What Mentor Teachers are Saying. Our experience preparing new teachers over the last 11 years shows the relationship between a teacher candidate and his/her clinical educator or mentor teacher grounds the development of the teacher candidate and helps to solidify the teacher candidate’s position as an effective, first-year, teaching professional. TeacherReady uses several quality measures to assess the learning and development of their teacher candidates, including feedback from mentor teachers.
These quality measures align to each teacher candidate’s expected and demonstrated performance on the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices (FEAP) at a level that provides the candidate with the essential knowledge and skills to begin teaching. The FEAPs performance measures include: Instructional Design and Lesson Planning; The Learning Environment; Instructional Delivery and Facilitation; Assessment; Continuous Professional Improvement; and Professional Responsibility and Ethical Conduct.
The first major assessments for a TeacherReady student’s performance happens at the mid-point of the program. The last major assessment happens during the student-teaching week at the end of the program. TeacherReady student performance from the first mentor assessment to the final assessment indicates significant improvement across each measure.
The graph below displays the 2014-15 Benchmark and Mastery results for teacher candidates, as assessed by their mentor teachers.
Mentor teachers also shared the following comments about their respective teacher candidate [selective comments]:
[Teacher Candidate] is always planning, organizing and reflecting on her teaching practices. We have daily meetings together.
[Teacher Candidate] is doing a great job and he is very comfortable in the classroom. He is well versed on the subject matter.
[Teacher Candidate] is just now beginning to implement Assessments… We have discussed and he has observed other professionals administering the assessments in preparation of him proceeding independently.
I have been a teacher for 10 years. I have had numerous student teachers over the years. Never have I had an individual as successful at teaching as [Teacher Candidate]. Her whole technique goes above and beyond anything I have seen. She could have her own class yesterday and be one of the most amazing teachers a school can have. [Teacher Candidate] sees the whole package, from planning, design, student assessment, accountability, communication, class environment. She is a force in the classroom. She provides clear scaffolding, project plans, rubrics. She even teaches me! I couldn’t say enough great things about her abilities.
[Teacher Candidate] has been successful at everything I have asked her to do. At [mid-year] in the program she has not had enough actual teaching experience or planning opportunities for me to evaluate her at a higher level. I have every confidence in her ability to be successful in the future.
I’ve found, in observing [Teacher Candidate’s] lessons and discussing his thoughts about education, that he is very serious about becoming an effective teacher. He applies what he learns to his classes and is developing all the time.
[Teacher Candidate] is doing a great job. She continues to work on developing her classroom management skills.
Teachers are the most important factor that affect student learning. The TeacherReady team is pleased to engage with so many TeacherReady teacher candidates who are eager to improve their skills and practice strategies that will help their future students become engaged learners. We value our mentor teachers and their professional contributions to our teacher candidates. In our relationship them, we witness the difference they are making in their students’ lives and the lives of future educators.
Know someone who would make a great Mentor to TeacherReady teacher candidates? Have your friend give us a call at the University of West Florida’s TeacherReady (850-898-3949) or connect with current teachers and teacher candidates on the TeacherReady Facebook page.
TeacherReady offers individuals an opportunity to earn a professional teaching certificate from the State of Florida; it was developed by teachers for teachers and is a member of the NCATE/CAEP accredited Professional Education Unit at the University of West Florida.