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Effective Mentoring Practices in Special Education Nilsa J. Thorsos, Ph.D. Jan Jones Wadworth, Ed.D. Diana Dobrenen, MA.

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Presentation on theme: "Effective Mentoring Practices in Special Education Nilsa J. Thorsos, Ph.D. Jan Jones Wadworth, Ed.D. Diana Dobrenen, MA."— Presentation transcript:

1 Effective Mentoring Practices in Special Education Nilsa J. Thorsos, Ph.D. Jan Jones Wadworth, Ed.D. Diana Dobrenen, MA

2 Ice Breaker Activity  Share :  What were your experiences with your master teacher during your student teaching experience?  What kind of master teacher would you be?  What will be your legacy for the next generation of teacher practitioners?

3 This workshop will  address expectations for university professors and master teachers who will serve as facilitators.  include effective professional development for classroom teachers who are willing to serve as teacher leaders/master teachers.  These approaches were based on data collected from effective teacher leaders/master teachers in California and manuals from different universities.

4 “ Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher.”-Japanese Proverb  CTC credential standards for clinical experience require highly qualified experienced teacher practitioners to mentor teacher candidates.  Excellent teacher practitioners who are willing to participate in the induction of a new generation of special education teachers and to be part of a legacy.

5 University Supervisor  The university supervisor is the representative of the university whose chief purpose is to help student teachers improve their teaching effectiveness.  This person is responsible for the implementation of university regulations for teacher candidates and for establishing and preserving rapport among the teacher candidates, master teachers, and administration.

6 University Supervisors  The practicum provides the opportunity for the student teacher to learn about school law, recent educational trends, additional instructional methods, certification policy and techniques. Student teachers use this as a forum for preparing for their job searches “an extended job interview”.  The university supervisor observes the student teacher and helps them by conducting a continuous professional evaluation of their teaching effectiveness.  The expectation is that the supervisor will conduct X number of visits and documented observations of the teacher candidate’s performance during the semester.

7 University Supervisors  The university supervisor encourages the student teacher to experiment with technologies and strategies they learned at the university helping to emphasize and reinforce desirable teaching behaviors and practices.  The supervisor files periodic appraisal reports and performs a final comprehensive evaluation of the teacher candidates’ experiences and achievement after conferencing with the cooperating/master teacher.  At the end of each placement, the university supervisor also completes the required forms required by CTC.

8 University Supervisors  The university supervisor is charged with acting as the liaison between the mentor teacher, the teacher candidate, and university.  They will provide systematic and thorough supervision to help student teachers achieve their maximum growth in this keystone experience.

9 The ABCs A. Credential and Continued Professional Development Holds a clear credential with successful teaching experience as evidenced by positive outcomes produced by her/his students and evaluations Is fully certified for the teaching position and teaches in the major field of preparation Has recognized outstanding teaching abilities and therefore is recommended both by the appropriate persons within the school system and those at the University. Keeps abreast of new knowledge and procedures in both the subject field and the study of teaching, and uses both knowledge of procedures in the subject area and in teaching in her/his actual work with students. Has some training or course work in mentoring adults. Has additional training or expertise in technology, behavior intervention, and diversity. (Persiani-Becker, et.,al)

10 The ABCs B Disposition  Demonstrates the ability to work effectively with persons of all levels of professional sophistication and status on a face-to-face basis, both individually and in groups.  Demonstrates ability to interact with candidates of diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds and ability levels in respectful, caring and supportive ways and is flexible and patient.  Willingness to share classroom and school materials with the teacher candidate including manipulatives and teacher manuals.  Has a positive attitude toward their profession, their position, their students, and their colleagues. (Persiani-Becker, et al.)

11 The ABCs  c. Professionalism and Classroom Experience  Works effectively as a team member and understands and accepts the collaboration necessary for high quality supervision of teachers candidates.  Is able to provide appropriate and effective modeling on best exemplary interaction with paraprofessionals and other support staff.  Has a balanced approach to instruction and knows the Standards, curriculum, key personnel, and objectives of the teacher preparation program in the subject area.  Shows that s/he is a life-long learner in the field of teaching by employing an analytical approach to basic professional responsibility; objectively examines and assesses her/his own teaching and the teaching of others in order to continue personal growth.  Displays the ability to accept and build upon the initial strengths and weaknesses of those assigned to work with her/him.(Persiani-Becker, et al.).

12 The ABCs C. Professionalism and Classroom Experience  Is willing to have a teacher candidate and work additional hours to accommodate teacher candidates’ needs.  Supports open communication through daily personal contact, daily conference, and ongoing feedback.  Has demonstrated the ability to supervise adult learners.  Demonstrates appropriate planning and assessment as a model for the student teacher.  Has established an effective classroom environment which enhances learning and is conducive for learning. (Persiani-Becker, et al).

13 Technology and Mentoring  Master teachers must understand early on that their primary mission is to provide effective strategies implementing assistive technology, internet and other media in classroom instruction.  Access resources available in the community such as SELPA, school districts, universities and community libraries.  Understand that the university mentors are also available as resources for the master teachers.

14 The Cooperating Teacher’/Master Teacher’ Job  First Meeting with stakeholders: Master teacher, teacher candidate, & university mentor will :  discuss the responsibilities of the master teacher  talk about the portfolio components, expectations, and processes  establish the schedule for classroom visitations and opportunities for teacher candidates to begin to teach “solo”, shadowing in IEP meetings, assessments and team meetings.  work with teacher candidates & master teachers getting acquainted (calibrating) Beginning Teacher Expectations for CTC standards.(Persiani-Becker, et al).

15 Communication, Collaboration, Partnerships.  Thinking out of the box: theory and practice and staying current in the field  Mentoring teacher candidates as an opportunity to access new theories, research based strategies in the area of brain base research, literacy, behavior, ELL, Math/Science, autism, and assistive technology.  Mentoring and monitoring novice teacher candidates in the classroom promotes opportunities to reflect on their own teaching practices, for self efficacy and motivation to expand their own teaching repertoire.

16 Preparation for Teacher Candidates  University and school district collaborate and arrange to “place” Teacher Candidate in a classroom with a Master teacher.  Teacher Candidate report to the school at a time and date approved by the school district/school administrator.  The time and care that Master Teachers spend in preparation for their arrival will pay great dividends in effectively providing a good learning atmosphere for the teacher candidates and communicating the expectations for their performance.

17 Before the teacher candidate arrives, Mentor Teachers should complete the following: a. Prepare the pupils for the arrival of the teacher candidate.  emphasize that the teacher candidate is a teacher  inform pupils that an individual (supervisor) from the University will be visiting several times b. Prepare parents through a newsletter, the school paper, or special note for the teacher candidate’s arrival. Discuss the valuable role the teacher candidate plays in the classroom and the advantages of having a teacher candidate in the class, i.e.:  providing an additional teacher to enhance instruction  bringing in new ideas to class  providing an opportunity for team teaching c. Confer with the local administrator concerning school policy relative to the roles and responsibilities of teacher candidates. This information will be based on the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

18 Before the teacher candidate arrives d. Obtain copies of material for the teacher candidates such as:  school handouts  school orientation materials for new teachers  teachers’ editions of textbooks e.Provide space such as a desk, table, file cabinet drawer, and/or cupboard for work and storage for the teacher candidate to organize materials/supplies. f.Prepare a draft of a tentative timetable of experiences for the teacher candidate for the entire period of observation (observation, tutoring, teaching small groups, whole group instruction for one lesson, whole group instruction for longer periods, etc.). (Persiani-Becker, et al).

19 Orientation of Teachers  The teacher candidates must align and follow the contractual obligations of their Master Teacher. With this, the teacher candidate should be privy to the requirements of the Master teacher by introducing and discussing the following topics and/or providing the school/district handbook for the teacher candidate to become familiar with:

20 a. Orientation to the School  Provide pertinent information about the school and community.  Familiarize the teacher candidate with the school campus.  Introduce the teacher candidate to faculty, staff, resource personnel, principal, vice-principal, counselors, secretaries, custodians, nurse, aides, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, etc.  Share with the teacher candidate all materials given to regular teachers. Include samples of any forms the teacher may be required to complete (e.g: IEP, CUM paperwork) but be sure to remind the teacher candidate that all student information is confidential. (Persiani-Becker, K., et al).

21 a. Orientation to the School  Provide the teacher candidate with schedules for both the school and the class s/he will be teaching.  Discuss the school and/or district policies relating to teacher candidates.  Provide information about the departmental and school policies regarding curriculum and instruction, discipline procedures, attendance policy including absentee and tardy management, safety drill exercises, special schedules, handling of substance or parental abuse, and the proper methods of procuring needed equipment, materials and supplies.  Discuss the chain of command for resolution of problems. (Persiani-Becker, et al).

22 a. Orientation to the School  Brief the teacher candidate on any unwritten school policies.  Discuss emergency plans for earthquake and fire drills.  Have the teacher candidate assist in supervision duties, i.e., recess, cafeteria, etc.  Acquaint the teacher candidate with the library, audio- visual aids, computers and/or computer lab, the location of supplies and materials. Explain policies regarding access to these support materials. (Persiani-Becker, et al).

23 b. Orientation to the class  Familiarize the teacher candidate with management techniques used in the classroom.  Explain classroom schedules, routines, and grading procedures.  Discuss the expectations you have for the teacher candidate  Plan with the teacher candidate for her/his gradual assumption of teaching responsibilities.  Discuss the need for both daily and long-term planning.  Familiarize the teacher candidate with your method of lesson planning.

24 b. Orientation to the class  Encourage the teacher candidate to develop general information about the students, their backgrounds, and community characteristics. Also, provide information about the students in the class, including:  levels of functioning  exceptional conditions and their educational implications  location and content of students’ records (provide access to “cum” folders, as appropriate)  methods of grouping for instruction  Student’s IEP goals and objectives and student’s disabilities

25 b. Orientation to the class  Allow the teacher candidate to assume responsibility for routine class duties on the first day.  This will aid in her/his becoming a contributing member of the teaching team. (Persiani-Becker, et al).

26 Supervising a Teacher Candidate  Help the student teacher perceive strengths and weaknesses.  Work with the university supervisor in providing meaningful evaluation, praise and suggestions for improvement  Encourage the student teacher to set professional goals.  Introduce the student teacher to pupils’ parents.  Conduct at least 3 observations using the Student Teacher Performance Summary. (Persiani-Becker, et al).

27 Supervising a Teacher Candidate  Treat the student teacher as an adult and a co-worker.  Maintain an atmosphere that is warm, friendly, positive and encouraging.  Show appreciation for the student teacher’s efforts.  Remember that once you were a student teacher.  Discuss ways you have solved problems.  Give the student teacher an opportunity to serve on committees and participate in school activities. (Persiani-Becker, et al).

28 Supervising a Teacher Candidate  Examine the student teacher’s lesson plans.  Encourage self evaluation of lessons taught.  Hold frequent conferences.  Set a good example and encourage a professional attitude.  Avoid discussing the student teacher’s performance, shortcomings and “goofs” with other school personnel. (Persiani-Becker, et al).

29 Supervising a Teacher Candidate  During student teaching, the master teacher should:  Assist the student teacher in realistic planning.  Help the student teacher to develop traits which will promote success in teaching.  Encourage the development of good classroom management and control.  Review and make written comments as necessary and initial the student teacher’s written assignments. (Persiani-Becker, et al).

30 Cooperating Teacher- Teacher Candidates Conference Topics  Master teachers should conference with teacher candidates and provide oral and/or written feedback daily in relationship to the final evaluation (TPE’s/Education Specialist Standards).  University supervisors will observe the teacher a minimum of eight times to assess his/her performance.  Master teachers will assess more frequently. Conference topics will depend upon the needs of the teacher candidate and the classroom situation.

31 Typical conference topics  Individual pupil characteristics, backgrounds, abilities, and/or problems  Daily schedule and time allotments  Classroom organization and procedures, including record keeping and seating arrangements  Use of technology  Overview of classroom work underway  Classroom management techniques, alternatives

32 Conference topics…  Consideration of techniques used with individual pupils, groups of pupils or whole classroom  Ways to motivate student learning  Questioning techniques and activities to enhance higher level thinking on the part of the students  Dealing with emergencies  Bulletin boards and displays  Arranging for field trips using available resources

33 Conference Topics  Evaluation and growth and development of pupils  Action plan for At-Risk students  Personal adjustment to the teaching role  Professional ethics  Prioritizing the teacher candidate’s areas for professional growth (e.g., work on the one or two most crucial; helping the teacher candidate establish realistic goals, develop strategies for implementation, and determine assessment).

34 At the mid-point of student teaching, the master teacher should:  Work with the student teacher and university supervisor to determine the student teacher’s level of competence.  Complete an evaluation for the student teacher’s placement file using forms provided by the university.  Beginning Teacher Performance (CTC)

35 Claires, S., & Almeida, A. (2007).(Positive aspects of the teacher training supervision: The student teachers' perspective. European Journal of Psychology of Education Vol 22(4), pp  Importance attributed to the supervisors’ personal features and to the quality of the interactions established with their student teachers.  These aspects were clearly regarded as an essential aspect of the student teachers’ emotional balance and resistance to the difficulties emerged during their entrance in the teaching profession.  Some differences were perceived in terms of the students teachers’ evaluations regarding the moment of the practicum (beginning versus end) and the type of supervisor (university versus school).

36 Resources : Manuals available in the internet CAL STATE Persiani-Becker, K., Hamm, D., Moguel, D.,Rockett, H., & Falvey, M. California University of Pennsylvania erating%20Teachers%20Manual% pdf


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