:help: My mentor teacher decided to abruptly end my clinical practice in her classroom after parent-teacher conferences. My mentor teacher is 47, and I am 41. I have previous teaching experience at the community college level but wanted to pursue a language arts license because I thought it would be fun to teach high school English. Anyway. Things were fine with my mentor teacher (or so I thought) until parent-teacher conferences. At one point, my mentor teacher actually left me alone to conference with parents for 2 hours while she "went home to check on her middle school kids." I was like, "Uh, you're not allowed to leave me here alone according to your mentor teacher handbook. But she did anyway. When she came back, a very angry mother went on a diatribe about how much she hates student teachers because they take away from her teenagers' education, esp. since she's one of the high school's wealthy donors (she threw this fact out several times). Having not been prepped as to how to handle irate parents (having never had to conference with any when I taught community college), I over-reacted, taking the mother's personal attacks on my character...personally. So I told the mother that I was offended by her comments, then I listed off my teaching credentials. (Big mistake, yeah, I know) The next day the principal was seething, and yelled at my mentor teacher when the mother called the principal to yell at her about my defensive comments. The principal made my mentor teacher call the irate mother to apologize, so then the mentor teacher yelled at me for making her do that. Two days later, I was sitting in the principal's office with my teaching supervisor, mentor teacher, the principal and assistant principal. My mentor teacher - who had given me 3's out of 4's on all of her formal observations of my lesson plans, complimented me daily on my teaching ability, my great rapport with students and how well I was doing with classroom management - threw me under the bus with blatant lies: she said that I didn't make the classroom a safe environment and that I didn't have good rapport with students. Even my teaching supervisor tried to advocate for me (as I was told not to speak), asking my mentor teacher to elaborate, which she could not or would not do. So now I have to go before a committee for an Action Plan meeting because technically, they have to let me redo my student teaching since I passed all of my coursework, passed all of my field experiences, and technically passed 7 weeks of my student teaching this fall with high scores. I know the Dept. Chair doesn't like me and I have a meeting scheduled with the Dept. Chair and Academic Dean to discuss or "debrief" them both about my side of the story because I refuse to let someone's lies ruin my chances of completing a $65K masters in teaching program. I'm broke, unemployed, and if I can't redo my student teaching in a fair way, I will STILL be broke, unemployed, and with huge student loan debt. I would have to get a masters to go back to teaching at the community college level (I was laid off for not having a masters degree after hiring standards were changed). I'm looking for advice as to how I can advocate for myself at this point, knowing that the Dept. Chair has it out for me, that my mentor teacher told blatant lies about my teaching performance in her classroom. I've read all the policies for my program, so I know what my rights are and how to file a formal grievance. But if I file a grievance now, that will only delay my student teaching and maybe get me into more trouble. Like I said in the previous paragraph, I'm in debt, broke, and have no financial support system to fall back on except for miniscule savings, because I'm single with no children. Any advice? Sorry for the length. I'm really stressed out. If I were in my early 20s it would be easier to just switch careers. But I'm 41 and I don't want to do more graduate school and live in abject poverty for another 3 years.