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Section 1: A Nod to the Literature

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School-Based Teacher Educators

Mentor teachers are the primary school-based teacher educators for candidates who are in their capstone clinical experience. They play a vital role in teacher preparation as they do the heavy lifting of guiding teacher candidates’ professional development. As the key link between learning theory and implementation of pedagogical strategies, mentor teachers are recognized as “experts of practice” (Butler & Cuenca, 2012, p. 297).  

 

Similarly, mentor teachers may also serve in roles in which they provide critical support to new teachers during their induction. Mentor teachers in these roles provide logistical guidance, instructional assistance, management advice, and/or emotional support. 

Take a few minutes to watch the video below.

"Voices of New Teachers: Why Mentors Matter" | Arizona K12 Center at Northern Arizona University

Listen to the voices of some of Arizona's newest and brightest teachers as they speak about the important role their mentors play in building a quality teaching practice! All of these teachers are participants in Arizona's Master Teacher Program at the Arizona K12 Center. The Arizona Master Teacher Program, in partnership with the New Teacher Center, works with partner districts to help identify and train Master Teachers who mentor beginning teachers in their district. Mentors matter!

Exploring the Unexplored 

The work the mentor teachers, specifically their preparation for such essential and valued roles—is largely unexplored. It is erroneous to assume good teachers automatically equate to good mentors, yet mentors are  

  1. often chosen in a haphazard way (Russell & Russell, 2011)  

  1. are seldom provided substantive training to teach future teachers (Butler & Cuenca, 2012).  

 

Among the goals of the recent turn toward clinical practice is increased attention to the selection, training, and roles of  school-based teacher educators in working with teacher candidates and new teachers.  

Take a few minutes to watch the video below.

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"Research That Matters: What Makes a Mentor Great?" | University of Washington College of Education

Mentoring is one of the most impactful parts of a novice teacher’s training, yet little is known about effective mentor practices. UW researchers, mentor teacher Cate Simmers and teacher candidate Emma Cornwell share how investing in mentoring contributes to the development of new teachers, as well as overall school performance.

Permission to use content above granted, 2022

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