Mentor Teachers

Overview

Thank you for your interest in hosting a student teacher from San Jose State University. Below is a brief description of the first and second semester field experiences for our credential candidates. This broad overview outlines the basic responsibilities associated with each semester of student teaching. A more detailed description of each of our two field experiences can be found on our Student Teaching page under "Student Teaching Handbook".

 

Phase I Student Teaching

During their first semester of student teaching, student teachers work with their mentor teacher two periods each day, with an additional time set aside each week to confer, debrief or plan.  At the end of the semester, the mentor teacher and university supervisor complete a formative evaluation and debrief the first semester experience with the student teacher.  

Stage 1: Getting started (weeks 1-4)

At the start of the first semester the student teacher will arrange to be on site five days per week.  That time will be spent observing in both periods and assisting with simple tasks like greeting students at the door, taking attendance, collecting homework and working one-on-one with students during activities. 

Stage 2: Stepping up (weeks 5-10)

During the middle of the semester, the student teacher typically takes on additional duties in the classroom, including working with small groups and even teaching portions of the lesson (or more, if the mentor teacher thinks he or she is ready).  The goal of this stage of the semester is to prepare to lead teach at the end of the semester.  Typically, the mentor teacher gives the student teacher enough "air time" in front of the classroom to gauge the student teacher's readiness to lead-teach.  The goal is to have the student teacher ready to take on full responsibility for planning and instruction during the final stage of the semester.  The university supervisor may even come in for an observation if the mentor teacher makes the request. 

Stage 3: Lead teaching (weeks 10-15)

Sometime during the final five weeks of the semester, the student teacher is responsible for lead teaching for 15 or more consecutive days in one of the two periods she/he has assisted in.  This teaching assignment is the culminating experience of the semester.  The goal is to have the student teacher in charge of the classroom during the entire time frame, with the mentor teacher providing feedback and assistance only as needed.  The university supervisor typically visits for 2-3 observations during these 15 days to provide feedback and guidance, and to check in with the mentor teacher.

 

Phase II Student Teaching

During the second semester, which begins no later than the start of SJSU's semester (late January) and continues to the end of the school's semester, student teachers are responsible for being on campus 4 periods each day.  The student teacher is responsible for teaching every day in two periods (with two different preps) and observing and assisting to two other periods.  During this time, the mentor teacher and university supervisor provide ongoing feedback and foster independence for the student teacher. 

In addition to the regular student teaching assignment described above, the student teacher must take on two weeks of full-day participation at some point during the semester.  During this time, the student teacher is present for the full day, completing responsibilities selected at the discretion of the mentor teacher (or school-site administrators.)   The scheduling of these two weeks of full-day participation is arranged by the mentor teacher and supervisor, based on the curriculum, testing and the school calendar. 

The culminating experience for the semester is the completion of the Performance Assessment for California Teachers.  At the end of the semester, the mentor teacher and university supervisor complete a formative evaluation and debrief the second semester experience with the student teacher.

Stage 1: Getting Started (weeks 1-2)

In the initial 1-2 weeks of the semester, student teachers take time to get to know their mentor teacher(s), their students and the curriculum for which they will be responsible for the semester. That time will be spent observing in both periods and assisting with simple tasks like greeting students at the door, taking attendance, collecting homework and working one-on-one with students during activities.

Stage 2: Stepping up (weeks 2-3)

During the next 1-2 weeks of the semester, the student teacher typically takes on additional duties in the classroom, including working with small groups and even teaching portions of the lesson (or more, if the mentor teacher thinks he or she is ready). The goal of this stage of the semester is to prepare to lead teach. The goal is to have the student teacher ready to take on full responsibility for planning and instruction for the rest of the semester.

Stage 3: Lead teaching (remainder of semester)

For the rest of the semester (which ends at the end of the semester for the school at which the student teacher is placed) student teachers are responsible for teaching in two different classrooms with two different preps (e.g., Chemistry and Integrated Science). The goal is to have the student teacher in charge of the classroom during the entire time frame, with the mentor teacher providing regular feedback and giving the student teacher as much autonomy as possible. The university supervisor typically visits every 2-3 weeks to provide feedback and guidance, and to check in with the mentor teacher.