Mentor Teachers


Mentorship is an important part of the intern’s experience. The wide variety of experiences allows interns to have individual contact with a number of faculty members and teachers. As such, the interns have a number of mentors, role models, and training materials. Mentor teachers have been selected based on recommendations from colleagues and supervisors. These mentors both model effective pedagogy as well as share classroom instruction and other responsibilities with Interns.

The internship serves as a transformative period from student to professional. The Mentor teacher models professional behavior and helps the Intern navigate the school’s cultural context. Mentor teachers host Interns in the school setting and serve as immediate supervisors. They share their classrooms and responsibilities with the Intern. However, mentor teachers retain control and primary responsibility for the education of the students.  They guide their Interns in developing the demanding and varied competencies necessary to effectively and positively impact all students’ academic growth.

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As the experienced professional who helps the pre-service teacher candidate navigate a new school context, the mentor teacher plays an important role in the clinical experience. Mentor teachers who work with students in practicum assignments are experienced, well-respected educators who teach in their licensure endorsement area. Mentor teachers have recommendations from colleagues and supervisors to be Mentor teachers. These mentors model effective pedagogy as well as share classroom instruction and other responsibilities with their practicum students.

Mentor teachers will:

  • Introduce the practicum student to the classroom students and address him/her/them as a colleague in front of the preK-12 students.
  • Help the practicum student reflect on pedagogical and professional decisions
  • Identify and problem solve classroom challenges with the practicum student
  • Help the practicum student complete the require course assignments by providing necessary opportunities
  • Assess the practicum student

At the start of each semester, the Director of Clinical Experiences works with our partner school divisions to identify mentor teachers for practicum.

If a Practicum Student Struggles

It is critical that the mentor teacher share any concerns about the practicum student as early in the placement as possible. Mentor teachers should first contact the faculty instructor for the course to discuss any issues or concerns about a student. If the mentor teacher does not know who the faculty instructor is, or struggles to reach her or him, immediately contact the Director of Clinical Experiences.

For any questions regarding clinical experiences, practicum and/or internships, please contact:

Kristina Peck
Director of Clinical Experiences
Phone: (540) 654-1351
Seacobeck Hall, Room 207