Mentoring Newsletter

A guide to working with mentees at your school site

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March 2022

Hello, BPS mentors.

It's March -- woo hoo! -- and a well-deserved spring break is coming up for you and our mentees. I hope you enjoy every minute of it.

Let's get some housekeeping out of the way first. Some of our new teachers on temporary certificates are still getting conflicting or confusing information regarding courses and/or tests listed and required on their FLDOE Statement of Eligibility. Such information could be the difference between these teachers having jobs next year or not. So, it's important that our communication be 100% accurate. As mentors, you can have a follow-up chat with your teachers about what is listed. However, the only three people from the school district who should give definitive direction on what teachers should complete -- and the timeline for it --are Dinah Kramer, Sharon Doucett-Doran, and Lisa Stanley. Check out the certification information below and share with your mentees if applicable. These three people will keep you up-to-date via email with the latest from the FLDOE -- make sure you read their emails!

Meanwhile, our newest teachers are demonstrating some great teaching. Please, take a minute to email me a success story that I can showcase in one of our last two month's newsletter editions.

Suggestions for your area of focus right now:

1. Personal: Make a Spring Break survival kit for your new teacher with magazines or paperbacks, sunscreen, chocolate candy, etc. and put it on his/her desk. You can pick up all of this at the dollar store, but what a memorable gift!

2. Professional:

  • Analyze portfolio work and assist in identifying how it is aligned with the IPPAS performance evaluation criteria. Discuss what else might be included to share with administration.
  • As appropriate, discuss how the process works for the possibility that there may be a reduction in the number of teachers for next year at your school. This can feel very unsettling to a new teacher and the more accurate the information they receive, the more grounded they become.

3. Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment: Focus on classroom assessment practices.

4. Organizational Systems: Check in with the new teachers on their record keeping systems. Review school reports they need to complete, grade books, attendance logs, and parent contact records as appropriate.

5. Students: Remind new teachers that if they demonstrate nervousness or speak disparagingly about standardized tests, their students will pick up on those emotions and comments. Encourage them to communicate to students how well the students are prepared for both the content and process of the testing.

6. Colleagues: Ask the principal, as appropriate, to give you a heads-up about any upcoming teaching assignment decisions for the new teachers so that you can be prepared to support the new teacher in dealing with the changes.

7. School Systems: Just before standardized testing events, review the policies and procedures for administering the assessments.

8. Parents and Community: Review the procedures and processes for parent conferences. Discuss what worked in the fall conferences and what needs to be done differently this time around.

*Special Educators:

  • Provide guidance on how to plan for transition of students between buildings and programs for the upcoming school year.
  • Debrief with them on their roles in the administration of standardized tests and help them think through what they would differently next year.

As always, thank you so much for all you do. If you ever have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, please contact Linda Buffum, Lisa Stanley, or me. 💚

- Bridget Reed

Breakdown and suggestions taken from Paula Rutherford's Just Ask Publications


Our new teachers are between rejuvenation and reflection at this point in the school year. Please share this information with your mentees and CELEBRATE the new shift in attitude toward teaching.
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⭐⭐⭐Mentor/Mentee Spotlight ⭐⭐⭐

Columbia Elementary School

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"Danielle has been a blessing to have as a mentor. Her knowledge and skills as a teacher have been so rewarding as a mentee. Throughout the school year, Danielle has guided me through the ins and outs of being an effective VPK teacher. Keeping me on track with lesson planning, VPK assessments, trainings, conferences, and student support. Her own desire to have a positive impact on children’s education is reflected in her support she has given me throughout the year, because of her, I have become effective VPK teacher."

-Tanya Capobianchi, mentee

"Tanya is a great mentee to have under my wing. Tanya has a great passion for teaching and a love for the students. She easily adapts lessons to fit her classroom learning needs. Tanya brings a lot of child development knowledge with her from running her own daycare. She has been a great mentee to work with."

-Danielle Holmes, mentor


Brevard Virtual School

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(pictured left to right, Mary Fredericks, mentee, Cassie Gonyer, veteran BVS teacher, and Laura O’Neill, mentor)

"Let me start by saying I was so blessed to be given Laura O’Neill as my mentor last year. She is very approachable and has a way of making one not feel embarrassed when asking questions. She uses constructive criticism and compliments me when 'I did it!' She encourages independence while offering support and is extremely patient.

"Laura was always available when I had questions or 'issues' with the program, and she still is. She is so knowledgeable, not only with the curriculum, but also with computer issues. She was and still is, my go-to person for problem-solving. She has spent so much of her own time helping me. She will even get on my computer if need-be to resolve whatever issue I may be having. If all else fails, I do a Help ticket.

"She’s an excellent role model and mentor and anyone would be so lucky to have her as their mentor."

-Mary Fredericks, mentee

"Mary was a Lab Facilitator at MIHS before coming to us to assist in summer virtual instruction, and after showing exceptional potential, was hired on permanently to work with both our full time and flex students. She is an avid learner and cares deeply about our students’ success and general well-being. She has made leaps and bounds in the virtual realm. Already a stellar teacher, Mary put her heart and soul into learning the virtual systems of and Educator (our Learning Management System). She has worked hard to implement monitoring processes to ensure she gently guides students from course assigned status all the way to successful completion of their course. Additionally, I have yet to meet a new virtual teacher who puts quite so much care into grading feedback as Mary does. Any student assigned to Mrs. Fredericks should count themselves lucky to be a member of her class; Mary exemplifies student-first mentality, and I am so proud to call myself her mentor!"

-Laura O'Neill, mentor


Hoover Middle School

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I have had the pleasure of working alongside Mrs. Sadowski as her mentee. Upon meeting Mrs. Sadowski, I found myself immediately impressed by her innate ability to focus on building student relationships. Mrs. Sadowski naturally engages her students and provides the needed differentiated instruction. She has a dedicated work ethic and relentless desire to exceed the mentor program expectations for me. She has been instrumental in the success of my first year! Thank you for all your assistance and guidance, Mrs. Sadowski!"

-Amy Townsend, mentee

"Amy has been a great addition to Hoover Middle School by supporting her students in every way she can. She makes her class relatable to the outside world, especially since she comes with so much knowledge from her prior experience."

-Brenda Sadowski, mentor


❓When a Teacher Seems Resistant❓

"Let’s consider an example: Say you’re mentoring a teacher around increasing student engagement and you’ve described a number of strategies that she could use to get students excited about a topic, get into the lesson, make meaning of the material and connect it to past and future learning. You’ve offered her copies from your favorite texts that describe how to do a think-pair share, organized a fishbowl discussion or a Socratic seminar, and so on. And she’s not doing any of them. She says, “I tried that fishbowl thing and it didn’t work,” and now she seems unwilling to try anything else.

If you’re like many of us, you’ll start thinking she’s resistant. After all, she’s not doing anything different, right? But you might also be confused because she said she wanted to work on this—she asked for your mentoring in this area. So what’s going on?

Click on the link below to finish this quick article to find out what's going on and how you can address it! I promise you -- it will be worth it!


✔️From the BPS' certification office:

REMINDER – Certification/FL DOE:

Teachers who are currently Out of Field:

This is a reminder that your out of field requirements must be met within one calendar year from date of hire. For example, if you were hired on 8/2/2021 you are required to take and pass the subject area exam in which you are out of field in AND add it to your FL DOE certificate on or prior to 08/01/2022. Our office of Certification will be contacting administrators as they plan for re-appointment on the upcoming school year with the list of educators pending for the remainder of this school year (2021-2022) and the start of the next school year (2022-2023). Per the FL DOE you may only be out of field for one calendar year. Failure to meet the out of field requirements will result in your inability to be eligible out of field again.

If you met your requirements, make sure to apply to the FLDOE to add it to your certificate, as you are not in-field until it is added. Currently the FL DOE is processing application within 45 business days.

Here is the link to the testing site:

Here is the link to the FL DOE application:

Teachers who hold a Professional FL DOE certificate that will expire on 06/30/2022:

This is a gentle reminder to Renew your five-year Professional FL DOE certificate no later than April 1, 2022, which aligns with our District reappointment process. Please work with your department/school secretary who was provided with the very specific instructions and required documents to complete this task. If you have questions about Professional Development/Inservice points please contact Itzel Copley. If you experience difficulties with the FL DOE online application and are using Internet Explorer 11, you may have created two user ids and/or two user passwords. If this is accurate, please send an email with your FL DOE certificate number to

  • Be sure you are using Internet Explorer 11 to complete the FL DOE online renewal application. Chrome, Firefox, Safari and/or Edge will not work with the FL DOE application.


🏆🏅🏆Its that time of year! 🏆🏅🏆

Rookie and Emerging Teacher of the Year Nominations -- due at ESF on or before March 21st!