Mentor Teacher Contract Information
Each school that has mentor teachers who work with seniors, and/or interns has a "school contract" with Michigan State University. The Secondary Teacher Preparation Program is providing this information regarding the funds available to mentor teachers (MTs) and their buildings. The purposes and processes outlined below reflect the policy adopted by the Teacher Preparation Academic Program and Policy Committee (TP-APPC) in the Teacher Education Department.
MENTOR TEACHER PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNT
The MTs Professional Account is intended to honor and equip mentor teachers as partners in teacher education, by providing them modest allocations, about which they make decisions regarding the professional needs of MSU teacher candidates and interns with whom they work. These allocations are made in the expectation that the MTs who receive them will work closely with MSU as partners in teacher education.
A modest allocation is provided to the school site for two purposes: (a) to acknowledge and offset additional expenses that may be incurred by having additional professionals in the building (e.g., the cost of making copies; purchase additional equipment); and (b) to help schools to include MSU teacher candidates and interns as members of professional faculties that are engaged together in professional development and school improvement.
PURPOSE OF FUNDS
The general guiding principle for expenditures under this category is that they should support the learning of MSU teacher candidates and interns, in a partnership between teachers and MSU. Allowable costs include:
- materials and equipment that increase the teacher candidates' and interns' opportunities to learn to teach, and/or enable the MT to work more effectively with teacher candidates and/or interns;
- fees, materials, and travel expenses associated with professional development opportunities for the intern and MT;
- reimbursement for continuing education tuition/fees; and
- substitute teachers as needed to enable the MT to participate in periodic meetings with the teacher preparation program or to carry out other supported activities.
At their initiative, MTs may pool funds allocated to them to make purchases that support the learning of the group of teacher candidates/interns with whom they work. Prior approval of MSU is required for purchase of any items of equipment costing $500 or more.
IMPELEMENTATION OF FUNDS
Funds for the MTs Professional Account are distributed through school contracts. Each school building sets up its own procedure for how MTs gain access to the funds. MTs should talk with their principal to learn about their building and district procedure. Submission of reimbursement must be received through the district office, therefore, MTs must follow internal policies and procedures for spending/reimbursement. MSU does not directly reimburse individuals.
Currently, the following allocations are provided to each school:
Funds Allocated to Mentor Teachers
Funds Allocated to the School Site*
$60 per senior
$10 per intern
$300 per intern
$50 per intern
Mentor teachers with interns will be allowed to have their intern substitute for them without pay to the intern for up to 5 days for purposes of professional development, in which the MT would not otherwise be able to participate.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES
In keeping with the policy adopted during the 2004-05 year, interns may provide release time for their mentor teachers for up to 5 days (or 10 half-days) for purposes of MT professional development. Interns would provide release time without pay because these five days are above and beyond the 15 days interns are allowed to substitute for pay. The five days are intended to be self-initiated by MTs and complement (not replace) in-service provided by the district.
This is an opportunity for interns to show their appreciation for all the time and effort MTs devote to supporting their learning, and to learn from the MT's professional development experiences as well. The end of fall semester and spring semester are optimal times for mentor teachers with interns to take advantage this opportunity to support their professional growth and build professional community within and across schools.
Here are some ideas:
- A small group of teachers within a building might meet to discuss the implementation of a new instructional model that they want to try (e.g., lesson study, book club, literature circles, writers workshop), or to share and gather new resource materials for their teaching.
- A small group of teachers from the same grade level or subject area might meet to share ideas about how they assess student learning and use that information to plan for further instruction.
- Pairs of teachers might observe in each other's classrooms to discuss their own teaching in a particular subject matter.
- Pairs of teachers might observe each other's interns teaching to discuss their mentoring practices.
- Teachers from different schools might observe each other to become familiar with how a program is implemented in a particular subject matter area.
- Teachers might choose to attend a workshop or conference on a topic of interest (e.g., the Michigan Reading Association Conference http://www.michiganreading.org/); Michigan Association for Computer Use in Learning [MACUL], http://www.macul.org/).
This list is just a sample of the types of opportunities of which MTs could take advantage. Please share additional ideas you have with others in your building! We are hoping that MTs will follow up by sharing what they are learning with other MTs and interns.