As I desired to be of better use in the learning environment, I sought mentor certification. I had been an unofficial mentor for five years in the state of North Carolina, and became a Florida State Certified Mentor in 2000. With this certification, I gained insight into the evaluation and accountability of teachers. With this certification, I gained insight into the evaluation of teachers and was able to move from utilizing anecdotal evidence to providing feedback on best practices used in the classroom. When working with my mentees, I combined the state-approved evaluation tool with a system requiring novice teachers to reflect and...
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...across the hall asked for instructional strategies for vocabulary development. A permanent substitute from another high school came to Columbia High seeking me out on student recommendations for instructional strategies to deal with reluctant readers. While I know that my knowledge, desire, and dedication improve and strengthen the profession, my additional role as a SAFE-T evaluator allows me to revisit teacher accountability. It allows me to review whether the student and parent survey, self-reflection, and an objective instrument are still viable determinations of professional efficacy. There is no right or wrong answer. However, the combination of those three attributes allowed a teacher who was working in isolation to hold himself accountable and to work with his colleagues so they might all be able to strengthen and improve the profession of the teaching.
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