Roles and Responsibilities of the Mentor Teacher
Mentor Teachers serve as the primary model and often the most significant person for the Student Teacher. It is vital that they possess certain qualities as a teacher and leader in the education profession. ACE requires Mentor Teachers to demonstrate the following:
- Deep knowledge of content, curriculum, and child development.
- Ability to successfully model and explain teaching strategies.
- Leadership and collaborative spirit.
- Strong, authoritative management skills.
- Appropriate license with at least three years of classroom experience in the content area for which they are being asked to supervise.
- Evaluations rated as effective or highly effective (or the equivalent) on the local teacher evaluation system for the last three years.
- Willingness to complete signed agreement to adhere to the responsibilities of a Mentor Teacher for an ACE Student Teacher.
- Willingness to complete an on-line Mentor Training Module at the start of the Student Teaching Experience.
An administrator from the host school will verify the Mentor Teacher’s qualifications by completing the Student Teaching Application
Mentor Teacher Responsibilities
- Complete ACE online Mentor Training Module at the beginning of the Student Teaching Experience.
- Provide the Student Teacher with a warm welcoming climate to grow and learn through open communication and encouragement.
- Provide an orientation to the school, faculty, and classroom for the Student Teaching Experience.
- Model and demonstrate teaching and assessment strategies.
- Create opportunities for the student teacher to gradually assume teaching responsibilities including teaching and daily routines.
- Share materials and expertise.
- Provide feedback on Student Teacher interactions and work with students.
- Provide ongoing communication with Student Teacher and ACE Field Supervisor.
- Conduct weekly planning conference, or as needed, with the Student Teacher.
- Attend periodic virtual conferences with Student Teacher and ACE Field Supervisor.
- Provide immediate feedback on any inappropriate behaviors or concerns and contact the ACE Field Supervisor, when and if necessary.
- Preview and approve lesson plans.
- Guide lesson planning to meet short- and long-term class and student goals.
- Observe, evaluate, and provide feedback on lesson implementation and weekly progress, completing periodic formative and summative evaluations.
- Assist the Student Teacher in feeling acceptance as a professional in the school.
- Assist with parent conference.
- Review Student Teacher’s gradebook or other approved assessment approach.
- Collaborate with ACE Field Supervisor on growth planning and concerns related to the Student Teaching Experience.
- Provide guidance and support with the transition to classroom responsibilities including:
- Classroom management techniques.
- Managing time during the day.
- Transitioning students.
- Nervousness and anxiety about roles and responsibilities.
- Giving step-by-step instructions to students.
- Teaching and managing the environment simultaneously.
Roles and Responsibilities of the Student Teacher
The Student Teacher has professional roles and responsibilities to the mentor teacher, the students and families in the school, American College of Education, and to themselves.
Student Teacher responsibilities as a member of the school community:
- Professional dispositions: This includes professional attitudes, values, and beliefs demonstrated through both verbal and non-verbal behaviors as educators interact with students, families, colleagues, and communities. These positive behaviors support student learning and development and are based on the mission and conceptual framework. The American College of Education expects its graduate students to exemplify the following professional dispositions:
- Equity: Candidates believe in, value, and are committed to building and sustaining a positive school culture and a safe, orderly, effective learning environment that support the educability of all.
- Scholarship: Candidates believe in, value, and are committed to leading and managing an evidence-based, data-driven instructional program that ensures that all students have the knowledge, skills, and values to become contributing members of society.
- Diversity and Unity: Candidates believe in, value, and are committed to the inclusion of all stakeholders in a collaborative school learning community that promotes academic achievement for all.
Lifelong Learning: Candidates believe in, value, and are committed to the implementation of a shared vision of learning that is supported by the school community and promotes lifelong learning for self and others.
Excellence: Candidates believe in, value, and are committed to the implementation of clear learning goals, high-quality standards, evidence-based instructional strategies, and technology that will prepare all learners to experience success in a complex, global society.
Ethics: Candidates believe in, value, and are committed to acting with integrity, fairness, and equity; bringing ethical principles to the decision-making process; and adhering to all local, state, and federal laws and policies governing schools.
Professional dress: Student Teachers not only represent themselves, but also ACE. Never aim for the lowest bar of the range of what might be considered acceptable. Dress to impress. Follow the dress code for faculty and staff of the school.
Attendance: Completion of 400 contact hours is a mandatory requirement for Student Teaching. The Student Teacher should be punctual and prepared for the day upon arrival to the school. No absences, sick days, or conflicting appointments are acceptable during student teaching. Plan ahead. If a true medical emergency exists, contact the Mentor Teacher and the ACE Field Supervisor. Absences in excess of two days without medical documentation will result in removal from Student Teaching.
Cell Phone Usage: Cell phones should be placed on silence and should not be out while on school property. This applies to tablets and all other electronic devices.
Working with children and families: The Student Teacher should be impartial, nonjudgmental, and consistent in his/her interactions with students. It is important to always maintain the highest standard of confidentiality in regard to student and families within the school. This includes removing names and personal information from student work samples. Use of first names only is appropriate.
Classroom preparation: Daily lesson plans should be submitted to the Mentor Teacher a minimum of 24-hours before implementation for approval and feedback. All preparation and materials for lessons should be completed prior to class on the day of implementation and lessons should be practiced ahead of time to ensure smooth execution. All lessons should include interventions and extensions for students with learning differences and be based on national and state standards.
Classroom management: The Student Teacher should work closely with the Mentor Teacher to develop management strategies that support the class and individuals in successful behavior management, classroom design, and daily routines. The Student Teacher and the Mentor Teacher should also collaborate to meet the needs of individuals with discipline concerns.
Professional growth: The Student Teacher should be open to feedback and accept suggestions from the Mentor Teacher and ACE Field Supervisor. Professional goals should be monitored by the team and ideas for improvement should be incorporated into daily planning and implementation.
Relationship: Student Teacher, Mentor Teacher, and ACE Field Supervisor
A primary goal of the Student Teacher, the Mentor Teacher, and the ACE Field Supervisor is to establish a strong collaborative relationship. Throughout the Student Teaching Experience, the Mentor Teacher and the ACE Field Supervisor will maintain collaborative teamwork and communication with the College.
When a concern arises about a student teacher or school placement which could prevent completion of the Student Teaching Experience, the following will occur:
- Address areas of concern with the student and mentor if applicable.
- Provide support and guidance related to area of concern.
- If previous efforts, in the form of constructive feedback on assignments, conferences, and overall performance, have been ineffective, implement a remediation plan and notify the program coordinator.
- Identify all areas in need of improvement and specific, measurable indicators to document performance related to weaknesses using the ACE remediation plan template. Items should address concerns noted by the field supervisor and mentor during previous communications. Include consequences for lack of improvement.
- Share remediation plan with the program coordinator.
- Discuss remediation plan with the student and mentor during a three-way conference. All parties must sign remediation plan.
- Upload signed remediation plan to the corresponding week in the course.
- If student meets the requirements on the remediation plan, continue with the course as normal. Notify program coordinator of the status.
- If student fails to meet any of the requirements on the remediation plan, document the lack of performance in the corresponding week within the course and communicate failure to the student. Notify program coordinator of the status.