Student Teacher Mentoring 101

Rae HughartAdministration, Blog

In This Post:

  • Student teacher mentoring is an ART
  • Anytime you have a new student teacher, the first priority is learning about your mentee.
  • It is essential to build a trust-filled relationship with your mentee.
  • After understanding your mentee, and building a strong relationship, you need to provide tactical next steps for them to continue to grow.

Student teacher mentoring rule #1: Mentoring is an ART!

I could not believe more deeply that the act of mentoring is an ART. It takes meticulous attention to detail, the tools and resources to support your vision, and a little bit of grit.

Lets break down the ART:

A – Analyze

Anytime you have a new student teacher, the first priority is learning about your mentee. What are their strengths? Weaknesses? How do you best support them? Where to you begin? To gather the answers to these questions, the mentor must have a hat of tricks to analyze their mentee!

While I go over more then five in the ART of Mentoring Course (coming soon at www.teachbetteracademy.com), here are my favorite 2 observations :

The Walking Test

Track your student teachers movement around the room during a mini lesson or facilitated instructional opportunity.

How do you track your student teacher? It’s easy!

  • Map out the classroom on a piece of paper.
  • When the lesson begins, track the teacher’s movements with your pencil.
  • Do not pick up your pencil until you are finished.

The result? You can now reflect with your mentee on their movements. Where did they travel the most? Where did they choose to avoid? Why is this?

Don't just go to work each day striving to impact student success. Skip into work each day dedicated to your mentee in the same way you are to your students. Click To Tweet

The Post-it Challenge

Think of a challenge for your student teacher like, “Let’s build relationships! Try to have a purposeful moment with every student today!” or “Try to delegate everything today! Need something done? Ask a student to support you!” Write your challenge on a Post-it note and hand it to your mentee at the beginning of the day. After the school day or during a break, reflect on the experience. How does it feel to teach with this challenge as your lens? Do you feel successful? What adjustments can we make to support meeting your challenge more effectively?

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R – Relationships

Building a relationship with your student teacher is essential! (Just like building a relationships with your students is essential in the classroom) So, make this a priority! Don’t just go to work each day striving to impact student success. Skip into work each day dedicated to your mentee in the same way you are to your students. Have 100 conversations about nothing and truly listen. Relationships are at the core of any good mentor partnership.

T – Tactical Techniques

Tactical techniques are about specific next steps! Once you know (1) what to work on and you have (2) built a trust-filled relationship, it is time to provide your mentee feedback and next steps. Make these specific. Small and steady wins the race!

The truth is, mentoring really is an ART. It takes time. It takes dedication. It takes mistakes. It takes growth. And it is worth every single moment. Why? Because with any good mentorship, you have the opportunity to impact thousands of students and change their lives forever!


About Rae Hughart

Rae Hughart is a Middle-Level Math and Writing Educator in Illinois and the Director of Training and Development for the Teach Better Team. In 2017, Rae was honored with the Illinois State University Outstanding Young Alumni Award – inducting her into the University Hall of Fame. In 2018, Rae was honored again by the Henry Ford Innovator Award for her work within educators communities to build unity between local businesses and schools.