Mentor Teacher FAQs | Teach North Texas

Mentor Teacher FAQs

Q. What is the Teach North Texas program?

A. Teach North Texas (TNT) is a unique secondary teacher preparation program for science and mathematics majors. TNT is a replication of the nationally recognized UTeach program at the University of Texas at Austin. The program emphasizes early and ongoing field-based experiences and does fulfill all requirements for certification in Texas. Since 2008, the Teach North Texas enrollment has increased dramatically--from 52 to almost 300 enrolled students.

Q. Why mentor teachers?

A. We depend on experienced elementary, middle school, and high school teachers to act as mentors to our students during their field-based experiences. Mentor teachers open their classrooms to a pair of TNT students, offering guidance and support as they begin to learn about classroom teaching.

Q. Who are TNT students?

A. The students who will teach in your classroom are predominantly UNT undergraduates who are just beginning to explore the career of teaching. They are receiving ongoing instruction in lesson design, classroom management, and science and mathematics content, but they are not yet student teachers. Their final decision to pursue teaching as a career will be influenced to a great extent by their field experiences in middle school.

Q. What are my responsibilities as a mentor teacher?

A. You will meet your pair(s) of TNT students early in the semester and set up the topics and dates for them to teach three lessons. All mentor teachers assume primary responsibility for classroom management; provide assistance to TNT students during group activities; and complete short reviews of their performance at the end of each lesson and a more thorough summary evaluation at the completion of their three lessons.

Q. How are students scheduled in my classroom?

A. Your principal has agreed to allow the TNT students to teach in your classrooms during your regularly scheduled mathematics or science periods. Once you have given us your preferred class periods, we will select a pair of students whose schedules match your own.

Q. How will I benefit as a mentor teacher?

A. We will pay you $100 for each team of students you work with plus mileage from the school district office for attending one seminar. Beyond the remuneration, you will receive the satisfaction of preparing future teachers in a program that is receiving national attention. In addition to coaching the TNT students, you will probably pick up new ideas for your own teaching.

Q. What happens in the early and continuous field-based courses?

Course

Setting

Number of Visits

Instructional Materials

Skills Acquired

Step 1

Elementary

(grades 3-6)

5 Visits

(2 observations

3 lessons)

FOSS & GEMS kits

Getting the attention of the class, giving directions, involving all students in group lab activities, bringing the lesson to a close

Step 2

Middle School

(grades 6-8)

4 Visits

(1 observation

3 lessons)

FOSS, GEMS, and other kits, as well as probes, calculators, manipulatives, laptops

Applying the 5E model of instruction, formative evaluation, questioning strategies, using probes to collect and analyze data

Classroom

Interactions

High School (grades 9-12)

8 Visits

(observations and lessons)

Varied

Observing, direct teaching, 3-day inquiry-based lessons

Project-based Instruction

High School

(grades 9-12)

4 hours of observation; teaching students during a 3-day field trip or a 3-day classroom experience

Varied

Observing and analyzing aspects of project-based instruction, designing and team-teaching a project-based unit

Q. What are the responsibilities of the mentor teacher?

Supervision

  • Schedule the dates for the observations and three lessons within the targeted weeks.
  • Provide timely communication with TNT instructors when problems arise.
  • Be present in the classroom at all times during the TNT students' visits.
  • Assume primary responsibility for classroom management.

Coaching and Evaluation

  • Provide informal feedback to TNT students during their lessons.
  • Complete short formal teaching feedback for each lesson taught by a TNT student. You will hand this to the TNT students as they leave your room.
  • Complete a short summary evaluation for each TNT student upon completion of the three lessons.

Seminar Attendance

  • Attend the 2 hour seminar where you will meet the team of students who will observe and teach in your classroom.
  • Complete the initial planning of the dates the TNT students will observe your class and teach three lessons.
  • Assist with initial planning of the lessons, particularly the first lesson.
  • Bring your annual lesson plans and a copy of any textbook your TNT students will use (if applicable).
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