Teacher Mentorship Program Pairs Struggling Teachers With High-Performing Colleagues

Gov. Susana Martinez


BELEN—Gov. Susana Martinez announced today the launch of a mentorship program that pairs struggling teachers with their high-performing colleagues to provide additional support, professional development and an opportunity to grow in their field.

This year, more than 170 teachers will participate in the program in Alamogordo, Belen, Farmington and Peñasco school districts.

“If we want to improve our schools, we should empower our struggling teachers and give them the tools they need to succeed,” Martinez said. “By pairing our high-performing teachers with struggling ones, we can make big gains – classroom by classroom, and school by school.”

The teacher mentorship program is designed to provide more teachers with professional development through offering peer mentorship and sharing of best practices. The program also offers periodic training sessions several times a year designed to meet the individual needs of participating teachers. Teachers involved in the program – both the mentors and mentees – receive a stipend for participating.

The program is modeled after a similar, recently launched mentorship initiative for principals in New Mexico, which pairs successful school leaders with those in struggling schools. In only its first year, more than half the schools participating in the program improved their school’s letter grade at least one level, with a third of those schools improving two to three letter grades.

Martinez proposed the teacher mentorship program last December, and secured funding through the budget, which invests more money into education than ever before, with more dollars going directly into the classroom to help struggling students. This includes funding for a second year of pilot programs that will allow New Mexico’s highest performing teachers to receive additional pay, increasing starting teacher salaries by another $2,000 per year, and providing teachers with a pre-loaded debit card to help with the purchase of classroom supplies.

In addition, it also provides substantial funding for Reads to Lead, expands Pre-K and K-3 Plus, and provides new targeted funding to keep more kids in school and on track to graduate through dropout coaches and social workers at schools throughout New Mexico, in areas where the need is greatest.