1. Consider Sarah’s situation, what problems arise when there is difference between a school’s culture and a student teacher’s teaching approaches? What position should a mentor teacher take in helping a novice teacher succeed in such a situation?
Culture in schools,…
Sarah, being a novice teacher, is not likely to be acquainted with the norms and practices of Elmstreet Elementary School. The problems faced due to a conflict between school culture and her teaching approaches are chanced to be high. This is because the students would be used to a different technique of teaching and a different way of classroom management. For example, if other teachers were fairly strict with their approach to discipline and a new teacher seems to be softer, students may take advantage of the leniency. This causes classroom disturbance. This certainly does not point to the teacher’s incompetence in maintaining class discipline, rather the students not being used to such an instructor. A similar situation is displayed in Sarah’s case. Another problem that may arise is of a difference in delivering the lecture. Some teachers use an interactive approach and do excessive questioning, keeping the classroom lively by cracking jokes, whereas some may be too professional.
What is important in schools is to adopt a way that suits the learning process of students and keeps them under control. The role to be taken of the mentor teacher is one of a personality mentor as well as a motivational guide. As mentioned in the vignette, Sarah lacks strong personal authority. The mentor must guide Sarah towards the type of culture that prevails in the school, motivate her so that she strengthens her personal authority and advise her ways to adopt to the culture.
When someone is told off for their actions or their shortcomings are pointed out by someone else, it is in our human nature to not accept it fully and possibly feel angered and belittled. The most effective self-improvement is done where a person himself identifies and accepts his/her flaws and works on a plan to improve them. Having Sarah involved in her growth plan development will help keep her motivation and self-image intact. This will make her work harder than she would have had someone else ...
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