Academic journal article The Agricultural Education Magazine

Mentoring Can Be a Win, Win, Win Experience

Academic journal article The Agricultural Education Magazine

Mentoring Can Be a Win, Win, Win Experience

Article excerpt

Mentoring agricultural education student teachers has become an annual tradition ever since I completed the requirements for my graduate degree at Utah State University. I have been privileged to serve as a cooperating teacher for twenty-seven student teachers as they prepared to enter the agricultural education profession. I can honestly say that I look forward to each year and the opportunity to meet and work with a new teaching candidate. Everyone can benefit from the ten-week supervised teaching experience; high school students, the student teacher, and even the cooperating teacher. As I considered what techniques or suggestions I might offer to others involved in teacher training and preparation, I realized that my ideas may not be unique, and some may be "old school," but they have worked well for me.

Become acquainted with the student teacher well before the internship begins.

Arrange a time to meet and discuss the internship with the mentee two to three months prior to the actual teaching experience. During this initial visit, provide curriculum guides, texts and offer available resources you have for the assigned units in each course of instruction. This will allow advance preparation and less daily stress later.

Inform the candidate of your expectations for him or her and of your willingness to assist.

Talk openly with the mentee about goals and planning as it relates to your program and student learning. Stress that his or her time in your school needs to be a positive experience for everyone concerned, your students, you as the mentor and him or her. Outline individual goals for all involved to achieve success.

Provide a working area for the intern to use, if possible, a desk, computer, and file cabinet.

This is a positive step in building confidence. Your mentee needs to know that he or she has a place to call home during the stay in your department.

Provide building and lab access, issue keys if district policy allows during the internship.

My district allows me to issue a set of department keys to my mentee during student teaching. This allows a more flexible schedule for the mentor and mentee. If keys cannot be made available, coordinate the times to arrive and depart from school.

Involve the prospective teacher with your students early on in FFA planning and C.D.E. events.

Student interaction is essential; mentees need to understand that becoming an FFA advisor is not an 8-5 job. Whatever you are doing with students, they need to be involved.

Introduce your new recruit to administrators, faculty and staff Mentees need to feel a part of your school as well as your department. …

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