Who is a mentor?
VolsTeach relies upon experienced elementary, middle, and high school teachers to mentor host students during their field-based experiences. Mentor teachers open their classrooms to VolsTeach students, offering guidance and support as they begin to learn about K-12 instructional practices and the roles and responsibilities of educators.
VolsTeach partners with Anderson County, Knox County, Lenoir City, Maryville City, Oak Ridge and Roane County school systems. Participating schools have been selected based upon their high-need status and willingness of administrators to allow VolsTeach students to teach in classrooms during regularly scheduled mathematics or science times.
Benefits of being a mentor
Beyond a stipend, mentors receive the satisfaction of preparing future teachers in a program that is receiving national attention. VolsTeach is one way to give back to the education profession while promoting the importance of science and math in the classroom.
VolsTeach mentors meet with student(s) early in the semester to schedule observation visits and teaching dates to determine instructional topics during a required mentor orientation. All mentor teachers assume primary responsibility for classroom management and remain in their classrooms with their students while VolsTeach students are teaching. We also ask mentor teacher to provide assistance to VolsTeach students during the group activities of their lessons, and complete short reviews of their performance at the end of each lesson and a more thorough summary evaluation at the completion of their lessons. These conditions must be met for the mentor agreement to be considered fulfilled and for mentors to be considered eligible for stipend payment at the end of each fall and spring semester.
Who are VolsTeach students?
Unique to the VolsTeach program, students are introduced to early classroom experiences to explore careers in teaching. The students who will teach in K-12 classrooms are University of Tennessee undergraduates who are primarily freshmen and sophomores seeking degrees in math or one of the sciences. During their UT classes, VolsTeach students receive on-going instruction in lesson design, professionalism, classroom management, and science and mathematics content, but they are NOT yet student teachers. The experiences provided by the VolsTeach program also build professional skills such as collaboration, organization, time management, communication, and analytical thinking. Your influence as a mentor and their experiences in your school will help them make an informed decision about pursuing teaching as a career.