This guide describes a teacher mentor program for special education teachers in the Saint Tammany Parish Public School System, Louisiana. The Special Education Mentor Program provides peer support and professional development opportunities for new special education teachers. The program is intended to give immediate as well as long-term support to new teachers on technical and curriculum issues through peer support and professional development opportunities. The program has two components: a collegial coaching process and a seminar series. The coaching component is structured around a four-stage process: (1) planning conference, (2) observation of teaching performance, (3) reflection time, and (4) debriefing conference. In the seminar component, the new special education teacher and the mentor teacher attend a series of seminars on Individualized Education Program development, behavior management, time management, modification methods, alternative assessment techniques, and special education curriculum. The collegial coaching process is explained. Mentor teacher responsibilities and new special education teacher responsibilities are specified. Funding aspects of the program such as use of hourly stipends for extra time and use of substitutes are also discussed. (CR)
Paper presented at the Annual International Convention of the Council for Exceptional Children (74th, Orlando, FL, April 1-5, 1996).