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 to retain competent teachers in the profession.
New teachers are matched with a trained mentor (caseload <1:15 ratio) to visit and support them in the classroom. Release time is provided for mentees and mentors, as well as a stipend for first-year teachers’ participation in the program.
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 round tables. 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 to 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.
New educators are matched with well-trained mentors to observe and support them in the learning environment.
Second-Year Teachers and Mentors
Second-year teachers and mentors should contact Malena Goerl, firstname.lastname@example.org, for paperwork specific to your district’s program.
Download this year’s orientation PowerPoint for more information about the 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 our grant provides opportunities for mentors and mentees to meet together in Professional Growth Planning (PGP) sessions to 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 mentees’ professional learning, the grant expects mentees to complete a professional growth plan. Mentees are welcome to use templates their district provides or use the forms below and complete the plan on their own with support from their mentor. You are also invited to a session that will walk you through development of goals. Invite your mentor or arrive alone to work on your plan. PGP plans will need to be submitted to receive payment from the grant.
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.
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 clearly 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 LeAnne Strickler.
Battle Ground roundtables will be co-facilitated by mentor Jen Havig and ESD 112’s Mike Esping.
Mentors will be compensated a total of $210.00 to attend three roundtable sessions. The session topics will be repeated on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Mentors are expected to attend at least three roundtables hosted on different weeks.
Time and Locations:
- All sessions will meet from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
- 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
Clock Hours Available: Total of 16 hours for all roundtables.
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: Paula Koehler-Martin, 360-885-5389
- Castle Rock: Patty Gelbrich
- ESD 112 ESA Specialized Student Services: Kristen Lawrence, 360-952-3478
- Evergreen: Ruth Beggs, 360-604-4000 ext. 4264, or Tracy Thompson
- Hockinson: Slade McSheehy
- Kalama: Billina Dolezal
- Kelso: Kim Yore
- La Center: Amy Neiman
- Longview: Tony VanderMaas or Kiz Schumann, 360-575-7019
- Naselle-Grays: Quinn Donlon
- Ridgefield: Chris Griffith, 360-619-1304
- Skamania: Ralph Pruitt, 509-427-8239
- Wahkiakum: Bob Garrett
- Washougal: Heidi Kellar
- Woodland: Asha Riley, 360-841-2700, or Malinda Huddleston
- WSSB: Sean McCormick
Key grant contacts at the ESD:
- Mike Esping, 360-952-3412