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Student-Centered Mentoring

Student-Centered Mentoring
Keeping Students at the Heart of New Teachers’ Learning

A Practical Guide for Teacher Mentors, Foreword by Diane Sweeney

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June 2022 | 232 pages | Corwin

Transform Learning by Teachers AND Students With Actionable Mentoring Moves

Mentor relationships should focus on student growth and provide novice teachers with instructional support to truly make an impact on student learning. Amanda Brueggeman brings this focus to life in Student-Centered Mentoring by presenting mentorship strategies that can be applied effectively in any induction context, all through the prism of orienting mentor conversations around student learning outcomes.

This new mentorship model is designed to improve teacher retention, support instructional development, and foster a culture of learning in schools. Mentors will learn how to develop a student-centered approach to mentoring, promote collective efficacy with mentees, engage in reflective coaching conversations with mentees, and prevent new teacher burnout using the following resources:

  • Actionable strategies for mentoring using a student-centered lens
  • Detailed anecdotes and examples from the field
  • Comprehensive ancillary materials, including professional development support for starting a Student-Centered Mentoring program and online tools to help train and support mentors

Transforming the traditional concept of mentorship into a clearer focus, this book can be adopted by any mentorship program or a sole mentor as a model for supporting novice teachers while enhancing student learning.

Foreword by Diane Sweeney
Chapter 1: Shifting Toward a Student-Centered Approach
Chapter 2: Laying the Foundation for a Strong Mentoring Relationship
Chapter 3: Building Efficacy with New Teachers and Mentors
Chapter 4: Strengthening Mentor Partnerships with Collaborative Reflection
Chapter 5: Learning Together in the Classroom
Chapter 6: Partner with a Coach or Colleague in a Mentor Coaching Cycle


This book is packed with useful ideas, strategies, and clear action steps for supporting new teacher induction with a student-centered philosophy at its core. In both translating the research and describing educators’ lived experiences, Amanda Brueggeman has created a timely resource that will resonate with classroom teachers, school and district leaders. When put into practice, the strategies in this book will help in shaping mastery environments in which everyone in an educational setting shares the belief that individually and collectively they have the capability to impact positive improvement.

Jenni Donohoo
Provincial Literacy Lead Council of Ontario Directors of Education, Author, Collective Efficacy

Student-Centered Mentoring: Keeping Students at the Heart of New Teachers’ Learning is a thoughtful and timely book. Brueggeman’s core belief that “empowering others to grow and make an impact on students is important for our future” gets at both a practical and moral imperative: we need ways of supporting new teachers that are compassionate and impactful if we want to change the trajectory of the teacher shortage we currently face. With practical tips, a solid framework, and plenty of examples from her own experience in the field Student-Centered Mentoring does just that.

Leanna Harris
Author and Consultant, Diane Sweeney Consulting

Student-Centered Mentoring: Keeping Students at the Heart of New Teachers’ Learning is a welcomed resource in an untapped market. Amanda’s book provides specific student-centered strategies, tips, and tools for mentors to utilize while partnering with new teachers to propel student learning. By putting students at the heart of mentoring, new teachers will be provided with ongoing and meaningful support that allows them to reflect and refine instruction based on current student evidence. This is a must read for anyone who supports new teachers; mentors, coaches, principals, and district leadership.

Joy Casey
Consultant, Diane Sweeney Consulting

Given the complexity of the teaching profession, individuals beginning their career need comprehensive support with systems, pedagogy, and meeting students’ needs while managing their own. There are many approaches districts take to equip these ambitious colleagues. Student-Centered Mentoring: Keeping Students at the Heart of New Teachers’ Learning creates a unique layered process for developing the mentor’s skillset to meet the teachers’ learning needs while establishing the student focus from day one. Undoubtedly, Dr. Brueggeman’s system, including the strategies and action steps provided, will transform the impact mentors have on our newest colleagues as well as the students they serve well beyond their first years.

Julie Steele
Consultant, Diane Sweeney Consulting

Student-Centered Mentoring is an inspiring guide for any educator tasked with supporting new teachers. We all know that being a new teacher involves a unique set of challenges. This book presents a multilayered approach to support the varied needs of new teachers, all while keeping student engagement and growth at the center of mentor-mentee’s collective work. Full of questions mentors can ask new teachers to support effective management and instruction, processes for goal-setting and reflecting, and tips for giving effective feedback, this resource allows us to envision the power of collaborative partnerships to build new teacher confidence and give the essential support that is often lacking in induction programs today.

Amber Birch Trujillo
Consultant, Diane Sweeney Consulting

As we think about teaching and learning in the era of Covid-19, Student-Centered Mentoring: Keeping Students at the Heart of New Teachers’ Learning is essential.  Now more than ever, we have a collective imperative to develop beliefs and habits of mind in new teachers that serve students in meaningful, enduring ways.  Bringing together the latest research on teacher development, trends in teaching and learning, and a robust set of anecdotes, Brueggeman does a masterful job at laying a foundation for those in charge of new teacher development programs.  The way that she advocates for student-centered mentoring will help new and veteran teachers alike remain energized by the work we're all called to do as educators.

Quinton P. Walker
Head of the High School, University School of Nashville, TN

Student-Centered Mentoring is a must-read for every mentor, instructional coach, and educational leader! Amanda Brueggeman’s book shares the limitless possibilities of fostering relationships, building engaging dynamics, and creating effective change through mentorships! Her work is both student-centered and teacher-supportive. She illuminates the possibilities of building teacher leadership and fostering teacher capacity. She offers strategies on collaboration, navigating difficult dialogue, and grounding this work in keeping our students at the focus. This book is an educator’s dream!

Jigisha Vyas
Instructional Coach, Wyckoff School District, NJ

This book is a must-have for mentors. Brueggeman advocates for a shift from a traditional, top-down mentoring model, where new teacher and mentor conversations revolve around the most important reason for teaching: students. The author explains how mentors can build the capacity of new teachers through reflective conversations about their existing skills, mindsets, and how to understand and assess the effect their teaching moves have on student learning outcomes. The strategies and action steps presented in each chapter provide mentors with a variety of methods to engage their new teacher, from emotional intelligence to collaborative learning experiences.

Rachel Jenner
Instructional Coach/Consultant, Rockingham County Public Schools, VA

In the ever-evolving field of education, it is critical for new teachers to begin their careers with the ongoing support and guidance of a mentor. Student-Centered Mentoring offers precise, practical strategies for mentors to help mentees establish systems of beliefs and practices that keep student learning at the forefront of teaching. Envisioning “school as a system with student growth at the heart,” this resource provides readers with recommendations for examining philosophies, scenarios to guide learning, and frameworks to create a deep and sustainable system of mentorship. The wide range of joys and challenges experienced when mentoring new teachers is presented with the ultimate (and attainable) goal of improving outcomes for all students.

Sarah Valter
Literacy Coach, Lindbergh Schools, MO

Student-Centered Mentoring: Keeping Students at the Heart of New Teacher’s Learning is a must read for anyone who is an educational leader or planning to take on a leadership role in the K-12 environment. This tool is full of actionable ideas for the mentors, coaches, and administrators dedicated to developing an authentic and dynamic student-centered culture. Mentors who put these strategies in place will make a lasting positive change in the lives of their staff members and their students.

Joseph Perry
K-6 STEM Educator, Simmons Elementary School, PA

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ISBN: 9781071855195