Module 6: Systems of Communication and Professional Behaviors

Module 6 Progress

Communication to address misunderstandings or gaps in professional behavior

While attention to establishing routine communication systems and supporting professional behaviors proactively is ideal, misunderstandings and gaps in professionalism can still occur. It is crucial to directly address any issues or concerns related to professionalism in an early field placement.

Most often mentor CT concerns with PST professionalism are effectively managed within the context of mentorship as teachable opportunities. If some aspect of professionalism or PST performance continues to be a concern, please inform the program as soon as a concern that has been addressed with the PST remains unresolved.

Early field placements set the tone and establish professional dispositions, and if PSTs are struggling in any way, programs want to be able to support PSTs and mentor CTs in the current setting, as well as address any concerns in ongoing growth plans for PSTs.

Addressing Professional Behaviors: Examples in Practice

“I talk with PSTs honestly and try to be as direct as possible.  I let the supervisor know if changes aren’t made and keep them informed to make sure the PST, myself, and the supervisor are all in the loop.”  D. Mathias, Mentor CT, Elementary

“I openly communicate with the PST, and would only work with the IHE on behavior/attitude as a last resort. That being said, I would document any conversation that I have about behavior/attitude prior to involving the IHE so that I could share the issue & what steps had already been taken.” C. Davis, Mentor CT, High School

How do you communicate with a PST who has a concern about their experience?

Sometimes in early field experiences, PSTs have concerns with policies or interactions they observe in the school or classroom. Ideally the PST will address these concerns as questions to be discussed with the Mentor CT.

Note to Pre-Service Teachers

You are always welcome to bring concerns to your program

Some school related concerns could also be addressed at the level of school administrators. If concerns relate to Title IX, each program has protocols in place for PST reporting. Discrimination of any kind should be reported to programs and discussed with Mentor CTs and/or school administrators.

 “Make sure that you have clear & open communication with the PST, and let them know how they can best communicate ANY issues.” C. Davis, Mentor CT, High School

“I would hope that the student would feel that they could come to me personally and discuss anything. I would tell them upfront that I am human and make mistakes so they can tell me if they have problems.” V. Lilley, Mentor CT, High School

Questions for Reflection

  • What were some steps you took as a PST to build your confidence and professionalism? What was challenging and how did communication with your Mentor CT support your growth?

  • What professional behaviors and communication systems do you have in place as a teacher that are important to communicate clearly and directly with a PST?

Up Next: In module 7 you will learn about meaningful feedback with growth mindset.