each of the interview questions before they view or read the questions. (If working with just one person, provide a list of the questions in advance so that he can consider possible responses to each question and be prepared to discuss them with you.
  • use a three-column chart to record the tips Shari provides as either validations of their current practice, a strategies they are working on putting in place, or good ideas that might have strong possibilities for their own instructional program. Have them share their responses and then select one of the “good ideas” to try within the next week,
  • complete “aha” and “?” cards to submit as “tickets to leave.” You can then use the “?’ cards to start your next session or discussion.


Mentoring Words of Wisdom
Clarifying the Roles of Principals and Coaches

A Just ASK VideoThis Just ASK clip features a school principal, an induction coach, and a novice teacher from St. Vrain Valley School District, Longmont, Colorado. You will hear them discuss how they work as a team to ensure not only high levels of student learning, but purposeful professional learning for the new teacher. Always a tricky relationship, it is helpful to hear from not only the principal and the coach, but also from the novice teacher, about the importance of trust and confidentiality. Enjoy these Mentoring Words of Wisdom and share this clip with your colleagues.


Mentoring Words of Wisdom
Interviews with Coaches and Novice Teachers

A Just ASK VideoThis Just ASK clip features three sets of novice teaches and their coaches explaining how their year-long collaboration has made each of their professional lives richer. The first interview features a high school English team, the second a middle school science team, and the last, a second grade team. These Mentoring Words of Wisdom from induction coaches about how they make their coaching decisions and the novice teachers’ words of appreciation for that coaching work and the impact it has made on their professional practice are cause for celebration. Enjoy this clip and share it with colleagues. These professionals from St. Vrain Valley School District in Longmont, Colorado, clearly communicate the power of high quality support for novice teachers.



Messages for Mentors

A Just ASK VideoIn this Just ASK video, new teachers who have just finished their first year of teaching provide an inspiring collection of comments culled from hundreds we’ve collected. It is designed to celebrate all that you do to support these new teachers. Enjoy it yourself and then share it with colleagues.



Access the 17 archived issues of Mentoring in the 21st Century® and use them in multiple ways to support your mentoring work. This e-newsletter written by Paula Rutherford, Just ASK Senior Consultant, is copyright free; we encourage you to reproduce it to share with novice teachers and mentoring colleagues as you wish. Just ASK consultants frequently use them in onsite workshops and institutes. This e-newsletter is no longer published so only archived issues are available. 




Mentors Opening of School Checklist

The Mentor’s Opening of School Checklist


This checklist is based on the collective wisdom of hundreds of mentors across the country. It continues to be one of Just ASK’s most popular mentoring resources. It is organized around the seven areas of challenge and concerns new teachers face. Those categories are: Personal; Professional; Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment; Organizational Systems; Students, Colleagues; School and School System Policies and Procedures; and Parents.



Just ASK Mentoring Statistics