Independent Schools Mentoring Institute

Is this institute right for me?

Working at an independent school requires a unique set of skills and dispositions. Mentors play a critical role in supporting teacher retention in the “triple threat” (teaching, advising, coaching) challenges facing independent school faculty. The best mentors foster practical skills that drive instructional innovation and possess the leadership dispositions to foster educator resilience.

Our certificate program supports educators in becoming effective and emotionally intelligent leaders and mentors for the next generation of independent school educators. Join a network of colleagues from independent and public schools across the globe who share your passion for quality, equity, and longevity in the independent school workforce!

As schools adjust to shifting student and educator needs in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, educators are being asked to be increasingly adaptable, innovative, and trauma-sensitive. This is an important opportunity for institutions to build the leadership capacity of veteran educators who can mentor colleagues and facilitate professional development on best practices in distance learning, equitable pedagogy, and emotional resilience.

Dates: starts May or July

Independent Schools Mentoring certificate detailed schedule

Fostering a Collaborative Culture (2 credits) Develop positive professional relationships, improve school culture, lead for change May-June Foundation and Full Online & videoconference (evenings) Two evenings per week
Coaching, Mentoring and Facilitating Instructional Improvements (2 credits) Best practices in observation, feedback, and consultation for mentors July-August Foundation and Full Online & videoconference One week intensive AND live video conference sessions before and after the intensive week; some asynchronous modules
Owning Assessments and Data for Student Learning (2 credits) Facilitate and support colleagues in using assessment tools to inform decisions to improve practice and student learning July-August Foundation and Full Online & videoconference (evenings) Two evenings per week
Practicum I: Professional Development and Mentoring (3 credits) Cultivate facilitation skills, professional development design, implementation, and assessment, hone coaching and mentoring skills September-December Full only Online & videoconference (evenings) Weekly 2 hour workshops
Advanced Practicum: Professional Development and Mentoring (2 credits) Create systematic improvements in professional learning and mentoring in independent schools January-April Full only Online & videoconference (evenings) Weekly 2 hour workshops

Space is limited so register today!


What will I learn?

Practical Coursework to Make an Immediate Impact

The coursework in this program will help you build your professional skills, toolkit and strategies to:

  1. Develop engaging and effective professional learning for your colleagues
  2. Hone your leadership and mentoring skills
  3. Drive improvements in student outcomes
  4. Cultivate an engaged and reflective professional culture at your school

You will also develop effective strategies for supporting your colleagues as they:

  1. Implement instructional practices that are equitable, accessible, and rigorous for all students
  2. Enhance their own emotional resilience as well as the emotional resilience of students
  3. Acclimate to and navigate the demands of the triple threat lifestyle

Collaboration: Join An International Community of Practitioners

Monthly community of practice workshops will help you expand your global network of independent school mentors and coaches, and learn from what other people have found effective. This will also help you develop a lasting team of colleagues who are also leaders on their own campus.

Individualized Support

One of the best ways to improve your own coaching and mentoring skills is to receive high quality coaching and mentoring. Our program includes a year-long option where you receive individualized assistance and guidance as you practice the skills that will make you a more effective mentor and teacher leader at your school. The fall and spring “practica” facilitated experiences that help you develop professional learning experiences for your faculty, structure meaningful feedback for your colleagues, and adapt your skills to the unique circumstances, challenges and opportunities at your school.

Noncredit Options

  Foundations Program Upgrade from Foundations to Full Full Certificate Program
Length Summer only 9 months 12 months
Summer coursework X X
Community of practice workshops X X
Practicum (Fall)   X X
Advanced Practicum (Spring)   X X
Cost** $1750* $1750^ $3500*

* Enroll multiple educators from your school and receive a discount in the per person rate! 
^ Must have been enrolled in the Foundations level to upgrade to Full program.
** These courses can also be taken for graduate credit. Contact to learn more.

Where and how will I learn?

Our model: Practical professional learning that extends beyond the classroom. Cohort-based, online and evening classes with individualized coaching for you; access to workshops for your school to help support you in your work.

Alongside your cohort, you will learn and apply skills in class, then implement them at your own school. Your learning continues with ongoing support from experts who help you adapt successfully to the unique challenges and opportunities of your setting. Through this model, you refine your skills and enhance the impact on teaching and learning in your school.

Mentors are successful when school administrators employ strategies that encourage the contributions of teachers. To support your work, we offer workshops for your school’s administration throughout the year.


Fostering a Collaborative Culture

This course is centered around Domain One of the Teacher Leader Model Standards, with an emphasis on creating cultures in our schools that support educator development and student learning. Modules include defining teacher leadership, exploring formal and informal teacher leadership roles, adult learning theory, facilitation of group learning and discussion, mitigating difficult discussions and building consensus, organizational change and the change process, building trust, and other skills to create inclusive cultures for professional growth (and student learning!).

Coaching, Mentoring, and Facilitating

This course provides opportunities for teachers to design, develop, critique, implement, give, and receive feedback on professional development experiences that align with the Common Core standards and the particular needs of the school/district's participating staff. Modules include staying focused on content while developing collaborative relationships, engaging in reflective dialogue with teachers and administrators, developing leadership skills, professional growth, and technology for collaborative learning. Participants will be able to individualize their learning experience based on an area of choice for personal and professional growth: instructional coaching, mentoring, or peer coaching.

Owning Assessments and Data for Student Learning

Built around Domain 5 of the Teacher Leader Model Standards, this course helps teachers build the skills to do just that, as we explore organizational improvement through assessment design. Learn to facilitate and support colleagues in using assessment tools to inform decisions to improve practice and student learning. One module of this class includes an exploration of Improvement Science, a new methodology brought to education from the health field, where teachers will learn how small ideas can be tested and taken to scale, potentially impacted organizational change. Embedded in practice, focused on your personal and professional growth.

Practicum I: Professional Development & Mentoring

Participants survey best practices in instructional coaching and professional development and implement these practices in their educational contexts. Topics include: cultivating positive mentoring/coaching relationships, observation protocols, developing and facilitating andragogically-sound professional learning, coaching for emotional resilience, and assessing professional learning. Participants actively apply skills in their own settings with specialized coaching from the course instructor and create a professional learning experience and/or approach to instructional coaching that is designed to meet the needs of students and teachers in their unique learning community.

Adv Practicum:Professional Development & Mentoring

This course is the culmination of The Institute for Instructional Coaching. Participants reflect, refine, and expand upon the professional learning sessions they have developed, as well as their instructional coaching practice, while expanding  their learning experience to enhance the impact in their context. Topics in this course include: developing systematic professional learning opportunities for new and experienced educators in a given setting, professional collaboration and co-facilitation, enhancing professional leadership through system-wide programming. Participants complete the institute as experts in ongoing, embedded, and personalized professional learning.