“Those teachers are critical,” said Leslie Day, assistant chair of the Elementary Education and Reading Department, and director of the Professional Development School Consortium. “Without them, we wouldn’t have a program.”
Teachers who agree to take Buffalo State education students into their classrooms—and, often, under their wing—are called mentor teachers. “We used to call them cooperating teachers,” said Day, “but they do so much more than merely ‘cooperate’ with us in educating tomorrow’s teachers.
Mentor teachers are involved with Buffalo State students in classes as early as sophomore year, and then every year through graduate school. “All mentoring teachers have a liaison with a faculty member, too,” said Day, “so we can work together to make sure that both our students and our mentor teachers are benefiting from the experience.”
The Perks Card provides mentor teachers with discounts at several Buffalo State venues as well as access to Buffalo State’s E. H. Butler Library. Specifically, mentor teachers receive:
- a discount to the Great Performers Series at the Performing Arts Center at Rockwell Hall
- buy-one-get-one-free admission to productions staged by Casting Hall
- faculty/staff discount at the Barnes and Noble at Buffalo State Bookstore
- buy-one-get-one-free admission to the Burchfield Penney Art Center
“We hope to add to this list,” said Day. “By providing our students with authentic classroom experience, our mentor teachers help our students navigate through the professional maze in an atmosphere of sharing, partnership, and collegiality. And we believe that having our students in the classroom helps our mentor teachers, too. Besides providing assistance in the classroom, our students provide new ideas and fresh enthusiasm to their mentors. Everybody wins.”
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