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Guidelines for Effective MentoringStrategies for Mentoring
- Provide regular oral and written evaluation of teaching performance.
- Present demonstration lessons using varied teaching strategies and discuss them with the student teacher.
- Review all lesson plans and provide appropriate feedback.
- Provide the student teacher with opportunities to prepare and develop original teaching plans, using a variety of strategies and materials.
- Plan together for effective assessment of learning.
- Guide the student teacher in planning assignments and homework that provide appropriate challenges.
- Assist the student teacher in accommodating students with special needs.
- Guide the student teacher in the use and care of school equipment and materials.
- Provide feedback on classroom presence, e.g., moving throughout the classroom, voice effectiveness, appropriate professional appearance, etc.
Human Relationships and Professionalism
- Discuss with the student teacher the role and performance of a professional teacher, including discussions of students and colleagues outside the classroom.
- Stress the importance of being a role model in the classroom, including respect for others, respect for diversity, and appropriate language and dress.
- Involve the student teacher in parent conferences and other professional meetings.
- Integrate the student teacher into the school as a professional colleague.
Suggestions for Collaborative Teaching
- Team plan a unit or mini-unit, alternating instructors or team teaching.
- Student teacher provides the main instruction; the cooperating teacher reviews difficult concepts or conducts tutorial sessions with individuals or small groups.
- Each teacher presents a mini-unit to a small group and then reverses groupings.
- If progress is not satisfactory, discuss the specifics of the concern with the student teacher as soon as the situation becomes apparent; document all discussions.
- Work together to develop strategies to overcome the problem.
- Notify the university supervisor and schedule a three-way conference.
- In consultation with the student and the university supervisor, decide upon a course of action.
- Invite the assistance of a school or university administrator if you feel it would be helpful and/or necessary.
Stages of Student Teaching
Student teaching progresses through five stages of mentoring and supervision. Typically Stages 1, 2 and 5 require approximately two weeks to accomplish the desired objectives and Stages 3 and 4 occupy the remaining time. While the length and structure of each stage will vary, all are important to student teaching success.
Stage 1: Observation
- The student teacher observes the mentor teacher modeling good teaching practices.
- The student teacher should be able to clearly reflect understanding of the skills demonstrated before moving to the next stage. At the same time the student teacher should be anticipating and preparing for Stage 2.
Stage 2: Teaming
- The student teacher and the mentor teacher plan and teach lessons cooperatively.
- The team teaching experience should provide opportunities for the student teacher to ask questions and for the mentor teacher to demonstrate specific techniques.
Stage 3: Independent Teaching with Observation
- The student teacher teaches independently with the mentor teacher reviewing plans, observing the student teacher's instruction methods and conferencing after each lesson.
Stage 4: Independent Teaching
- The student teacher teaches independently. This stage is important for the student teacher to gain independence and confidence.
- The classroom students learn to depend on the student teacher rather than on the mentor during this stage.
- Many opportunities to exercise judgment and learn from experience occur during independent teaching.
- Conferencing continues during this stage.
Stage 5: Closure - Student Teacher as Critical Observer
- The mentor teacher begins to assume more responsibility for the classroom.
- The student teacher may again become the observer, now from the vantage point of more knowledge, or may be invited to observe in other classrooms.
- The student teacher may now repeat a personal evaluation with new insights on their knowledge and skills