Mentor Teacher: Offering Feedback

DR, B SaysGetting feedback from a mentor or host teacher is essential to having a successful practicum experience. The mentor teacher's professional practice has allowed them to experience a multitude of different classes, each with a different group dynamic, different strengths and learning styles. The mentor has developed a repertoire that they are comfortable using and that they are confident will be successful. Having this knowledge and experience makes the mentor or host teacher's feedback about the student teacher’s lessons invaluable; a mentor teacher's feedback can provide the new teachers with ideas, tips and tricks to continue to improve their teaching style and strategies.

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How can I offer feedback to my student teacher?

Providing the student teacher with frequent and detailed feedback is a critical part of the practicum experience. A mentor teacher who is knowledgeable in the workings of the B-SLIM model can facilitate their student teacher’s growth by making use of observation checklists and reflective feedback forms. In this way, the student teacher gets much needed support from the mentor and is better able to navigate through their practicum and finish with a firmer understanding of how to teach a second language effectively using the B-SLIM model.

What type of support can I give to my ST and how?









Mentor teachers must be prepared to support student teachers in whatever ways necessary; while some student teachers require less support than others, it is important that a mentor teach give whatever support is needed. Below are some suggestions of the kind of support that can be provided;

  • Be patient: This is a stressful experience for a student teacher, and change cannot happen immediately. The practicum experience is about growth, not perfection; look for improvement, and let the student teacher know when you see it.
  • Make expectations clear: A student teacher can best meet expectations when those expectations are explicit. Clear communication between mentor and student teacher is necessary to promote optimal performance.
  • Transfer responsibilities gradually: In supporting student teachers, it is important that responsibility be transferred to them at a pace they can handle. Each student teacher is different, so a mentor teacher must spend time getting to know the student teacher and what they can handle. Increasing the student teacher's responsibilities gradually lets the student teacher adapt to new situations at a more reasonable pace as opposed to all at once.
  • Demonstrate the school facilities: Let the student teachers know exactly what goes on in the school and what facilities are available to the student teacher. Knowing where the important rooms are located; such as the photocopy room, the staff room, the custodial department and the main office, will greatly ease the student teachers’ transition into the school.
  • Make introductions to other teachers: Introducing the student teachers to the other staff members will help them feel a bigger part of the school community; it will also let the student teachers know who else they can look to for help.
  • Show the resources available: Letting the student teachers know where they can find resources will help them greatly in their planning; it also gives them an idea of what kinds of resources are available, whether they are the school's property or from the mentor teachers’ personal collections. Student teachers should always be on the lookout for resources for their own repertoire and need to be exposed to a wide variety of existing resources.
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What types of forms and checklists can I use to give feedback to my ST?

Below are a variety of checklists and forms that can be used by mentor teachers to provide valuable feedback to their student teacher.

Teacher Feedback Form for Field Experience: Rating scale for mentor teachers to observe the student teacher. ii
Observation Feedback Form: Observation form for a mentor teacher to observe the student teacher. ii
Lesson Evaluation Form: Observation form for mentor teachers to evaluate the student teacher's lessons which provides linkages to the B-SLIM model. ii
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Copyright © Olenka Bilash May 2009 ~ Last Modified June 2009