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.
All Mentor Academies will be run by OSPI virtually through December 2020.
For new mentors: Mentor Academy 101 – Instructional Mentoring Tools and Skills for Teacher and Student Growth. This is a required training for new mentors. You will develop skills to serve in mentoring and coaching roles.
For returning mentors: Mentor Academy 201 – Taking it Further Mentoring for Growth and Equity. Refine your mentoring skills, build capacity to engage in conversations around equity, and deepen awareness of equitable classroom practices.
For experienced mentors: Mentor Academy 301 – Taking it Further Mentoring for Growth and Equity. This one-day training focuses on refining conversation skills and using consultancy protocols to explore mentoring problems of practice or dilemmas.
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.
All Mentor Roundtables will be run by OSPI virtually during the 2020-21 year.
- Professional Growth Plan template
- Elementary School Examples
- Middle School Example
- High School Example
Professional Certification Links
For more information about professional certification and the ProTeach Portfolio go to:
OSPI Resources for Beginning Teachers and Mentors
OSPI REGIONAL INDUCTION COORDINATOR ROUNDTABLES
Quarterly meetings are currently being held via Zoom. Please contact Karen Solberg at email@example.com for access.
- September 30th 2pm-3pm
- February 3rd 2pm-3pm
- Spring Date TBD
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Castle Rock: Doris Ellison, email@example.com
- ESD 112 ESA Specialized Student Services: Janelle Tuttle, firstname.lastname@example.org; Jeffrey D. Niess, email@example.com
- Hockinson: Colleen Anders, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kalama: Billina Dolezal, email@example.com
- Kelso Kim Yore, firstname.lastname@example.org; Lacey DeWeert, email@example.com; Kelsey Thompson, firstname.lastname@example.org
- La Center: Carrie Lindsey, email@example.com
- Longview: Kiz Schumann, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ridgefield: Chris Griffith, email@example.com
- Stevenson-Carson: Karen Schreiber, SchreiberK@SCSD303.org
- Washington School for the Blind: Sean McCormick firstname.lastname@example.org