Induction & Mentoring at PhysTEC Sites
Ball State University
Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo
Florida International University
Seattle Pacific University
University of Arizona
University of Arkansas
University of Colorado at Boulder
University of Minnesota
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Western Michigan University
Master Teachers are the best mentors for your preservice teachers and graduates. The value that a Teacher in Residence or any other experienced teacher can add to a preservice teacher’s education absolutely cannot be overstated. We offer you a quote from a PhysTEC mentee to a TIR:
You have always been a positive light in what has otherwise been a bleak time. Through all the stressful times and deadlines, you are a constant reminder of how a teacher should treat their students. I want to be just like you when I grow up. You rock!!!
Use the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP) and other tools as formative assessments. A mentor can use RTOP as a starting point for a discussion of the elements of interactive, engaging teaching. Similarly, content assessments such as the Force Concept Inventory can serve to highlight persistent student difficulties that teachers are not addressing. Mentors who use formative assessments must be sure to emphasize that the purpose of the assessment is to help the teacher improve his or her craft, and not simply to “grade” the teacher’s performance.
Use email, phone, and video conferencing to stay in touch with distant mentees. Many faculty at teacher preparation programs report that their graduates disperse to teaching jobs over a large geographical, making face-to-face mentoring difficult. Fortunately, we live in the age of electronic communication.
Make mentoring a major component of your Learning Assistant program. Mentoring is one of the ways you can enhance your Learning Assistants’ experience beyond that of a conventional TA.
Your TIR can mentor his or her replacement. This is an important way to give something back to a school or district that has generously agreed to release a master teacher, who is usually replaced by a less experienced teacher (perhaps a recent graduate from your program). Ball State, Arkansas, and Colorado have used this arrangement with success.
Your graduates can become mentors. Arizona program graduates who remain local are invited to serve as mentors for pre-service teachers after three years of teaching.