Model Modifications for Alaska
How has the New Teacher Center model been modified to fit Alaska?
All mentors in the Alaska Statewide Mentor Project (ASMP) receive mentor professional development by attending the Professional Learning Series developed by the New Teacher Center. This series is held in Alaska four times a year, followed by a second year of the Quality Instructional Mentoring series designed specifically by mentors for Alaska schools.
The mentors use formative assessment tools tailored specifically for Alaska to structure their interactions with early career teachers. The Alaska program has also modified the frequency and duration of mentor visits to early career teachers because of the vast geographic area of the state. We communicate weekly by phone, virtually or in-person. When on site, mentors travel by small planes, skiffs, skidoos, four-wheelers and dog sleds, and are flexible when necessary. Once at a village school, however, mentors usually stay for a whole day and sleep overnight at the school or at the home of a teacher, so the amount of in person time is concentrated. From Day 1, ASMP has prioritized Alaskan-specific culture, community, and school initiatives.