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Mentoring Program

While implementing early childhood programs for many years in schools and kindergartens of Armenia we had to start thinking about ongoing support of SBS teachers and program sustainability across SBS network. How can “Step by Step” trainers and mentors assist teachers to work towards meeting the “Step by Step” Standards? What are the effective mechanisms to help teachers to improve their teaching skills, to enhance the quality of education and to become more creative and efficient in their work? To be able to answer these and many other questions the “Step by Step” BF initiated mentoring program. The program has been designed to help to develop mentors who in their turn would be able to assist teachers at different developmental levels to increase their professional qualities. Through a specific process of consultation, observation, feedback and facilitative self-inquiry the mentors would help the teachers to determine their long-term training plan and work toward its implementation.


The Quality Improvement Process is an organized approach for implementing the “Step by Step” Teacher Standards into classroom practice. This process is dependent on the following key components:


The “Step by Step” Teacher Standards are the foundation on which the Quality Improvement Process has been built.


These standards identify the specific knowledge and skills necessary to effectively meet the requirements of each of the seven domains identified.  These seven domains outline the core principles of the “Step by Step” program. These domains structure the areas that support the “Step by Step” educational philosophy for an effective, holistic instructional program.


The program addresses the following domains of Teacher Standards:


  • Interactions
  • Family and Community
  • Inclusion, Diversity, and Values of Democracy
  • Assessment and Planning
  • Teaching Strategies
  • Learning Environment
  • Professional Development


Teaching manuals of “Step by Step”


The manuals offered by Step by Step” are the vehicle for standards implementation and quality improvement.


The teaching methodologies prescribed by “Step by Step” provide teachers with instructional strategies and techniques that are child centered and promote interactive learning experiences. A teacher needs to have the opportunity to practice the use of these strategies as they present the required academic content.  These methodologies enhance instruction by making the learning come to life. These methodologies were designed to have the student be an active participant in the learning process.


The delivery of content is most effective when students use multi-sensory experiences to apply new knowledge. The “Step by Step” methodologies were developed to ensure that students are involved in the learning process and not passive listeners the majority of the time. As teachers become skillful in the use of these methodologies, they are able to apply them effectively to content areas and to the needs of their learners. This increases the level of stimulation for students and improves the quality of the “Step by Step” classroom.


Examples of some child centered learning strategies from the “Step by Step” methodologies include the use of cooperative learning strategies,  teaching effective reading, effective writing process, strategies for problem solving and inquiry-based learning, thematic teaching using curriculum webbing.


A strengths-based mentoring approach is the process that moves teachers from understanding and accepting the Teacher Standards to fully incorporating them into their instructional program. 


The mentoring approach was selected based on the fact that it begins with this basic understanding of adult learning and builds on the premises that learning occurs in progressive phases as learners move toward new thinking. Teachers learning new skills go through a series of phases that move from observation, demonstration and modeling to guided practice and finally to independent use of strategies.


Mentoring is an approach that helps build a professional learning community. It serves as a collegial relationship where professional growth occurs for both of the individuals involved. There is a commitment over time and mutual goals are established for this process. Collaboration and mutual success are the driving force for this approach. The choice of a strengths-based mentoring approach is an innovative choice and may require some background information.


SBS BF can organize trainings on Mentoring at the request of educational institutions and other organizations that are interested in promoting quality education in their institutions.


Those who are interested can approach the staff members of SBS BF office.


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