Mentor Responsibilities

The mentor should cover these topics with the student teacher prior to beginning or during the first few days of the internship:

  • Starting and ending dates for internship
  • Review of Calendar – vacations, conference days, etc.
  • Arrival and departure times at school (what you expect – not the contract day)
  • Daily schedule for students
  • Appropriate dress
  • Copies of textbooks/teaching materials
  • School policies and procedures (faculty/student handbook)
  • Technology available/use of equipment where applicable
  • Work space – try to have a separate space/desk for them if at all possible
  • Parking
  • Other duties – lunch, recess, etc.
  • Fire drill/safety procedures
  • General teaching philosophy
  • Class rules
  • Classroom routines – attendance, lunch count, etc.
  • Grading procedures
  • Tour of the school – learn where the library, cafeteria, etc. are
  • Meet administrators, secretaries, custodians, counselors, special education teachers
  • Students with special needs – have them review their IEP’s as soon as possible
  • Introduce the student teacher or give them the opportunity to introduce themselves in a way that provides optimal respect and acceptance by students.
  • Get them involved right away with housekeeping responsibilities (attendance, handing back papers) or helping students individually or in small groups so the students start seeing them as a teacher and not as just an observer.
  • Be approachable and available. Establish regular times to discuss your teaching and explain the way you do certain things with the intern allowing them the opportunity to ask questions about curriculum, teaching methods and classroom management.
  • Discuss the timeline for moving from observation to co-planning to assuming full teaching responsibilities. Allow the intern to assume more responsibilities as he/she demonstrates the readiness to do so. There is no exact timeline – every student teacher displays different levels of readiness.


  • Co-teach with the intern and share decisions, ideas, and observations. Conference frequently with the intern regarding their teaching performance and try to provide positive feedback as well as specific suggestions for improvement.
  • As they begin to teach, lessen the student teacher’s anxiety by working on something and not looking as if you are watching their every move.
  • Suggest appropriate curriculum materials and school district resources for the intern to use when planning to teach.
  • Review and approve the intern’s unit and lesson plans and provide oral and written feedback regarding:
    • the focus of the lesson and how it ties into long range goals
    • effectiveness of activities
    • assessment of student understanding
  • Provide the intern with opportunities to learn outside of the classroom – IEP meetings, parent conferences, curriculum meetings, workshops, etc.
  • As the intern starts to take over more teaching and planning responsibilities, continue in a supportive role. Observe the intern’s teaching and conduct regular conferences to help them to reflect about his/her teaching, including student understanding, alternative approaches, and classroom management.
  • We highly recommend the student teacher use a notebook to reflect on their teaching. Discuss their reflections. The mentor and supervisor should have access to the notebook to make comments as well. This is a great way to give a quick compliment or suggestion without having to interrupt class to do it.