I mentioned a couple of times that I was a “Mentor teacher” this past year, and I got my official letter last week that I will be again this year. The definition is a little different than what you’re thinking of–basically a cooperating teacher for an alternative certification program that lasts for a full school year.
In less than a month, I will be assigned two Residents, who will be paired with me for the school year, to learn to be a teacher, run a classroom, deliver instruction and more. Every Monday through Thursday, they go where I go (Fridays they take their grad school classes).
Last year I had two residents, one of whom was awesome–I’ve shared some of his great work on here and the other…had some struggles. She ultimately left the program (and had anyone involved had more experience, myself included, the whole thing would likely have been much smoother). My load last year was hard. Really hard actually, although it took me months to realize that I wasn’t struggling only because I was adjusting to the whole “having two people with you every second” thing but also because teaching three completely different preps is just HARD.
For me, the part where they were different was the tough part, but my content itself was no picnic. I taught one section of AP Statistics (and primarily reserved that one for myself) and three sections of Honors Advanced Algebra–tough content, fast pace. When my resident struggled, the coaches kept asking how much of it was my (difficult) content.
Does it matter? I get where they need to know if she can’t teach or if she just can’t teach _____. But that’s what I had to teach; I couldn’t very well have her try something totally different instead of what my students should be learning.
All this is to say, this year I have TWO sections of AP, and while we are never allowed to choose our residents, I’ve been asked for my feedback about what the coaches should look for when I’m matched. And I’m CLUELESS.
I need someone who can admit that they don’t know or understand something (instead of teaching Stats wrong)
…but not someone who already knows Stats (awesome, but not likely to happen)
I need someone who can…work hard? Teach three preps?
I don’t think smart is nearly as big of a deal as willing to figure it out and be able to explain it to the students, but how do you vet that? I will still teach the really tricky stuff, like hypothesis testing, myself–so they don’t need to be able to pick up on everything.
See? Lost 😦
Any ideas? What are some qualities that make someone likely to be able to handle my AP classes? What kind of background should I look for? Please help me!