Peer Coach/New Teacher Support


    • A formal mentor program was implemented in 1998-1999.
    • NYS mandated mentoring in all districts in 2004.
    • GICSD shifted from mentoring to the Peer Coach program in 2003-2004.


    • To enhance teacher effectiveness and retain highly qualified teachers by providing an induction program for new teachers.
    • To help new teachers over the inevitable “rough spots” within the first year of teaching.
    • To accelerate the learning curve for first year teachers.


    • There may be Master Teachers, but nobody ever really masters teaching.
    • The best teachers are reflective people, always trying to improve their practice.
    • If learning didn't occur, then teaching didn’t occur; the teacher merely presented the content in such a way that it was inaccessible to the students.


    • Peer Coaches teach a full class load and receive a stipend.
    • Peer Coaches have no evaluative responsibilities.
    • Peer Coaches are subject or grade level specific.


    • Peer Coaches and mentees meet a minimum of 4 hours a month.
    • Mentees complete the Charlotte Danielson rubric and then determine activities to meet their needs with their peer coaches. The mentee will also complete the same rubric at the end of the year to determine progress and set goals for the following school year.
    • All mentees with a peer coach must maintain an electronic portfolio to be reviewed with their principal twice a year.
    • Each peer coach and mentee receive eight (8) ½ -days of release time.
    • The peer coach must keep a log of all activities and time spent with their mentee.
    • A peer coach can work with 1 or 2 mentees.
    • Peer Coaches receive up to 20 hours of training and meet regularly with the Peer Coach Coordinator.


    • Eight one-hour “Support Group” meetings are held after school; all new teachers are welcome.
    • New teachers without a peer coach can call on the Peer Coach Coordinator for assistance at any time.
    • New teachers with initial certification must maintain an electronic portfolio to be reviewed with their principal twice a year.
    • New teachers perform a self-assessment (Charlotte Danielson's rubric) twice during the year.


    Any questions, please contact: 

    Julie Schwab
    Peer Coach Coordinator
    work: (716) 404-1213
    work cell: (716) 846-5417