If you’re assigned to a specific department or classroom for your required student teacher time period, a member of the staff is usually selected in advance as your supervisor, observer or for want of another name, mentor. Whatever you do to continue to seek advice elsewhere, you must understand completely that you will be dependent on that person for your advancing to the next step in your education.
Succeeding in the relationship is important and may actually be a requirement necessary to earn your bachelor’s degree, state certification or other forward step to your profession. Therefore, that mentor who finds you, rather than you have to find, may at least be as important as an advisor you seek out yourself. For that person, it is vital to establish a good working relationship, follow instructions faithfully, do required research, strive to do competent teaching and generally cooperate with all the mentor requires you to do.
You may not like the entire scenario of your assignment, nor even like the assigned mentor. It may dawn on you that the mentor doesn’t even like you. However, unless you have any other options, such as requesting a different mentor, you must grit your teeth and make up your mind to toe the line throughout the relationship. In fact, such difficulties could help you prepare for such problems you’re sure to face once you have your own classroom.
Of course, while getting through your student teacher ordeal, you may also consult frequently with other mentors on your own. By the time you’ve reached that level of your education, there should have had one or more or many more of such personal guides influencing your educational progress. Hold fast to them, because they will continue to help you. Possibly, if you have problems with your assigned mentor, your other mentors can offer you advice on how to overcome such barriers to your progress.
Who are those mentors you’ve had before you started student teaching? They could be college faculty, other students, family members, former high school teachers and advisors, clergy, spouse or anyone you believe inspires you to achieve your goal to become a complete, well-qualified teacher.