Thank you for agreeing to mentor a CU Boulder teacher candidate during one of their important practicum experiences. Teacher-student mentoring relationships are invaluable to the development of future teachers and are often deeply rewarding for practicing teachers.
This section offers resources to facilitate a strong mentoring relationship and a successful practicum experience for Elementary Education, CU Teach Science & Math, and Secondary Humanities teachers.
WHAT DOES A PRACTICUM EXPERIENCE LOOK LIKE?
At the School of Education – CU Boulder, we look for school sites where we can connect practicum students with strong teachers. Practicum students are the newest prospective teachers and thus need the most expert teachers to observe.
The overarching goals for our partnerships are to ensure that our candidates provide support for teachers and students, and have a learning experience that supports their development as future teachers by developing dispositions and skills that matter for teaching.
We place these practicum students in classrooms one day a week for half of a day or the entire school day, depending on the practicum course. The candidates are expected to observe and take notes when the mentor teacher is teaching. They are also expected to support the teacher through one-on-one contact with students and work with small groups, if needed. Candidates are expected to plan and teach 2-3 lessons in the content area of the practicum course with permission from the mentor teacher as to an appropriate time and with some guidance for planning.
We ask mentor teachers to offer an open door, model teaching practices, talk with practicum students share their thinking, involve them in lesson planning and debriefing, share insights into students’ thinking and performance, and through providing opportunities to teach as mentioned in the above paragraph. We would also ask that the mentor teacher provide feedback to candidates.
Our practicum students are part of a course taught by CU instructors. Those instructors monitor the practicum experience and communicate expectations and assignments to both the practicum student and mentor teacher. CU instructors also provide feedback and are available to support both the CU student and the mentor teacher.
We are hopeful that principals and mentor teachers would see our partnership as an asset for your school and your students.
EXPLANATION OF THE CDE FORM FOR RECERTIFICATION CREDIT
Mentor teachers may receive 1-3 recertification credits for hosting a practicum student during a semester.
On this website, we have provided the CDE form, explanation, and log so thatMentor Teachers have it available, if they want to earn recertification credits. It is titled CDE’s Student Teaching or Intern Form and the practicum students are considered interns.
Please read the form’s directions carefully. This form advises you that the teachers can only log the time and dates “you and your student teacher/intern spent preparing activities for the week, critiquing skills, discussing school policies and procedures, etc.”
Teachers CANNOT log times observing the student teacher/intern or the time the student teacher/intern spent observing them, etc.
NOTE: You do NOT return this form to CU. Fill out the log during the semester, have your administrator sign it and then file the form to be turned in to CDE when you are sending in your documentation to receive recertification.