BEST Tips for Mentors: December 2022


Beginning Educator Support Team (BEST)


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BEST Events

Using Instructional Frameworks in Observation & Feedback

Jan. 20, 8am-3pm

May 4, 8am-3pm

June 1, 8am-3pm

Mentor Academy 101 

Jan. 10, 12, 17, 19, 4pm-7pm

Jan. 24 & 26, 8am-3pm

Feb. 1 & 2, 8am-3pm

May 3, 10, 17, 24, 4pm-7pm

May 6 & 13, 8am-3pm

May 9 & 11, 8am-3pm

May 16 & 23, 8am-3pm

June 6 & 13, 8am-3pm

June 7, 14, 21, 28, 4pm-7pm

June 27 & 28, 8am-3pm

Mentor Academy 201

Jan. 30 & 31, 8am-3pm

June 20 & 22, 8am-3pm

Mentoring Teachers of Special Education

Feb. 6 & 8, 8am-3pm

Mentor Roundtables 

There are many different roundtables at different times of day and days of the week. There are roundtables for mentors of color (BIPOC), mentors of special education teachers, mentors experiencing compassion fatigue/burnout, mentors in small or rural districts, mentors of ESAs, and mentors looking for a roundtable experience that utilizes the circle way protocol. We also offer a specialty Roundtable for School Nurses.

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

SAVE THE DATE: Our BEST Virtual Mentor/Coach Equity Conference March 8 & 9, 2023.

Our BEST Virtual Grantee Convening is March 15, 2023.

This year's BEST Spring Symposium theme is Transformational Mentoring.

BEST spring symposium logo

Artwork Credit: Taylor Kidder-Morrill of the Educator Effectiveness Office at OSPI

BEST Contacts

Lan Le, Administrative Program Specialist

Kati Casto de Ventura, Lead Program Supervisor

Bawaajigekwe Boulley, Program Supervisor 

Contact us:


P: (360) 725-6430

Tips for Mentors
December 2022

Symposium Theme
  • BEST Virtual Mentor/Coach Equity Conference: March 8 & 9, 2023
  • BEST Virtual Grantee Convening: March 15

Registration will open in 2023.

Rest is Not a Reward

By Bawaajigekwe Boulley

Mother Nature has much to teach us about rest. It is a foundational part of living, not an extra, a bonus, or a reward. She shows us rhythms of work and rest over the course of a season and year that promote purpose, potential, and growth. My favorite role model from nature to learn this lesson of the importance of rest is a butterfly. Next would be trees and flowers. These beautiful beings center rest as pivotal parts of their growth and development. Depending on the environment, elements, and needs, their rest and growth periods vary.

I have a couple questions for you, dear friends. How are you resting intentionally? How are you healing and growing? 

I hope, as mentors and educational leaders, you have rest periods built into your days, seasons, and years with the purpose of healing, growth, and with the purpose of living your best life and thriving in community like butterflies and trees do. I hope you have time this upcoming winter season to dream, imagine, reflect, and feel expansive and free. For some of us, rest is desperately needed as an act of freedom--freedom to restore our spirits and reconnect to who we are.

My wish is for rest to become integral in our system's culture in addition to a personal priority and practice. It is one of the important elements needed in the world. Just ask the natural world about rest if you want to learn more on why we need rest to live. 

Book Recommendations that Emphasize Rest:

  • Rest is Resistance; A Manifesto by Tricia Hersey, Founder of The Nap Ministry

"Rest is a portal."

  • The Four Pivots; Reimagining Justice, Reimagining Ourselves by Dr. Shawn A. Ginwright 

"A good example of the necessity of rest can be seen in nature."

winter scene rest

Secondary Traumatic Stress & Compassion Fatigue

When left unaddressed, STS can not only leave gaping voids in our mental health, it also causes higher staff turnover, burnout, adult absenteeism, and more. 

Did you know, in the spring of 2021, Substitute House Bill (SHB) 1363: Addressing Workforce Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS) in the K-12 workforce, was passed into legislation?

  • This legislation acknowledges the significant toll STS has on educators, and subsequently students, and focuses on the adoption of policy and procedures so that districts and schools can take meaningful steps in supporting their staff’s health and well-being. 
  • Substitute House Bill 1363 Passed Legislature
  • More on Workforce Secondary Traumatic Stress from OSPI found here.

Tips for Mentors

Curate your community by surrounding yourself with knowledge that can help you grow. Below are a list of texts, podcasts, and knowledge bearers to consider engaging with.

  • The Bright Morning Podcast by Elena Aguilar
  • Lori Cohen Consulting
  • Dr. Dena N. Simmons, guest on Elena Aguilar's Bright Morning Podcast, Episode 145; here is her TED Talk--"How students of color confront impostor syndrome"
  • The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness, and Healing in a Toxic Culture by Dr. Gabor Mate with Daniel Mate
  • Instagram: @indigenizingartsed with Emi Aguilar
  • Twitter: @TheNapMinistry with Tricia Hersey
  • Instagram: @liberated_sel with Dr. Dena N. Simmons 
  • Rest is Resistance; A Manifesto by Tricia Hersey, Founder of The Nap Ministry
  • Four Pivots; Reimagining Justice, Reimagining Ourselves by Dr. Shawn A. Ginwright
  • The PD Book; 7 Habits that Transform Professional Development by Elena Aguilar & Lori Cohen  

The PD Book

By Elena Aguilar & Lori Cohen

Have you read it? The PD Book is a "wealth of practical tools that help you transform professional development." It is the book our BEST Mentor Faculty are reading together this year, and it is the book that inspired our BEST Symposium theme: Transformational Mentoring. 

We are excited and honored to share that Lori Cohen will be our opening keynote speaker at our annual BEST Mentor/Coach Equity Conference. 

Check out more on The PD Book; 7 Habits that Transform Professional Development on the Bright Morning website.

"These are the key skills we need today if we are serious about reimagining what teaching and learning look like for equity-minded coaches and teacher-leaders who are in charge of professional learning."

-Zaretta Hammond, teacher educator and author of Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain

The PD Book