Providing support and encouragement for first and second–year teachers.
Beginning Educator Support Team (BEST)
The purpose of the Beginning Educator Support Team program is to provide support and encouragement for first and second-year teachers in order to strengthen their instructional skills and retain competent teachers in the profession.
New teachers are matched with a trained mentor who visits and supports them in the classroom. Release time is provided for mentees and mentors.
Professional development is focused on knowledge and skills for effective teaching and communicating learning. Mentors have opportunities to participate in OSPI mentor training and regional mentor roundtables. Clock hours are offered for all time spent in professional development.
The ESD 112 BEST program provides:
- Resources, coaching, and professional learning opportunities to enhance comprehensive learning systems that foster equitable systems for all learners
- Support, encouragement, and mentoring for first and second-year teachers in order to strengthen their instructional skills and retain competent teachers in the profession
- Release time for mentees and mentors to observe each other
- Teacher stipends for first-years, second-years, and mentors of first-year teachers to support time for learning conversations outside the typical contract day
How it Works
How BEST Works
First-year teachers from participating consortium districts are to complete the Letter of Agreement and compensation packet to be eligible for a stipend. Additional information about requirements to receive the stipend will be sent to participating Year 1 teachers. Please contact Karen Solberg with questions regarding compensation paperwork.
Second-Year Teachers and Mentors
Second-year teachers and mentors should contact Karen Solberg for compensation paperwork specific to your district’s program.
- Available for all participants
- Focuses on knowledge and skills for effective equitable teaching practices
- No cost
- Clock hours offered
BEST Professional Development Support
This year, the BEST grant provides opportunities for mentors and mentees to meet together in Professional Growth Planning (PGP) sessions and self-evaluate the mentee’s strengths and areas of focus, learn about the Professional Certification Standards and New Teacher Evaluation Criteria, plan professional development opportunities, and network with others around problems of practice.
As part of the mentees’ professional learning, the grant expects mentees to complete a professional growth plan. Mentees are welcome to use templates their district provides or use one provided by BEST and complete the plan on their own or with support from their mentor. The PGPs do not need to be submitted to BEST, but mentees will be expected to complete a reflection on their PGPs at the end of the program before receiving their stipend.
Current PD Offerings
Please be aware that classes need a minimum of 8 participants to run. Low registration numbers could lead to the class being cancelled.
Note that the SPED seminar series is designed for early career special education teachers. Mentors and experienced teachers are welcome to attend.
New mentors are required to attend Mentor Academy 101: Instructional Mentoring Tools and Skills for Teacher and Student Growth
- Required for new mentors
- Develop skills to serve in mentoring and coaching roles
Returning mentors are required to attend Mentor Academy 201: Taking it Further Mentoring for Growth and Equity
- Required annually for previously trained mentors
- Refine mentoring skills, building capacity to engage in conversations around equity, and deepening awareness of equitable classroom practices
Research on professional development indicates that in order to be effective, it must be ongoing. Mentor roundtables provide a regularly scheduled opportunity for mentors to meet with colleagues to share ideas and challenges, practice skill, and to address role-alike issues and concerns.
ESD 112 roundtables will be facilitated by Brian Hanson.
Battle Ground roundtables will be facilitated by Jen Havig.
Mentors will be compensated $70 per roundtable attended for a maximum of three roundtables. Mentors are expected to attend at least three roundtables hosted on different weeks.
Time and Locations:
- Dates and times TBA
- Tuesday sessions are at ESD 112, 2500 NE 65th Avenue, Vancouver, WA 98661
- Thursday sessions will be at the Battle Ground District Office, CASEE Building A, 11104 NE 149th Street, Brush Prairie, WA 98606
- Registration NOT required!
Clock hours available (must attend a minimum of two roundtables to be eligible)
Mentor logs for 2018-2019 will be available soon!
Professional Certification Links
For more information about professional certification and the ProTeach Portfolio go to:
OSPI Resources for Beginning Teachers and Mentors
FAQ about the BEST Program
Each district has identified a key contact for the BEST grant. They are responsible for getting information out to building principals.
District key contacts:
- Battle Ground: David Kennedy
- Castle Rock: Doris Ellison
- ESD 112 ESA Specialized Student Services: Jeffrey Niess
- Hockinson: Colleen Anders
- Kalama: Billina Dolezal
- Kelso: Kim Yore
- La Center: Lauri Landerholm
- Longview: Scott Firth or Kiz Schumann
- Naselle-Grays: Quinn Donlon
- Ridgefield: Chris Griffith, Deb Ortner, or Paul Hamann
- Skamania: Ralph Pruitt
- Stevnson-Carson: Karen Douglass
- Wahkiakum: Brent Freeman or Stephanie Leitz
- Washougal: Marian Young or Wendy Morrill
- Woodland: Asha Riley or Malinda Huddleston
- WSSB: Sean McCormick