I am currently a student teacher supervisor for a Midwest College. We have a strict detailed program that helps experienced teachers work with and mentor student teachers, This article will provide five helpful phases that we use.
Our student teachers observe, phase in slowly, handle the class by themselves, phase out slowly and then do an internal review with the classroom teacher and myself. Let’s take a look at these five important mentoring areas.
The student spends 3 to 5 days observing the classroom teacher throughout the day. They take notes of time blocks, students, lesson and unit plans, class schedules, discipline procedures and other information available.
Phase In Session
This is when the student teacher starts to assume some of the responsibilities of the classroom teacher. They actively get involved with lesson and unit plans. They work closely with their cooperating teacher to make sure that plans are followed to the satisfaction of the classroom teacher. By the end of this phase, the student teacher is in full control of the class.
The student teacher now designs and follows through on all lesson and unit plans. They are responsible for tests, assignments, assessments, homework and grading. During this phase, the classroom teacher will video tape the student teacher. The two will then sit down and go through the tape looking for areas of improvement and possible change. Also during this time the supervising teacher from the college will sit in and evaluate the student teachers progress. No grades are assigned to the student teacher, but assessments are given in written and verbal form. Other classroom teachers are asked to sit in and generally observe the student teacher and add constructive criticism.
Phase Out Session
During this week, the student teacher slowly lets the classroom teacher start to resume responsibilities. Summaries are written and reviewed by the student teacher. The student teacher continues to observe and learn from the classroom teacher.
The student teacher, classroom teacher and college supervisor sit down and go through the evaluation process of the student teacher. Areas looked at are content knowledge, planning, delivery, classroom management, communication skills, assessment, collaboration, professionalism, technology use and final grade.
We always like to have the student teacher evaluate themselves. Many times they can locate their strengths and weaknesses.