Mentor Teaching in the 21st Century, Part 2
My Student Teacher is gaining momentum in the classroom this semester! My instinct was that she was going to be a strong candidate and I'm very pleased to see this is, in fact, the case. She's taking over classes and proving herself to be more than adept at the rigors of teaching.
Even though it makes perfect sense, I am still amazed at how intensive student teaching is from when I was a candidate--she is being evaluated with the same evaluation model I am evaluated on. She must also demonstrate student growth and provide data proving this growth, like I am required to. It definitely benefits her to start with these goals even before she has a permanent placement in a district and will help her "hit the ground running" when she has her own classroom.
She is a reflective teacher, I'm very pleased to say, and is also a quick study. Her attention to detail and follow-through on those details will be invaluable in this profession. Her care and concern for students and their well-being is something that can't be taught, however, and it's what stood out to me in her application. She is the consummate professional and a true advocate for the whole student, not just in the academic realm.
Working with her has helped me to reflect even more thoroughly on my practice and dissect the finer points to help her specifically see how she is providing high-quality teaching. She and I are on the same page when it comes to how to teach (we both believe in student-centered teaching). I think this is a critical component to having a successful student teaching experience, as well.
I'm also proud to see her taking risks--she's using technology more and growing more adept with it day by day. She's making a running list of the technology she's gained experience with and this will help during her job search. She is also growing in the use of best-practice teaching models, such as Visible Thinking and Project-Based Learning. These models enable her to reach all learners, keep students engaged and on-task, and think deeply.
Every day she is more prepared for her own classroom and I'm confident she will provide high-quality 21st century learning for the students fortunate enough to learn with her.