Mentor teacher not cooperative

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Hokiegrad1993, Oct 1, 2018.

  1. Hokiegrad1993

    Hokiegrad1993 Comrade

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    Oct 1, 2018

    So I am in the middle of my first semester student teaching. My mentor teacher is difficult. I get that control is hard for her to give up but you signed up to be a mentor so I feel like she needs to let go of the reign.

    I am in the co-plan co-teach part of the internship and her definition of that is give me the worksheet that they will be doing and I make my lessons around that worksheet while she online shops. When I ask questions she acts like I just burdened her with this huge task. However, when it comes to the reflection part of my lesson, she is lays into me on what should of been done and how it could of gone better. Keep in mind I share these lessons with her in a google doc two days or more before the lesson is being instructed. She has plenty of time to give me feedback to help me make sure I am using academic language.

    When it comes to planning, we plan things for the week and then she forgets and assumes I am teaching lessons when I am not and gets mad when I tell her I am not ready.

    I feel like if she is more engaged in helping me lessons would be better. I am not expecting her to do everything for me, but I believe it is unfair for her to be so unwilling to help and then get frustrated when a lesson does not go her way.

    Is there anything I can do? I have tried talking to my advisors and her but while some control is being given to me it needs to get so much better to be where the other interns are.
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Oct 1, 2018

    Some mentor teachers are just not a good fit. That's very unfortunate for the student teacher, like you, who are trying to successfully complete their internship. I had a mentor teacher very similar to yours and my college adviser promised no student teacher would ever be placed with her again.

    I would continue to take your concerns to your college adviser and ask what strategies you can use to improve the situation.

    Perhaps you can get the teacher to set aside some daily time to go over upcoming lessons instead of hoping she will read them on google docs. You may have to butter her up a bit to make her think she is really helping you. I know that sounds phony, but you need to get through this experience so you can move on with your career.

    And...remember how things went so when you get a chance to be a mentor, don't repeat her mistakes.
     
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  4. Hokiegrad1993

    Hokiegrad1993 Comrade

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    Oct 1, 2018

    Thanks! We set up time after school to work on lessons but she is always so distracted and eager to get it done. I will continue to do that and try new ways but I am just trying to get through the next 2 months without messing up my program.
     
  5. MaleTeacher

    MaleTeacher Rookie

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    Oct 1, 2018

    I know what you are going through. During my first student teaching assignment, I myself had a horrible mentor teacher. I won't go into details, but I had to redo my student teaching, and the second time it went a lot better.
    However, I would advise you to think about what you are telling your advisers. If they feel that this situation is not a right fit for you, they might remove you from this internship. This is what happened to me during my first student teaching assignment. I started complaining about the teacher (had all the documentation and everything to back me up) and my university pull me out of it, forcing me to waste more time in college and another several months redoing it.
    I hope everything turns out well for you!
     
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  6. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Oct 2, 2018

    Maybe when you have planning meetings after school with your MT, you should be taking minutes or emailing your MT after the meeting to have things in writing, so there’s no miscommunication about who’s teaching what, who’s planning what, what she helped with, what she didn’t help with etc. “Just to confirm what we discussed in today’s meeting, I will be planning and teaching X on Tuesday first period. The resources I have to prepare are a PowerPoint, the worksheets that you helped me to formulate during the meeting are Y. I will give you my lesson plan and resources on Monday to make sure the lesson plan is alright with you. We also reflected on today’s lesson in second period, and the outcome of my reflection is Z. You have given me the following suggestions....ABC” When things are in writing, there’s accountability on both parts. You can show the minutes with your advisor.
    Failing that, you need to do what you need to to get through. Getting on your MT’s bad side is only going to delay things.
     
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  7. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Oct 2, 2018

    The problem as a whole is not an easy one to solve, but this seems like a rather simple thing to address.

    Are you using a curriculum?

    In addition to your lesson plan, it would be easy to have a quick plan sheet of solely the topics or lessons you plan to cover.

    Example:
    Monday: Short A Words: Pretest and Worksheet pg 24
    Tuesday: Short A Words: Worksheet pg 25
    Wednesday: Short A Words: Cut & Glue Word Sort
    Thursday: Short A Words: Write and illustrate a story using this week's words
    Friday: Short A Words: Post test

    If it is written out this plainly, maybe even posted on a wall or on a clipboard for all to see, it should reduce any comments such as, "I thought you were going to teach silent E words today".

    Although it may feel like extra work, I find that a list like this is the easiest thing to keep myself on track as well. You can even use the lesson descriptions as your lesson title or topic in your lesson plans, so it shouldn't be an extra thing to come up with.
     
  8. Hokiegrad1993

    Hokiegrad1993 Comrade

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    Oct 2, 2018

    We have a curriculum but things change on a whim with her. So what is on the curriculum is only a vague idea of what will be taught.
     
  9. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Oct 2, 2018

    Even without a curriculum, this should still be a possibility if you only list topics.
     
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