This page features a collection of brief, interactive presentations by Dr. Maricel Santos and supplementary resources on mentoring for adult education instruction. Sustained teacher mentoring helps organizations reduce teacher turnover by supporting new teachers with feedback and guidance, and normalizing an ongoing conversation about teaching for instructors at all levels.

How to use these materials: These interactive, self–paced presentations are designed to be viewed individually or with colleagues. They can be viewed in any order. The average viewing time for each presentation is 30 minutes, and up to an additional 35—45 minutes for reflection and discussion. You are invited to view as many presentations as you wish.

Dr. Maricel G. Santos is a faculty member at San Francisco State University where she teaches in a graduate program focused on Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Her interest in professional development in the adult education field aims specifically at understanding teacher growth as a change in teacher identity, and service learning as a context for teacher growth, particularly within the domains of health literacy and beginning–level English as a second language (ESL) learners with limited schooling.

In 2015, Dr. Santos worked with colleagues on a special, themed section of The CATESOL Journal focused on how teachers seek out opportunities to reflect and grow inside and outside teacher induction programs. The special section is titled Revisioning the Practicum Experience in TESOL Teacher Education.

Dr. Maricel G. Santos picture

Developing Teacher Identity Through Mentoring

We are at a unique time of change; shifts in our health care system, workforce demands, and a transformation in the demographic make–up of English language learner communities have important implications for the work we do in adult education classes, and for what adult education teachers need to know to respond to their learners' needs. Although mentoring is a widely recognized approach to professional development in adult education, in these changing times when resources for professional development can be limited, it is important to remember the value of everyday professional relationships to our growth as teachers. While we typically think of teacher growth as focused primarily on the acquisition of knowledge of content, theories, methods, tools, and techniques— more recent views emphasize that teacher growth is, at its core, the process of developing an identity as a teacher.1 This focus on teacher identity provides a fresh lens through which to understand the impact that mentoring can have on our experience of being and becoming an adult educator.2

There are many ways to conceptualize teacher identity. It can manifest in the evolving set of classroom experiences, beliefs, values, and attitudes that lie at the core of who we are as teachers. Teacher identify is also tied to the roles that teachers play throughout their professional lives, and the changes in classroom authority and pedagogical practice that accompany shifts in roles, such as when we make the transition from being a student–teacher to a teacher in charge of our own classroom.4 Teacher identity is shaped and constitutive of our social relationships; this means that our everyday conversations and interactions with others can define and reveal who we are and what matters to us as teachers. A focus on teacher identity can reveal tensions between public perceptions of what makes an effective teacher versus our private, deeply personal expectations for how we wish to be recognized as teachers.5 Teacher identity is also tied to our communities of practice, our everyday interactions with colleagues, and the evolving set of relationships and social networks we engage in as teachers.6

Across these multiple conceptualizations of teacher identity is a common theme that teacher identity shapes practice, and practice shapes teacher identity.7 Another common idea is that reflection is essential for exploring the links between identity and practice.8 For beginning teachers, mentoring provides an important context for supporting the kind of reflection that leads to identity exploration and improved practice.8 Robert Oprandy speaks to the promise of mentoring relationships that support reflection on teacher identity: "Reflection in teachers' ongoing identity formation is powerful when it carries over to their students' learning and, potentially, to their own efforts to advocate for their students" (p. 109).

Throughout this set of presentations, you will hear about themes that reflect current thinking on developing a teacher identity. We hope these presentations enable you to discover new connections between your own identity as a teacher and your classroom practice, and that they affirm your commitment to mentoring as an essential context for the ongoing development of your teaching and learning.


Why Mentoring? (31 min.)

This presentation is designed for new teachers in adult education who are interested in mentorship as part of their professional development. The presentation invites you to (a) reflect on the meaning of mentorship, (b) contemplate the purposes that mentorship contribute to your professional growth as a teacher, and (c) identify two or three aspects of teaching and being a teacher that you want to talk about with other teachers.

For help with accessibility, click here


12 Cups of Coffee (or How to Find a Mentor in Adult Education) (26 min.)

"You will be the same person in 5 years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read" (Charlie "Tremendous" Jones, as quoted in Megan Gebhart's 52 Cups of Coffee: Inspiring and Insightful Stories for Navigating Life's Uncertainties). Have you ever reflected on the power of connection in your development as a teacher in adult education? This presentation, inspired by Meg Gebhart's 52 Cups of Coffee blog and book by the same title, invites you to reflect on mentorship as the process of seeking connections and conversations. You will have the opportunity to devise your own "12 cups of coffee" action plan, smaller in scale but motivated by the same need for connection captured in Meg Gebhart's project.

For help with accessibility, click here


On Being Observed (29 min.)

This presentation is designed for beginning teachers in adult education who are contemplating mentorship as part of their professional development. This presentation focuses on the experience of being observed, a common component of mentoring relationships. This presentation aims to (a) invite reflection on your hopes and fears about being observed by colleagues and mentors, and (b) stimulate your thinking about how we can re-frame observations as a basis for conversations about teaching, rather than as judgment and evaluation.

For help with accessibility, click here


On Becoming a Mentor (40 min.)

This presentation, designed for experienced adult educators, invites you to (a) reflect on the qualities of effective mentors in your own teaching careers, and (b) reflect on your own strengths and potential contributions as a mentor for new teachers. This presentation is intended to be a conversation–starter and a means by which to share your own experiences with mentorship and to contemplate the opportunities you have to mentor others.

For help with accessibility, click here

Additional Resources to Support Sustainable Mentoring

check imageLINCS Mentoring Guide for Teacher Induction This guide provides specific guidance and resources for mentors and beginning teachers with a set of tools to implement induction. It should be used by mentors and beginning teachers.
check imageLINCS Teacher Induction and Mentoring Brief This brief defines what a mentor is, describes the impact a mentor can have, and identifies the characteristics of an effective mentor.

References for 'Developing Teacher Identify Through Mentoring'

  1. Bullough, R. V., Knowles, G., & Crow, N. A. (1992). Emerging as a teacher. London, UK: Routledge.
  2. Walkington, J. (2005). Becoming a teacher: Encouraging development of teacher identity through reflective practice. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 33(1), 53–64. Retrieved from http://doi.org/10.1080/1359866052000341124
  3. Cook, J. S. (2009). "Coming into my own as a teacher": Identity, disequilibrium, and the first year of teaching. New Educator, 5(4), 274–292.
  4. Kanno, Y., & Stuart, C. (2011). Learning to become a second language teacher: Identities–in–practice. Modern Language Journal, 95(ii), 236–252.
  5. Jenlink, P. M. (2014). Teacher identity and the struggle for recognition: Meeting the challenges of a diverse society. Lanham, MD: R&L Education.
  6. Cochran–Smith, M., & Lytle, S. L. (1999). Relationships of knowledge and practice: Teacher learning in communities. Review of Research in Education, 24, 249–305. doi:10.2307/1167272
  7. Beijaard, D., Meijer, P. C., & Verloop, N. (2004). Reconsidering research on teachers professional identity. Teaching and Teacher Education, 20(2), 107–128. Retrieved from http://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2003.07.001
  8. Palmer, P. (1998). The courage to teach: Exploring the inner landscape of a teacher's life. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  9. Johnson, K. A. (2003). "Every experience is a moving force": Identity and growth through mentoring. Teaching and Teacher Education, 19(8), 787–800.
  10. Oprandy, R. (2015). Refashioning the practicum by emphasizing attending and reflective skills. CATESOL Journal, 27(2), 101–128

Presentation References

Why Mentoring

  1. Kanno, Y., & Stuart, C. (2011). Learning to become a second language teacher: Identities–in–practice. Modern Language Journal, 95(ii), 236–252.
  2. Palmer, P. (2007). The courage to teach: Exploring the inner landscape of a teacher's life. San Francisco, CA: Jossey–Bass.
  3. Youth Empowerment Seminars. (n.d.). Origins of Youth Mentoring. Retrieved from http://yess.co.nz/home/origins-of-youth-mentoring/
Sources for stock photography:

http://morguefile.com/
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net
https://unsplash.com/
(All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero.)

12 Cups of Coffee

  1. Danielson, C. (n.d.) Talking about teaching: Professional conversations to promote teacher learning. Slideshow presentation, Fall Leadership Conference, Near East South Asia Council of Overseas Schools (NESA). Available at https://www.nesacenter.org/uploaded/conferences/FLC/2010/
    spkr_handouts/Danielson/TalkingAboutTeaching.pdf
  2. Gebhart, M. (2016). 52 cups of coffee: Inspiring and insightful stories for navigating life's uncertainties. San Bernardino, CA: IRL Press.
  3. Haigh, N. (2005). Everyday conversation as a context for professional learning and development. International Journal for Academic Development, 10(1), 4–16.
  4. Hoffenberg–Serfaty, E. (1999). Gail Weinstein and Learners' Lives. ETNI Newsletter, 4. Retrieved from http://www.etni.org.il/red/etninews/issue4/reviews.html
  5. Martin, M. (n.d). Resources for building your circles, from The Bamboo Project blog. Retrieved from http://www.michelemmartin.com/thebambooprojectblog/resources-for-building-your-circles.html
  6. Thomson, P. (Sept. 13, 2013). How 50 cups of coffee can change your life. Retrieved from http://www.inc.com/peter-thomson/50-cups-of-coffee.html
Sources for stock photography:

https://unsplash.com/
(All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero.)

On Being Observed

  1. Farrell, T. S. C. (2003). Reflective practice in action: 80 reflection breaks for busy teachers. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
  2. Bailey, K. M., Curtis, A., & Nunan, D. (2001). Pursuing Professional Development: The Self as Source. Heinle & Heinle.
  3. Palmer, P. J. (1998). The courage to teach. Exploring the inner landscape of a teacher's life. San Francisco, CA: Jossey–Bass.
  4. Youth Empowerment Seminars. (n.d.). Origins of Youth Mentoring. Retrieved from http://yess.co.nz/home/origins-of-youth-mentoring/
Sources for stock photography:

https://unsplash.com/
(All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero.)

On Becoming a Mentor

  1. American Institutes for Research. (2015). Leadership guide for teacher induction. Promoting Teacher Effectiveness in Adult Education Project (ED–CFO–10–A–0066). Washington, DC: Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education of the U.S. Department of Education.
  2. Lacey, K. (1999). Making mentoring happen: A simple and effective guide to implementing a
    successful mentoring program.
    Sydney, Australia: Allen & Unwin.
  3. YES!. (n.d.). Origins of youth mentoring. Retrieved from http://yess.co.nz/home/origins-of-youth-mentoring/
  4. State of Victoria, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. (2010). A learning guide for teacher mentors. Retrieved from http://www.education.vic.gov.au/Documents/about/programs/partnerships/learningguide.pdf
  5. Youth Empowerment Seminars. (n.d.). Origins of Youth Mentoring. Retrieved from http://yess.co.nz/home/origins-of-youth-mentoring/
Sources for stock photography:

https://unsplash.com/
(All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero.)