One West University Boulevard, Brownsville, Texas 78520 | 956-882-8200

Mentors

A mentor teacher guides the development of others, through teaching, counseling, providing psychological support, protection, and at times, promoting or sponsoring the individuals(s).

Role of Mentor Teachers

  • Provide support, knowledge, expertise, and guidance to interns.
  • Functions in a facilitative rather than administrative role, the mentor teachers serve as an experienced guide who understands fully the teaching/learning process.
  • Collaborates with interns making decisions about a rich variety of learner-centered field experiences which are technology enhanced.

May work with one or two interns intensively, or up to six interns in an awarness level of engagement, during the semester.

Responsibilities of Mentor Teachers

  • Participate in campus level planning.
  • Model effective teaching practices which are technology enhanced (see proficiencies below).
  • Orient interns to learners, school policies, facilities, and resources.
  • Provide ongoing feedback to interns and encourage self-reflection.
  • Collaborate with other mentor teachers, university faculty, and interns in developing guidelines for field experience.
  • Facilitate social support network among interns and school and university faculty.
  • Collaborate in ongoing evaluation of field experiences and interns.

Guidelines for Mentor Teachers

  • Get to know your intern as a person, and make an effort to build the mentoring relationship. Allow time on a regular basis for informal conversation, such as during lunch, planning period, etc.
  • Maintain open communication (i.e. phone, e-mail, face-to-face meetings).
  • Help intern become a member of the school community. Introduce intern to other personnel and acquaint him/her with school resources, such as faculty lounge, library, computer labs, copy center, etc...,and provide intern with campus' Guidelines/Policies.
  • Monitor intern's attendance, punctuality, behavior, and dress. Discuss any areas of concern with intern, field-based university faculty, and/or school liaison.
  • Demonstrate effective classroom management and organization.
    - Cooperative learning
    - Peer tutoring
    - Whole class instruction
    - Group Instruction
    - Individual instruction
    - Kinesthetic
    - Tactile
    - Auditory
    - Visual
  • Demonstrate effective classroom management and organization.
    - Rules and procedures.
    - Consequences for student misbehavior.
  • Involve intern in a variety of classroom activities, such as lesson planning, development and evaluation, as well as development of bulletin boards and learning centers. Invite suggestions, ideas and feedback from intern.
  • Utilize technology to facilitate learning.
    - Investigate available resources.
    - Familiarize intern with available software.
  • Provide opportunities for intern to work individually with students and instruct/facilitate both small and large groups.
  • Provide intern with appropriate teaching materials, adequate support and preparation time for lessons.
  • Provide feedback on lessons presented and suggest methods of improvement as appropriate.
  • Encourage intern participation in a variety of school experiences, such as staff development, department meetings, team planning, open house, PTA, parent conferences, etc...
  • Introduce intern to colleagues, and encourage colleagues to invite intern to visit their classrooms.
  • Provide feedback and information to the Lower Valley CPDT, by completing the Intern Evaluation Form, along with other oral and written program evaluations.
  • Be willing to have Lower Valley CPDT partners visit your classroom from time to time to observe, videotape and/or photograph activities.
  • Network with field-based UTB faculty members, other mentor teachers, and interns.
  • Participate in initial and ongoing professional development for mentor teachers.
  • Share your experiences with field-based teacher preparation at your school, in the community, and at regional, state, and national level as opportunities arise.
  • Sign intern's time log at the end of each week.
  • Expect regular and prompt attendance from intern.
  • Arrange with intern for debriefing time at least once a week.
  • Provide a midterm and final grade for intern's work in the classroom and discuss this with the intern and university faculty.
  • Be flexible.

Note: Interns are not teacher aides - Assigning them to do activities such as running errands, making copies, or grading papers should be kept to a minimum as their grades are based on involvement in classroom instructional activities.

Desired Proficiencies of Mentor Teachers

1. Learner-Centered Knowledge: The teacher possesses and draws on a rich knowledge base of content, pedagogy, and technology to provide relevant and meaningful experiences for all students.

  • Stays abreast of current knowledge and practice within content area, related disciplines, and technology; participates in professional development; and collaborates with other professionals.
  • Guides learners to construct knowledge through experiences and organizes topics so students make connections with their own experiences outside the classroom.
  • Encourages discussion in which teacher's and student's opinions are valued.
  • Integrates other disciplines, learners' interest, and tehcnological resources so that learners consider central themes of subject matters from different cultural and intellectual perspectives.

2. Learner-Centered Instruction: The teacher creates a learner-centered community by collaboratively identifying needs; and planning, implementing, and assessing instruction using technoogy and other resources.

  • Creates an atomosphere of trust and openness with a stimulating exchange of ideas and mutual respect.
  • Observes, evaluates, and changes directions and strategies as necessary.
  • Helps student link ideas in content to familiar ideas, prior experiences, and relevant problems.
  • Guides learners to develop personally meaningful forms of self-assessment, take responsibility for their own learning and understand themselves as learners.
  • Selects materials, technology, activities and space that are designed to engage interest in learning.
  • Encourages learners to shape their own learning through active engagement, manipulation, and examination of ideas and materials.

3. Equity in Excellence for All Learners: The teacher responds appropriately to diverse groups of learners.

  • Models and encourages appreciation for students' cultural heritage, unique endowment, learning styles, interests, and needs.
  • Creates an environment in which learners work cooperatively using a variety of resources to understand themselves, their immediate commuity, and the global society.

4. Learner-Centered Communication: The teacher acts as an advocate for all students and the school and demonstrates effective professional and interpersonal communication skills.

  • Communicates the mission of the school with learners, professionals, families, and community members.
  • Works to establish strong ties with the community, and utilizes community strengths and resources to help learners.
  • Uses verbal, nonverbal, and media techniques so that students explore ideas collaboratively, pose questions, and support one another in their learning.
  • Facilitates listening, speaking, reading, and writing in a variety of contexts.
  • Utilizes media and technology as resources to facilitate communication.

5. Learner-Centered Professional Development: The teacher, as a reflective practitioner dedicated to student success, demonstrates a commitment to learn, to improve the profession.

  • Develops an identity as a professional, interacts effectively with colleagues, and takes a role in setting standards for teacher accountability.
  • Actively engages in an exchange of ideas with colleagues, observes peers, and encourages feedback from learners to establish a successful learning community.
  • Collaborates with colleagues, and uses group processes to make decisions and solve problems.
For comments and questions, please contact the Webmaster.