A recent article in Education Week (Sawchuck, 2012) brings forth the issue of master teachers and their ability (or inability) to mentor student teachers. It tells of Summer Brewer’s first student-teaching experience, where the “master” teacher practiced the habit of worksheet marathons and desk sitting. According to Summer, the mentor spent most of her time in the teachers’ lounge while Summer did her best to apply what she had learned in her teacher education program. Despite the lack of effective mentor teacher guidance, Summer believes that experience taught her many things, all learned the hard way.

While student teachers cannot control the actions of their master teacher, they can work to ensure a positive and professional experience that will benefit the students and teachers. Here are a few tips:

  1. Consult at length with your master teacher at the start of the term. Be sure you know what his or her philosophy of teaching and classroom objectives are before you make large plans for classroom activities.
  2. Make arrangements with your master teacher to take a few minutes each day to discuss classroom events, possible future activities, and procedure.
  3. Inform yourself about any particular school regulations that you and your students must abide by. Know the rules by heart so you can give definite answers to your students, who will be testing your authority.
  4. Familiarize yourself with relevant legal issues, such as those concerning child abuse, substance abuse and sexual harassment among students.
  5. Show genuine interest in your students’ schoolwork and progress, and leave personal relationships with students to the school counselors.
  6. Show initiative and independence by assuming responsibility for the preparation of individual lessons or entire learning units.
  7. Show resourcefulness by gathering materials and introducing educational methods you are learning in your graduate studies.

Read More: How to Be a Good Student Teacher | eHow.com

By Marisol Rexach, Ph.D. in Education Student