BEST Tips for Mentors: April 2022


Beginning Educator Support Team (BEST)


Student Icon

BEST Events

Mentor Academy 101 

May 17 & 24, 8am- 3pm

May 18 & 19, 8am- 3pm

May 18, 25, June 1, 8, 4pm- 6pm

June 1 & 8, 8am- 3pm

June 15 & 16, 8am- 3pm

June 21 & 23, 8am- 3pm

June 27 & 28, 8am- 3pm

Mentoring ESAs *NEW!

May 5, 8am- 3pm

May 12, 8am-3pm

Mentoring Preservice Teacher Candidates 

June 29, 8am- 3pm

Check out the BEST Events & Trainings page to register for open opportunities! BEST will continue to provide all events online until further notice.

Tips for Mentors
April 2022

BEST Symposium Reflections

The work of cultivating community does not begin or end with a particular event or time of year. There are seasons of work, and mentoring cycles look much different than years past. It has become more important than ever to cultivate a community of support during a time of adjusting, reframing, and rethinking the work of mentoring. This year, there has been a continuous onboarding of new teachers, and the typical coaching out season looks different too.

Let us zoom out for a moment of reflection to see the big picture and ask ourselves, How are the needs of the times impacting the work of mentoring and coaching? Furthermore, what is surfacing and is calling for attention? Remember to listen to your professional voice of intuition, stay in community with your own mentors (mentors need mentors too), and trust you and your mentee are right where you are supposed to be in the journey.  

If you find yourself looking for support with coaching a teacher out, consider this article by Elena Aguilar, "How to Coach a Teacher Out."


Nuggets of Wisdom from BEST Keynote Speakers

Gyasi Ross

Gyasi is a defense attorney, professor, author, basketball coach, and storyteller. In his keynote he centers hope, compassion, generosity, grace, and love starting with the self. Educators and mentors are the beacon of light for those they are advising, and it is imperative to find and engage with your purpose for the work while being honest about what you can and cannot do.

Gyasi reminds us of the bigger picture in saying we want educators to see their careers to fruition. To do so, we must love ourselves in a way that allows us to do what we do over a sustained period. Take care because “Your greatest work is ahead of you. The stories of your students and mentees are yet to be told.” In addition, Gyasi clearly and compassionately advises mentors to remember that when working with mentees, learning is time released. He says, “Their timing is not your timing,” and “time released learning is not an indictment of one's teaching or mentorship.” 

Find Gyasi Ross at or Twitter: @BigIndianGyasi


Brooke Brown

Brooke artfully delivers a message of "Learning is best done in community." Brooke is the 2021 Washington State Teacher of the Year and works for the Franklin Pierce School District. She is a wealth of knowledge and shares generously.

Brooke encourages us to go beyond what is directly in front of us and be intentional about the work we are doing in sustainable ways. One way to do this is to show up as a learner and seek to deepen connections with others and self. Brooke reminds us of the importance of mentorship at all stages in one’s career and in life; mentorship has the power to impact generations. Brooke centers relationships and emphasizes moving from transactional to transformational and highlights building community as something that is done over time. "It is not just what we do, it is how we do it."

Find Brooke Brown on Twitter: @bbrown253


Christian Paige

Christian is a poet, speaker, and educator. He performed two poems for us at this year’s Equity in Action conference: “Etymology” and “Eyes of Your Enemy.” You can find a video of him performing “Eyes of Your Enemy” on his website at where a line in the poem inspired this year’s BEST Symposium theme of Cultivating Community.

His poem “Etymology” pushes us to engage intentionally in a way that grounds us in community, connection, integrity, and truth of our words. Christian reminds us of how education means different things in different spaces and shares his experience as a poetry teacher realizing he is not here as an additive but rather as someone with a responsibility of bringing out the best of what already exists in people. This is a great nugget of wisdom to guide us in the work of mentoring, and he offers support in this endeavor of centering the learner and engaging with co-production of knowledge by saying, "50% of the curriculum walks through the door." As important as lesson plans, goals, and objectives are, so is being in relation with and leaving intentional room in the plan for the knowledge of those we aim to serve. 

Lastly, Christian acknowledges education as starting at the feet of our relatives and ancestors—our first teachers in life. He shares it is his grandmother’s teaching that offers wisdom and a reframing of equity and includes her words in the poem “Eyes of Your Enemy.” Based on his grandmother’s wisdom, Christian explained, “I don’t really battle against people. I battle against broken ideologies and strongholds that would hold us captive. We’re battling against something not someone.” This is a powerful reminder to reframe engagement with equity to center on truth and honoring our intent.    

Find Christian Paige at or on Twitter: @cpaigespeaks