Those who expect moments of change to be comfortable and free of conflict have not learned their history.
~ Joan Wallach Scott

New Teacher Center Professional Learning Series for Mentors and Coaches


Designed by the nationally renowned New Teacher Center of Santa Cruz, California, this series of 8 days of professional development builds on more than 20 years of experience by the New Teacher Center in supporting beginning teachers. The New Teacher Center serves as a national center for dissemination of information on new teacher support and provides consulting services for educational entities interested in developing or refining programs of support for beginning teachers.

Why the New Teacher Center model?

The sequenced curriculum focuses on building the knowledge, skills, and understandings critical for new and veteran teacher mentors and coaches in a range of program contexts. Although the workshops do not presume prior mentoring or coaching experience, the course content offers learning opportunities that are appropriate for a wide range of experience levels. While not specifically designed for program leaders, they may wish to attend with a team of their mentors in order to adapt the strategies and approaches to their unique program context.

*Unless otherwise stated on the registration form, all workshops will take place at the VCU Center for Teacher Leadership, 3600 West Broad Street, Richmond, Virginia.*

Looking for research-based ways to support your teachers in maximizing student achievement?

The VCU Center for Teacher Leadership is offering an exciting year of Santa Cruz New Teacher Center mentor/coach workshops—the Professional Learning Series—designed to support the instructional practice of those teachers who need it most!   
Please note:  This is a series of workshops; only Instructional Mentoring is available as a standalone. All other workshops are sequential and require all previous workshops as prerequisites.

Year One: Mentors/Coaches learn to:

  • Engage teachers in instructional cycles designed to advance their ability to plan, teach, and analyze student work in order to provide opportunities for all students to meet rigorous, grade-level content standards
  • Use a strengths-based approach to assess, respond to, and accelerate teacher practice using New Teacher Center’s research and inquiry-based Formative Assessment and Support System
  • Effectively create a collegial partnership that provides actionable, meaningful feedback to improve student learning
PLS 1:
Instructional Mentoring for Equitable Learning

Day 1: Building Trust and Supporting Instruction

  • Mentoring Roles
  • Phases of Teacher Development
  • Building Trusting Relationships
  • Components of Standards-based Instruction
Day 2: Responsive Mentoring
  • Tailoring Mentor-Teacher Interactions
  • Collaborative Assessment Log
  • Mentoring Language
  • Planning Aligned and Effective Instruction
  1. Use the roles, language, and stances of effective instructional mentoring
  2. Build partnerships with teachers to accelerate instructional practice
  3. Identify and mentor for the critical aspects of rigorous content standards
  4. Analyze and align lesson plans to standards and engage in mentoring conversations that support students’ equitable access to content 

PLS 2:
Using Data to Inform Instruction

Day 1: Analyzing Evidence of Student Learning

  • Connecting to Standards
  • Analyzing Evidence of Student Learning
  • Knowing Students Across Multiple Dimensions

Day 2: Mentoring for Differentiated Instruction

  • Scaffolding and Differentiation
  • Mentor-Site Administrator Communication
  • Self-awareness
  • Mindsets
  1. Identify and mentor for evidence of grade-level content standards in student work
  2. Use protocols, tools, and mentoring language in the analysis of student work.
  3. Define and mentor for differentiated instruction
  4. Apply relevant brain research and practices for developing social and emotional competencies

PLS 3:
Observing and Giving Feedback

Day 1: Observation and Feedback

  • Observing and Coaching for Effective Instruction – Literacy
  • Observation Conversation Protocol
  • Providing Meaningful Feedback

Day 2: Observation Practice

  • Observing and Coaching for Effective Instruction – Math
  • Independent Practice and Productive Struggle
  • Mentoring Self-assessment
  1. Identify and mentor for evidence of grade-level content standards in instruction
  2. Use protocols, tools, and mentoring language that support an effective classroom observation cycle
  3. Demonstrate active listening and apply strategies for providing actionable feedback
  4. Self-assess mentoring practice

PLS 4:
Assessing Growth and Deepening Practice

Day 1: Deepening Planning Aligned and Effective Instruction

  • Entry Points and Language
  • Social Emotional Learning Framework
  • Case Study: Planning Aligned and Effective Instruction

Day 2: Deepening Observing and Analyzing Evidence

  • Effective Feedback, Additional Observation Tools
  • Case Studies: Observation Cycle and Analyzing Evidence of Student Learning
  1. Identify and mentor for rigorous, grade-level content standards within a cycle of coaching
  2. Analyze multiple mentoring scenarios, including data and entry points, to flexibly use protocols and tools in response to teachers’ needs
  3. Self-assess mentoring practice
  4. Reflect upon professional growth and set next steps

For additional information and registration please go to

If you have difficulties using the link, please paste the following address in your web browser window: 

Please don’t hesitate to contact Jan Tusing ( with any questions. Thank you for your interest!  

“I see mentoring in a new light! It goes beyond being a buddy and into supporting teachers in reflecting and growing as a professional so that student needs can be met!”   ~ An Instructional Mentoring Participant  

leading from the classroom