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The Roles of Major Participants

The Roles of the Major Participants in the Student/Intern Teaching Experience:

 The Drexel University School of Education provides a four-tiered support system for its teacher candidate’s; the Mentor Teacher, the Seminar Instructor, the Site director and the Director of Teacher Certification Programs. Each of these individuals serves a critical role in the overall success of each teacher candidate. This section seeks to explain each of these roles.

 The Mentor Teacher:

The School of Education is keenly aware of the significant contribution made by the schools and districts that make the student teaching experience possible for the Drexel Education students. More specifically, the mentor teacher is perhaps the most important individual in the teacher candidate’s overall experience. The support of these individuals is absolutely critical to the success of the teacher candidate. Providing this supporting climate is a significant commitment for which the Drexel University School of Education is immensely grateful. The following list explains the role of the mentor teacher:


  • Possesses a valid, state-issued teaching certificate in the area of certification being sought by the teacher candidate;
  • Has taught at least 3 years within the certification area, including one year in the current position;
  • Agrees to the principle and ideal of “developing teaching expertise in others” as stated in the Mentor Teacher Application;
  • Agrees to notify the assigned Site director and/or the School of Education’s Director of Certification Programs regarding irregularities or concern about the placement or the teacher candidate’s performance;
  • Agrees to communicate with both the teacher candidate and Site director as well as work collaboratively with Drexel University’s School of Education to share the mentor teacher’s expertise as appropriate and possible with other mentor teachers and teacher candidates during the term of a placement. Specifically, the mentor teacher agrees to meet with the Site director (and teacher candidate when possible) to review the Student Teaching & Seminar orientation guidelines.
  • Understands the need for flexibility, in attitude and in practice;
  • Accepts the possibility that pedagogical styles other than the ones they use may be successful; and
  • Has a professional vision beyond that of the classroom.

The mentor teacher completes a Mid-Term and Final evaluation of the teacher candidate (Appendix D). The mentor teacher is asked to evaluate the students according to the four domains of the Danielson’s Framework, identify the teacher candidate’s overall strengths and provide suggestions for the future. The Site director and Seminar Instructor will use information provided by the mentor teacher in determining the teacher candidate’s final grade.

The Mentor Teacher is the assigned licensed teacher who graciously agrees to host the teacher candidate in his/her classroom for the duration of the co-op/pre-student teaching experience. The host school serves as the “employer” and the Mentor Teacher serves as a mentor and on-site immediate supervisor through the various aspects of the co-op/pre-student teaching placement. It is expected that the Mentor Teacher will work with the teacher candidate's assigned University Supervisor (Site Director) to ensure that the teacher candidate has an engaging and rich co-op/pre-student teaching experience.

 The Site Director:

Site directors work collaboratively with mentor teachers in mentoring and evaluating teacher candidate’s. The following list explains the role of the Site director:


  • Previously certified teacher with at least 3 years experience preferably in an area closely related to the certification area sought by the teacher candidate;
  • Has expertise and experience in staff development, mentoring and supervising other teachers (Note: Site directors are hired by Drexel University as adjunct instructors);
  • Has excellent communication and organizational skills and can maintain a flexible schedule to view the assigned teacher candidate onsite;
  • Agrees to notify the School of Education’s Field Placement Coordinator regarding irregularities or concern about the placement or teacher candidate’s performance;
  • Has a professional vision beyond that of the classroom; and
  • Agrees to communicate with both the teacher candidate and Mentor Teacher during the term of a placement. Specifically, the Site Director agrees to minimally complete and submit two (2) formal evaluations using the PDE 430 form, in additional to conducting a minimum of four formal evaluations of the teacher candidate. The formal evaluations are shared with the teacher candidate, the mentor teacher and the Student Teaching Seminar instructor.

The Site Director completes the Formal Observation Form (see Appendix C) after every formal observation. The site director also prepares a Mid-Term and Final Evaluation of the teacher candidate’s performance via the PDE 430 Form (Appendix E). This document serves as part of the basis for the student/intern teacher’s recommendation for teaching certification to the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The PDE 430, along with the feedback from the mentor teacher and evaluation for the professional seminar, are combined to produce a final grade for student teaching. While the seminar instructor is considered the Drexel University “Instructor of Record”, the site director, mentor teacher and seminar instructor all contribute to the final grade for the teacher candidate.

Student Teaching Seminar Instructor:

The seminar instructors are university faculty who guide the teacher candidates through activities to assist in planning and preparation, managing classrooms, instructional delivery and professionalism. The seminar instructor also facilitates critical discussions for the teacher candidate’s in their course. As instructors of record for the Professional Seminar, they are ultimately responsible for the final grade received by the teacher candidate (see above).

Director of Teacher Certification Programs:

The Director of Teacher Certification Programs serves as the primary liaison between Drexel University and the host schools and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the teacher education program and field experiences. Perhaps most importantly, the Director may serve as an advocate for the teacher candidate and is responsible for providing support or consultation for any problematic situations that may arise during the experience.

Field Placement Office:

The School of Education has a designated Field Placement Office that is responsible for securing all field based placements and providing information and support to all participants. The Office of Field Placement is responsible for accepting and evaluating requests for field observations, clinical experiences, and student teaching. The office collaborates with schools on a national scale to find placements, and provide continuous communication, assessment, and feedback during the process. This service is provided to students in order to aid in professional growth that will positively affect their abilities to become consummate teaching professionals.

 Certification Officer:

The Certification Officer oversees the administration of the teacher certification process. It is the responsibility of the Certification Officer to verity and sign all recommendations for teacher certification to the Pennsylvania Department of Education for instructional teaching certification and professional certificates. 

The Teacher Candidate (You)

Teacher candidates are to remember that they are guests within the schools in which they are assigned. It is important that students exhibit professionalism and proper conduct at all times while in the field, as you are not only representing yourself, but also the university.

In addition to successfully meeting the requirements of the appropriate methods course and components for teacher certification, teacher candidates are expected to:

  • Familiarize yourself with the school and its community prior to your first day.
  • Attendance: Always arrive on time.
    • In the event that you may be late you must notify the host school (employer), Mentor Teacher, University Site Director and Field Placement Office via email and/or phone.
    • If you find for any reason that you will need to be absent you must notify the host school (employer), Mentor Teacher, University Site Director and Field Placement Office via email.
  • Adhere to all school building policies and procedures.
  • Familiarize yourself with school safety plans and emergency procedures.
  • Ensure Attendance Log (appendix L) is signed (every visit) by the Mentor Teacher or building administrator. (next slide)
  • Follow the Drexel Lesson Plan (appendix M) when submitting lessons as an assignment or to the University Site Director.
  • Take every opportunity to become a part of the school and classroom community.