Student teaching usually requires significant classroom observation and experience before the teacher trainee is allowed to take over the classroom. The student teacher may have several evaluations before being given control of instruction. Student teaching evaluations might be in the form of observation in the classroom or discussions about planning, goals, and ideas on classroom management. The classroom teacher will also be conducting unofficial evaluations on a continual basis by observing how the student teacher handles the lesson planning, grading, and general classroom activities. Student teacher evaluations are meant to provide the teacher with advice and prepare him or her for when they are in charge of an entire classroom.
Teachers in training are placed in a classroom with a mentor teacher. Trainees eventually will take over the instruction of the class and be responsible for such things as grading, lesson planning, and other classroom duties. Student teaching evaluations occur during the student teaching experience. Teacher training programs provide classroom mentors and teacher training evaluations for feedback and guidance. These evaluations typically focus on what areas the student teachers need to improve upon.
Classroom observations are the most common type of student teaching evaluations. A mentor observes the student teacher during a lesson and then conferences with them after the evaluation has been completed. This type of student teaching evaluation typically takes place every couple of weeks. It allows the mentor to see how the student teacher reacts to student needs and interruptions, observe the teaching methods used, and evaluate the overall progress of the teacher trainee. The mentor may request lesson plans in advance of the student teaching evaluations and observations to see if the teacher is able to follow the plan and adapt.
Another common student teaching evaluation is based on teacher lesson plans, unit plans, and justification for what is planned. Many teachers are asked to explain their methods and intent to parents and administrators, so this is good practice for the teacher trainee. The mentor may ask to see a unit plan and all associated lesson plans and materials the teacher will use in order to evaluate them and see if they effectively cover all of the material. This type of evaluation is usually conducted at the beginning and the end of the student teaching experience to determine the progress of the student teacher’s abilities. It may be considered the final part of the student teaching experience.