This article was published in Teaching and Teacher Education, Vol 27 number 2,
Author(s): Fred L. Hamel , Heather A. Jaasko-Fisher, " Hidden Labor in the Mentoring of Pre-service Teachers: Notes from a Mentor Teacher Advisory Council", Pages 434-442,
Copyright Elsevier (February 2011).
The present paper argues that the lack of attention to mentoring in teacher education reflects Marx’s notion of hidden labor in economic systems.
The article draws on discussions from an American mentor teacher advisory council to illuminate otherwise marginalized aspects of mentors’ work.
Meeting data reveal challenging dynamics of initiative, complications in determining teaching opportunities, and unique positions taken up by mentors during transitions in authority.
During pre-student teaching internships, mentors and interns struggle to create opportunities for early practice teaching – such events take substantive communication amidst a mentors’ full time role in teaching and amidst the wavering needs of beginning pre-service teachers. Even skilled mentors struggle for clarity regarding their role in relation to feedback and about the kinds of feedback that are most useful to candidates prior to the student teaching term.
Mentor teachers sometimes must create unique and intentional roles as transitions in authority occur within classrooms.
The authors conclude that “intersection contexts”, where the voices of various constituencies in the mentoring of pre-service teachers can be heard, should be developed.