BEST Tips for Mentors: January 2023


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
January 2023

Reflections and Intentions

Referencing Dr. Ginwright's book The Four Pivots; Reimagining Justice, Reimagining Ourselves, ask yourself this simple reflection question:

What do you want?

Pivot 1: From Lens to Mirror encourages us to take a look at ourselves, reflect, and seek truth. It is the job of a mirror to reflect and show us who we are.

Build in time for self-reflection as a practice. Journal, draw, or use movement to help yourself engage in a process of seeking vulnerability and honesty (mirror work). Remember, the way we show up for ourselves says a lot about the way we provide support as mentors. 

"Maybe that is the real point of our mirror work, to reveal the truth of how we show up for others."

(p. 41, Ginwright) 

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

Registration will open in 2023.

BEST Symposium Agenda 2023

Please take a few moments to be excited with us!

Click here to find our 2023 Spring Symposium Agenda.

This includes the agenda for our full virtual Mentor/Coach conference including breakout session titles and speakers.

You will also find our virtual Grantee Convening agenda including our BEST Practices Session titles and speakers.

Mentor/Coach Equity Conference Keynote Speakers

We are honored to announce our keynote speakers for our upcoming virtual conference. Click on their names to visit their websites.

Lori Cohen

Lori Cohen

Lori has worked in education (both public and independent schools) for over two decades serving as a teacher, instructional coach, school leader, and professional development facilitator whose expertise spans a range of topics: new teacher development, writing instruction, culturally responsive teaching practices, team development, Transformational Coaching, equity-focused conversations, resilience-building, curriculum development, growth and evaluation, assessment, and scope/sequence work. Lori brings intentionality and a broad array of skillsets to her design and facilitation—all through the lenses of equity and inclusion. She facilitates with a balance of humility, humor, and heart. Lori is is co-author (with Elena Aguilar) of The PD Book: 7 Habits that Transform Professional Development.

Roger Fernandes

Roger Fernandes

Roger Fernandes is a Native American storyteller, Artist, and educator whose work focuses on the culture and arts of the Puget Salish tribes of western Washington. He is an enrolled member of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and has a B.A. in Native American Studies from The Evergreen State College and a Masters Degree in Whole Systems Design from Antioch University. He has been teaching about Native storytelling and art for over 30 years and weaves these two concepts together to help educators teach to their students innate strengths as artists and storytellers.

Christian Paige

Christian Paige

Christian Paige is an Emmy nominated spoken word poet, a professional speaker and educator who speaks at schools, conferences, and events across the United States. Paige has spoken to hundreds of thousands of people and loves to work with young people who are committed to doing good in the world.

Paige is a first-generation college graduate, an Actsix Scholar and is passionate about community, anti-racism, equity, and empowerment. He has spent his entire career in and around education advocating for historically marginalized populations and working to create equitable environments where young people can thrive. He provides motivation, inspiration, encouragement and truth through school assemblies, professional development sessions, conference keynotes, community gatherings, and poetry performances.

Paige's work has appeared on national stages, on television, and in museum exhibits. Paige is one of the top youth speakers in the Pacific Northwest and is in demand nationally however, Paige believes there is no place like home. He was born and raised in Tacoma, Washington where he currently lives and teaches. He believes that our voice is our most powerful tool and encourages others to use their voice to advocate, interrupt, empower, and teach. Christian often uses one sentence to summarize himself. He says, “I am just a somebody, who wants community to work for everybody”

Grantee Convening Keynote Speakers

March Plecki, Ph.D. & Ana Elfers, Ph.D., University of Washington

Keynote Session Title:

Creating a Web of Supports for Early Career Teachers: Capacity-building at School and District Levels

Keynote Session Description:

Over the past seven years, Marge and Ana have conducted a variety of research studies examining early career teachers and Washington’s Beginning Educator Support Team (BEST) program. In addition to statewide quantitative analyses of teacher retention and mobility and whether induction matters for retention, they also investigated how retention and mobility rates differ for teachers of color.

Most recently they conducted a qualitative study that focused on ways in which districts and schools can create a sustainable, multi-layered system of induction support, with attention to equitable practices and teachers of color. This study gave them the opportunity to speak with early career teachers, mentors, school leaders and district staff from across the state.

Their keynote address focuses on four elements to create a web of supports for early career teachers: 1) leadership and infrastructure that build capacity and address equity, 2) a systemic approach to professional learning, 3) recruitment, hiring and onboarding, and 4) the role of state level supports. The goal of this session is to illustrate how a well-designed and implemented teacher induction program can support the retention and flourishing of early career teachers.

Power of Affirmations 

"There is no one better to be than myself." Now say that again and imagine it in the voice of the animated mentor for kids named Bow Wizzle played by Snoop Dogg. There's a whole Affirmations Song by Doggyland-Kids Songs & Nursery Rhymes that is bound to lift the spirit of your inner child when negative thoughts creep in or you need a little boost in motivation. Listen to the full song here

Check out BEST's Affirmations playlist on Spotify. It's a nice little 21 minute vibe to help start the morning out with a handful of optimistic bops and beats (playlist has clean versions of songs with explicit lyrics).  

  1. Affirmations Song: Doggyland, Snoop Dogg
  2. Special: Lizzo
  3. Beautiful: Charlie Wilson, Snoop Dogg, Pharrell Williams
  4. Shake It Off: Taylor SwifT
  5. Can't Stop the Feeling!: Justin Timberlake
  6. Brown Skin Girl: Wizkid, Blue Ivy Carter, SAINt JHN, Beyonce

How do you help yourself overcome when you're not feeling good and have negative thoughts? We would love to know. Email us:

Bow Wizzle

Bow Wizzle: Voiced by Snoop Dogg. Think of him as a camp counselor or big brother. He oversees all the pups in Doggyland and inspires them to be the best that they can be. His mantra is... 

"If you believe it, you can achieve it!" 

Bow Wizzle is a great mentor and everybody in Doggyland looks up to his rapping style.


Uplifting Messages & Sharing Resources

After last month's Mentor Tips, we received a positive message from a Seattle Educator on behalf of an Educator Wellness Project Team called Beam Pedagogy. They shared enthusiasm for the resources in December Mentor Tips emphasizing wellness. 

Find out more about Beam Pedagogy on their website. "Through our workshops we confront the immediate barriers to wellness and examine the root systems that cause these barriers."   

Missed last month's issue of Mentor Tips (MT) and want to check out the resources shared? It is full of so many amazing gems and worth a quick look. Find our BEST MT archive on our BEST website.