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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Training Activities

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Training Activities for Teachers, Mentors, Q-Comp Coaches, Supervisors, Coordinators, Principals

Mentor Support

Through a series of professional development activities, mentors will increase their efficacy and effectiveness in supporting pre-service and beginning teachers to increase their effectiveness in meeting the diverse needs of P-12 students. Minnesota State University Mankato partners with the New Teacher Center, developer of the Professional Learning Series, to offer the following mentor training sessions during each academic year. All PLS sessions must be taken in sequential order.

PLS #1: Instructional Mentoring (2 days): September 23-24 
To support mentors in responding to each pre-service and beginning teacher’s developmental and contextual needs and promote the ongoing examination of instructional practice.

Participant Outcomes:

  • Employ the roles, language, and stances of effective instructional mentoring
  • Build collaborative, trusting relationships with and among beginning teachers
  • Use the Collaborative Assessment Log to assess and advance teaching practice
  • Use standards and criteria to anchor assessments about teaching and learning

PLS #2: Observing and Conferencing (2 days) October 20-21
To provide mentors with tools and processes for collecting and analyzing observation data, aligned with professional teaching standards, to improve teaching practice.

Participant Outcomes:

  • Reflect upon and discuss mentoring experiences since Instructional Mentoring
  • Extend and expand upon the use of instructional mentoring language
  • Use protocols and tools that support an effective classroom observation cycle
  • Communicate, collaborate, and coordinate with a site administrator for beginning teacher assessment and support

PLS #3: Using Data to Inform Instruction (2 days) December 8 & 10
To deepen mentor understanding of the process of analyzing student work in order to strategically plan and adjust standards-based instruction.

Participant Outcomes:

  • Reflect upon and discuss mentoring experiences since Observing and Conferencing
  • Use protocols for analyzing student work with beginning teachers
  • Incorporate relevant aspects of brain research to inform and transform instructional mentoring and teaching practice
  • Extend and expand upon the use of instructional mentoring language

PLS #4: Designing Effective Instruction (2 days) January 20-21
To develop mentor expertise in supporting beginning teachers to plan standards-based, differentiated instruction that reaches all learners.

Participant Outcomes:

  • Use tools and protocols for planning standards-based, differentiated instruction
  • Support beginning teachers to plan for and use flexible grouping
  • Assess and reflect upon professional growth and set next steps


Teacher Candidate Support Network: 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

Mentors greatly benefit from monthly follow-up sessions to extend and enrich their capacity to support pre-service and beginning teachers. A synergistic, collaborative relationship forms between mentors as a result of their reflection, collegial coaching and goal setting. Mentors are encouraged to attend all network sessions.
Network Dates: Aug. 14, Sept. 11, Oct. 9, Nov. 13, Dec. 18, Jan. 15, Feb. 12, Mar. 26, Apr. 16, May 14

[PDF] Cognitive Coaching Foundation Seminar (147 KiB)

The eight-day series serves to extend and enrich the mentor/coach’s capacity to promote and develop self-directedness in those they serve. Using communication structures that get to the heart of the thinking process, the planning, reflecting, and problem resolving tools help those being coached to access internal resources and prompt thinking at higher levels. - All eight CCFS sessions must be taken in sequential order.
2014-15 Cognitive Coaching Dates: 


All sessions are held at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Details pertaining to registration and costs for mentor training sessions can be found on the Events & Registrations page. For additional information about the training activities, contact Carol Burns at or 507-389-5448.