Grow a Teacher

LEA’s EncourAGEnet has launched the Grow a Teacher Mentoring Initiative. This is a program that seeks to match current Lutheran Teacher Education (LTE) church work students in the Concordia University System plus Valparaiso University with Lutheran school teachers who are no longer in the classroom.

The Grow a Teacher Mentoring Initiative encourages through conversation, communication, and prayer LTE student in their journeys to become teachers in Lutheran schools and to enjoy careers as Lutheran educators.

Through this initiative, LEA’s EncourAGEnet provides former educators who communicate with the teachers-to-be during the last years of college, someone who addresses concerns and assists prospective teachers through the initial placement and into the first years of teaching. These experienced educators provide insight on many questions.

Students preparing to teach in a Lutheran school may request a pairing with a mentor. That mentor will be a retired (Lutheran) teacher or administrator.

How to get involved and know what to expect?


Express your interest to the “Grow a Teacher” representative in your university education department.

  • That representative will notify the LEA mentor facilitator of your interest.
  • The facilitator will send you, via e-mail, a brief questionnaire to provide basic information to generate the best matches possible between students and mentors. Return it ASAP.
  • Once a mentor is assigned, the facilitator will arrange an initial three-way video-conversation to make introductions and determine plans for continued communication.
  • Once the process has begun, student and mentor can decide how best to proceed.
  • Regular communication with a mentor will provide you with an experienced teacher/friend. Your mentor will respond to questions that come up during the last years of college.
  • When the time comes, the mentor can also brief you about moving into a new position, setting up a new classroom, and meeting staff and students for the first time.
  • Nothing is off the table. Our goal is that this relationship develops into a unique, nurturing, long-lasting friendship.


Express your interest via e-mail by contacting LEA.

  • The chair of the Grow a Teacher Task Force will provide you with an on-line questionnaire.
  • The information from you and the participating students will be used to propose a match based on areas of interest, grade level, and past experiences.
  • As the mentor, you will receive the name and email address of the student.
  • You will have an initial three-way “Go-to Meeting” conference call so the Task Force chairman can facilitate the initial meeting of mentor and student.
  • Mentors will then be asked to set up communication with the student that best fits the needs and tech and social media skills of both.
  • Mentors are asked to respond to occasional requests for an evaluation of how the relationship is working and to trouble-shoot problem areas.