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

Santa Cruz New Teacher Center Mentor Professional Development


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 Santa Cruz 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 all newly-revised 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 Offerings

August 3-4, 2015
Instructional Mentoring

  • To support the professional growth of pre-service, beginning, and veteran teachers--especially those in diverse and challenging environments—through the ongoing examination of classroom practice 
  • To enhance your mentoring skills by going more deeply into this complex practice

October 6-7, 2015
Observing and Conferencing

  • To support mentors in collecting and sharing classroom observation data that can improve the knowledge and skills of pre-service, beginning, and veteran teachers which in turn supports teachers in the improvement of instruction 

November 10-11, 2015
Designing Effective Instruction and Setting Professional Goals

  • To advance skills necessary to guide teachers in planning standards-based, differentiated instruction that engages students and advances learning—includes strategies for providing meaningful feedback
  • To deepen mentors’ understanding of the role of formative assessment by establishing focused goals based on student standards and professional teaching standards               

January 20-21, 2016
Using Data to Inform Instruction

  • To explore the process of analyzing student work in order to differentiate instruction and reach all learners
  • To incorporate relevant aspects of brain research to inform and transform instructional mentoring and teaching practice.

Year Two Offering

                   (Prerequisite: must have already completed the Year 1 offerings.)

August 6-7, 2014
Advancing Instruction to Support Language Development

  • Support teachers to identify and address students’ literacy and language needs
  • Articulate best practices for instructional support in alignment with standards
  • Facilitate and advance teachers’ ability to engage in a focused inquiry (analyze/reflect; plan/prepare; teach/assess) designed to improve teaching practice and student learning


Register at 

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

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

email: Jan Tusing   

“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