Model Modifications for Alaska
How has the NTC model been modified to fit Alaska?
All the mentors in the Alaska Statewide Mentor Project (ASMP) are receiving mentor professional development by attending the Mentor Academy Series developed by the NTC. These Academies are held in Alaska four times a year, and have been directed by NTC/ASMP presenters. The mentors also use formative assessment tools to structure their interactions with early career teachers.
The Collaborative Reflection Tools (CRTs) have been adapted from the New Teacher Center’s Formative Assessment System and have been tailored to fit the ASMP. The Alaska program has also modified the frequency and duration of mentor visits to early career teachers because of the vast geographic area of the state. Instead of weekly in-person visits, Alaska mentors visit their early career teachers monthly and communicate weekly by phone, e-mail and/or Skype. Mentors travel by small planes, skiffs, skidoos, and dog sleds, and have to be flexible when everything is delayed by bad weather. Once at a village school, however, mentors usually stay for a whole day and sleep overnight at the school or at the home of a teacher, the amount of face-to-face time is concentrated. The Alaska project is also being adapted to bridge to Alaskan-specific cultural settings and school initiatives.