Mentoring Resource Collection

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The 21st Century Planning Process
(Featuring the SBE Ovals)

Don’t miss the October 2021 Mentoring Memo which features an eleven-minute video clip titled “The 21st Century Planning Process.” Two New York teachers explain how the use of the SBE Ovals and the power of using both qualitative and quantitative data as planning and assessment tools. To further support your use of the 21st Century Planning Process Paula has included in this memo an amazing array of links to Just ASK books with page references, online tools and templates, selected newsletter issues, and a few of her favorite website resources aligned with that work.

(Tantalizing Tidbit: While we titled the clip “The 21st Century Planning Process” it could also be titled “Don’t Cross the Line!” HINT: You will need watch the clip to understand that key point in the process.)

This clip can be used in one-of-one conferences or in staff meetings… actually in any format of mentoring, coaching, or supervisory work. It would be especially useful in addressing a common “teacher trap” of falling into activity level thinking rather than focusing on learning standards and student application of their learning. Don’t miss this one.


               The Just ASK 
            October 2021 Mentoring Calendar

Each issue of The Mentoring Memo features one or more mentoring calendars for the current time of the year. The Just ASK October 2021 Mentoring Calendar is now available. These calendars, excerpted and updated from The 21st Century Mentor’s Handbook, offer suggestions for mentoring actions to support novice teachers and teachers new to the district. When you take a look at them, you will quickly see how useful they are.  Post them, or a link to them, on your district/school website and feel free to forward the calendars to colleagues who you think might find them useful. You are also encouraged to post them on social media.

Download the October 2021 Calendar



Messages for New Teachers

A Just ASK Video

In this Just ASK video, there are inspirational and funny quotes for new teachers. Enjoy it yourself and then share it with colleagues. See more videos below



Distance Learning Collection

The Just ASK Team has written new articles and updated some older ones as 2.0 versions to support our many colleagues who are tasked with creating positive and productive learning experiences from a distance and/or in hybrid or face-to-face environments that are ever evolving. A special thanks to Marcia Baldanza for sharing so many powerful stories from her work as a professor, K-12 educational leader, and mom and for providing us with dozens of amazing and helpful links. Feel free to share with colleagues near and far. 

Click here to access the collection



  The Mentor’s Opening of School Checklist


Our Mentor’s Opening of School Checklist that provides in great detail far more suggestions that you can ever implement. As you read through this checklist, note those that seem well matched to your protégée(s) needs and implement them. If you are not the person who is interacting directly with novice teachers and teachers new to the district, be sure to send this checklist to those who are. To ensure that the right people have this valuable list, post it or link to it on your district/school website.

Categories of assistance and support include:

  • Personal
  • Professionalism
  • Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
  • Organizational Systems
  • Students
  • Working with Colleagues
  • School and School System Policies and Procedures
  • Parents and Community

And, since the developer has a special education background, there is also an Especially for Special Educators section.


Top Ten Tips for Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century

We are offering you access to one of our favorite tools for working with new teachers. Not only are we providing you a PDF copy of our Top Ten Tips for Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century cross-referenced to the 2nd and 3rd editions of Why Didn’t I Learn This in College? and to Instruction for All Students, we are also providing you a 30-slide PowerPoint Show to use in elaborating on those tips in either individual or group settings. Just ASK consultants use these handouts and slides across the country in our work with both new and veteran teachers.

To use these tools in a group setting, have the new teachers bring their texts with them to the meeting, provide each attendee with a copy of the Top Ten Tips, and use the companion PowerPoint Show. Have them create visual representations, jigsaw the questions, create three-column charts, or any other active engagement strategy you want to model. You have in your hands an instant winner!

Access the Top Ten Tips and the Top Ten Tips PowerPoint Show by clicking on the graphics below. Select the version of the Top Ten Tips PDF that matches your protégés’ books. 













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.   


Mentoring in the 21st Century Slideshow

We have selected two dozen slides from the extensive collection of PowerPoint slides that we use in our Mentoring in the 21st Century workshops and institutes and are making them available to you.

Access the slideshow by clicking on the graphic below.



Online Tools and Templates


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 Moments Collection

Click on the Graphics To Use and Share

Parent as PartnersSecond Semester Goal Setting Areas of Focus

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

Procedure Potpourri

Celebrating Our Year Celebrations Reflections and Words of AdviceDo you hear what I say? Do I hear what you say?Question and Stem Guide for Teachers and Students

Mentoring Program Reflections and EvaluationStudent Engagement Self-Assessment



Mentoring in the 21st Century e-Newsletter


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. 





Messages for Mentors

A Just ASK Video
In 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.


Words of Advice for New Teachers 


This 13 minute video clip 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.



Check out three Points to Ponder clips available on
Just ASK’s YouTube Channel!



One of these Points to Ponder clips would make a 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. 


Just ASK Mentoring Statistics