George Lucas Educational Foundation

Got kicked out of Teacher Education Program because of Bad Mentor Teacher

Got kicked out of Teacher Education Program because of Bad Mentor Teacher

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Hi, I wonder if anyone has had this experience...I was only 2 weeks short of finishing my student teaching when I got sick and missed 3 days of class. The mentor teacher all of a sudden came up with all these reasons (which she couldn't substantiate with any evidence) why I was such a bad student teacher and actually accused me of badmouthing students and losing student work. Although I had the support of one of my professors, who saw how this woman was such a control freak and how she undermined me in front of students, I still got kicked out of the program. I talked to an attorney about this and he said that it would cost me thousands of dollars because this is a due pocess issue, in that it is a "He-said/She-said" situation. Any advise would be great! Kyra Sysak

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Betty Ray's picture
Betty Ray
Senior Editor at Large

Hi Kyra -

I have no advice, just lots of empathy and support. I hope other experienced teachers have suggestions for you.

Alan T. Hayashi's picture
Alan T. Hayashi
Mathematics Professor at a Calfornia community college

Hi Kyra:

I have some questions first...

My experience with Teacher Education Programs is that mentor teachers support the process, but the "teacher of record" is a university official in the program. Was your mentor teacher a university official? Who sent the report to the university that recommended removal from the program? Every university program has an appeal process. If you have the support of your program supervisor, what is the appeal process at your institution? Most programs have students doing more that just one single mentorship; what was the conclusions of the other observations? Also most programs have multiple observations/evaluations during a term; what happened during those? What were the reports from this mentor teacher prior to the end of the term?

There are always multiple means of reinstatement in a university program. Also programs usually have periodic and frequent evaluations during the program. Investigate and then execute your appeal options. When you do, prepare your appeal packet well with all the documented support [rather than character references]. Most institutions may penalize you for your errors, but rarely dismiss you for a single digression.

Good luck on your reinstatement!

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