BEST Tips for Mentors: May 2022


Beginning Educator Support Team (BEST)


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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 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.

BEST Contacts

Lan Le, Program Administrator

Kati Casto de Ventura, Program Supervisor

Bawaajigekwe Boulley, Program Supervisor 

Contact us:


P: (360) 725-6430

Tips for Mentors
May 2022

Renewing Purpose: What is Your Motivation For the Work?

“When we have a reason, we put our heart, mind, and soul into it.”  

-Ernie St. Germaine

Mr. St. Germaine is an Indigenous Knowledge Bearer and Elder of the Ojibwe Nation  

Spring is a season of renewal. Greeting the day, week, or month with energy and optimism does not always come easy, especially after a long winter. Sometimes we need a little boost or reminder, and sometimes it helps to talk it through with a trusted colleague. 

In the spirit of relationship and learning with and from one another, what if you asked your mentee to share their story about why they entered the field of education? Listen to them share their passion and ask to share yours. Seek appreciation and understanding for one another while you reconnect with your why.

Conversation Starters: What is it that brought you to this place? What is your motivation for being an educator? What is it about education that connects with your heart, mind, and soul?  

Questions for Reflecting on a Year of Learning

Mentors, congratulations on the work you have done this year and doing it during a time filled with many challenges, changes, and pivots. Your role as a professional entail many responsibilities: teacher, coach, mentor, listener, learner, community connector, supporter and advocate of education, collaborator, and so much more. Consider the current times we are living in, and undoubtedly there is much to reflect upon. 

Why Reflect? 

Intentional and thoughtful reflection can encourage abilities, recognize progress, and identify areas for growth or change. It is a way to engage in asset-based thinking and ask questions of ourselves. Reflection gives us the chance to tell our own story, access points of joy, review moments of growth, and set intentions for the future.    

Use this reflection tool by Elena Aguilar that guides you through thinking about this year, this summer, this fall, and next school yearQuestions for Reflecting on a Year of Learning 

Listening to Your Own Listening 

Sometimes when we meet with colleagues, clients, or co-workers, we arrive with preconceived notions or anticipations based on what we are tuned into. We might also allow our own experiences and top of mind thoughts to influence what we hear. This is natural, and it can change the story the speaker is trying to tell. To help develop awareness of our own thinking and to advance our listening skills, try using this self-evaluation tool by Elena Aguilar: Listening to Your Own Listening.  

Taking It a Step Further

Reflect on what you gathered with a trusted colleague or mentor (mentors need mentors too) and see what surfaces. What conclusions about your listening can you draw, and what goals will support your growth for the upcoming year? This is an exercise in self-awareness, mindfulness, and ultimately serves you in your communication as someone positioned to help others, which prioritizes—you guessed it—listening.    

Being in Good Relation

Relationship is a worldview and a way of being. As you reflect on the year as a mentor, consider the exchanges with mentees where there was reciprocity or mutual benefit. Encouragement is offered to acknowledge mentees and show appreciation and understanding for the mentoring relationship. 

Do you have a way of showing gratitude to your mentee?  We would love to hear about it! Email us: 

Maya Angelou quote

Photo Credit: Bawaajigekwe Boulley

Image Description: The photo overlooks the water and mountains and is the homelands of the Coast Salish and Puyallup tribes. This location is known as present day Commencement Bay in Tacoma with the Olympic Mountains on the horizon.  

To find out whose land you are on, text (907) 312-5085 or visit for more information.  

There is a quote on top of the photo by Maya Angelou that says, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."