Education Student Services (ESS)

Guidelines for Effective Mentoring


Strategies for Mentoring

  • Provide regular oral and written evaluation of teaching performance.  (View evaluation information and forms on mYLink.)
  • 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 with the student teacher for effective assessment of learning.
  • Guide the student teacher in planning assignments and homework that provide appropriate challenges for students in the class.
  • Assist the student teacher in accommodating students with special needs.
  • Guide the student teacher in using and caring for school equipment and materials.
  • Provide feedback on the student teacher's classroom presence: e.g., movement throughout the classroom, effective voice and expression, appropriate professional appearance, etc.

Discussion of Human Relationships and Professionalism

  • Discuss with the student teacher the roles and professionalism expected of a teacher, which includes not discussing 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, team teaching or alternating instructors.
  • Have the student teacher provide the main instruction, with the mentor teacher reviewing difficult concepts or conducting tutorial sessions with individuals or small groups.
  • Have each teacher present a mini-unit to a small group and then reverse groupings.

Concerns to Address

  • If the student teacher's progress is not satisfactory, discuss the specifics of the concern with him or her 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 teacher and the university supervisor, decide on a course of action.
  • Invite the assistance of a school or university administrator if you feel this would be helpful and/or necessary.

 Student Teaching Stages

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 as the mentor teacher models good teaching practices.
  • The student teacher should be able to clearly reflect understanding of the skills demonstrated before moving to the next stage.  During this time the student teacher should be anticipating and preparing for Stage 2.

Stage 2: Team Work

  • The student teacher and the mentor teacher plan and teach lessons collaboratively.
  • 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 lesson plans and observing the student teacher's instruction methods.
  • The mentor teacher holds a conference with the student teacher after each lesson, providing encouragment and feedback.

Stage 4:  Independent Teaching

  • The student teacher teaches independently, continually gaining independence and confidence.
  • The  students in the classroom learn to depend on the student teacher rather than on the mentor teacher during this stage.
  • The student teacher has many opportunities to exercise judgment and learn from experience while teaching independently.
  • Conferencing continues throughout this stage.

Stage 5:  Closure with Critical Observation

  • The mentor teacher begins to resume more responsibility for the classroom.
  • The student teacher may again become the observer, now from the vantage point of more knowledge, or he or she  may be invited to observe in other classrooms.
  • The student teacher may now repeat a personal evaluation with new insights on his or her knowledge and skills.

Page updated 6/30/11

Although Education Student Services makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information found on this website, we reserve the right to make changes at any time. Students should regularly consult with their department, college advisement center, the university catalog, and Education Student Services for updates and changes.