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What does the work of a mentor and intern look like in our Professional Development School?

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The Professional Development School Model conceptualizes the mentor and intern as co-teachers. This benefits public school students by offering more individualized and small group teaching by both the mentor and the intern.

Over the entire internship year, the teaching relationship between the mentor and internship evolves. In the first phase of the experience, the mentor would take the lead in planning and delivering instruction while the intern would be a support teacher in carrying out planned lessons and working with individual or small groups of students (approximately August through December). In this first phase, the mentor is the guide and the intern is a tutor for children.

In the second phase, there is much more co planning and co-teaching (approximately January through March). During this time, the intern is gaining critical insight into the teacher's personal practical knowledge of his/her profession by engaging in dialogue and observation targeted at understanding why the mentor teaches in certain ways, uses particular strategies, or sequences lessons in specific ways. In this case, the mentor becomes the coach and the intern becomes a key player in implementing and reaching instructional goals.

As the experience progresses into the third phase (approximately April through June), the intern would take the lead (when appropriate) in planning instruction and would be supported by the mentor who would also work with individual or small groups of children within the room. In this phase, the mentor becomes the tutor and the intern assumes the role of guide.

In each of these three phases, the role of the mentor and intern changes. However, by conceptualizing their work as co-teaching, we provide additional resources that help bring our classrooms in line with current practices in the areas of inclusion and remedial reading and math programs.

What is a Professional Development School? What are the goals of our Professional Development Schools? Introduction to the Penn State Elementary Education PDS What is the intern's field experience like? How are the interns selected? What does the work of a mentor and intern look like in our Professional Development School? What are some of the unique experiences an intern has in a Professional Development School? What is the PDS Conceptual Framework? Why should you consider hiring an intern from the Professional Development Schools?