The Conceptual Framework of the Department of Teacher Education at Clayton State University states that our candidates will be reflective, competent, caring, collaborative, and culturally responsive teachers. Our mentor teachers embody the five elements of the Conceptual Framework and help our students form their practice. The mentor's role can be both fun and difficult, but is always rewarding. As a mentor your role is that of a coach or senior colleague; you help candidates hone their skills so they can be the best first year teachers in the state of Georgia.
The following are some guidelines to help in the mentoring process:
Strategies for Mentors
- Provide regular and constructive oral and written feedback of the mentee (Form A2)
- Present demonstration lessons using varied strategies when possible
- Guide the student teacher in planning appropriate class and homework assignments
- Review lesson plans and provide practical feedback (Clayton State University Lesson
Plan Scoring Report)
- Encourage reflective thinking about planning
- Assist student teachers with accommodations for special needs and/or language learners
- Provide feedback on classroom "presence" and management
- Address concerns early on, if they persist document them
Behaviors for Mentors
- Make yourself available.
- Allow the student to try and help them when they falter
- Model best practices
- Help with collegiality by introducing students to administrators, other teachers and parents—the mentee should not feel alone!
- Help mentees succeed - not "test " or "trick" them.
- Stress alternatives—there is no "one way."
- Believe in success.
Behaviors the Mentor Teacher Should Document
When there is a persistent concern about a student teacher, it is important to maintain records that describe and document the behavior when it occurs.
The Following Behaviors should be documented on the Dispositions Form:
- Not planning for assigned responsibilities;
- Lack of appropriate content knowledge;
- Attendance- Absences, Late arrival and/or early departure;
- Inappropriate dress;
- Poor communication;
- Lack of initiative;
- Lack of cooperation;
- Lack of participation and collegial interaction within the school culture;
- Bad attitude towards students and faculty/staff and;
- Inappropriate behaviors with students.
- Note: If the behavior is egregious please contact the Coordinator of Field Experiences. We will remove the student immediately.
Student Teaching During the Practicum (fall semester for Middle Grades and MAT Students)
- Student teacher should attend some parts of preplanning and help the mentor teacher setup
- Student teacher will observe the classroom and the mentor teacher.
- Student teacher will learn: the seating chart, student names, routines, schedule, school layout, teachers in the neighboring classrooms, teachers on team or in the department and names of the librarian and school administrators
- Mentor teacher should introduce students to other teachers, administrators, etc
- The mentor teacher is supportive and understanding
- The mentor teacher models effective classroom teaching and strategies **Student teacher may stay in this phase for three or four weeks
- Student teachers should begin participating more in daily activities, taking attendance, handing out and collecting work, working with students individually and perhaps leading the starter or E.Q.
- Mentor teacher models effective classroom teaching and strategies
- Mentor teacher supports the student teacher **Students can do this for as short as a couple of weeks or as long as a month
- As the student teacher becomes more comfortable with the class they may conduct small groups, teach a mini lesson (a part of your lesson), or team teach if they seem comfortable with the class
- Mentor teacher continues to model classroom teaching
- Mentor teacher serves as a coach to the student teacher providing feedback / conferencing on performance **The student teacher should do this towards the end of the practicum (October and November)
Student Teaching during the Internship (spring semester)
- Observation and Assisting
- When students first begin the internship they will be participant observers of the classroom (atmosphere, students, teaching and management methods).
- The student teacher should help with handing out assignments, lead small groups, do the starter or E.Q, etc.
- The student teacher should be preparing to teach. **This phase of student teaching will be short a week or two at the most.
- Cooperative or Team Teaching
- Student teacher and mentor teacher work together to create lesson plans and teach classes.
- The mentor teacher can demonstrate techniques and help the student teacher with teacher presence and using class time effectively. **This phase may last about two weeks
- Increasingly Responsibility
- The student teacher can start by teaching one or two classes independently in the first week then add a class in the second week.
- The mentor teacher will review lesson plans, observe teaching methods and conference with the student daily. **This can last about two weeks.
- Independent Teaching
- The student teacher teaches all classes every day for at least six (6) weeks.
- The student teacher should be the person classroom students rely on for information.
- The mentor teacher serves as a coach and is supportive, but takes a backseat at this time.
- Conferencing continues **This must last for at least 6 continuous weeks
- Phasing Out of the Internship
- The mentor teacher begins taking back responsibility for classes, while the student teacher assists (the student teacher should remain actively involved in all classes).
- The student teacher should reflect on her/his practice and experience.
- At this time the student teacher may want to observe other classes.
You will have to fill out some forms on the student teacher for the Department of Teacher Education. Forms are due at the end of the month:
- Form A2 to be completed with the student monthly in the fall (practicum) and twice a month in the spring (internship)
- Teacher Education Unit Outcomes Form completed by the mentor on-line spring(February and April)
- Dispositions form to be completed monthly on-line (fall and spring)
- Diversity form to be completed spring (February and April)