I was recently forwarded an email from ASCD that focused on supporting preservice teachers. There were four that I think are worthy of sharing:
This article focuses on the relationship between the mentor teacher and the preservice teacher. How can the mentor teacher create an environment that optimizes the preservice teacher’s lifelong potential? The article mentions that effective modeling by the mentor teacher, along with regular conversations, are crucial to success of the preservice teacher. It also mentions this idea of transformative learning
that Jack Mezirow
defined. It’s a theory that might hurt your head after a long week, but the gist of transformative learning
is that causes, in this case the preservice teacher, to come to a deeper understanding of their beliefs and perspectives that enable them to “construct opinions that will prove more true to guide their actions.” Essentially, and I got this feeling through reading the article, the preservice teachers that do the best down the road and are most successful later in their careers are those that are able to overcome problems and issues. If they can work through those difficulties, rather than be dissuaded by them – or worse, not even address them – then they will have strong lives as teachers.
A fairly short article that is self-explanatory from the title. The suggestion thrown out there is, as a preservice teacher, to keep a journal of your time teaching. In a way, our program asks that of us through our blogs. But consider taking it a step further and sharing that with your mentor teacher. Let them read through the posts (or journal) to see what you’re struggling with or questioning in your teaching and have your mentor teacher focus on those issues during your observations, writing comments and feedback that could help you become a successful teacher.
An research-centered article that concluded preservice teachers have ups-and-downs throughout the time at their placement. Engagement moves from high to low and back to high. When all is said and done, the preservice teachers that receive the most out of their time student teaching will be the ones where a professional relationship between mentor and preservice teacher was valued highly.
A short article that includes a 4-minute video shows the importance of asking questions in a lesson. What kind of questions to ask first? What about wait time? How many times should I repeat a question? The video deals with students in the primary levels, but I think some of the points brought up could apply to secondary level.