Mentor Teacher Expectations

As an emerging education professional, your field placements allow you to practice your classroom learning under the guidance of an experienced mentor teacher. Our professional etiquette tips can help you feel confident when you enter the classroom.

In addition to the tips on this page, we recommend that you attend the next Office of Field Experiences webinar. 

Washington Educator Code of Conduct

All Washington educators must follow the code of conduct for educational practitioners. You can also learn more about this code by reviewing the presentation provided by the Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB).

General Tips

  • Consider your placement to be an extended job interview.
  • Speak respectfully about your mentor teacher to others.
  • Do not use your phone in meetings or class.
  • Keep a list of projects you can work on during unscheduled time. Your mentor may not always be available to help you figure out what to do next.
  • Attend school and district events when possible.

Email Etiquette

  • Email is considered public and often stored on servers.
  • Your emails can be subpoenaed in a court of law.
  • Do not complete personal emails or business on school time.

Dress Code

Dress for field experience placements is generally "business casual". You can ask your mentor teacher for recommendations.

Schools have specifically asked that students wear clothes that keep their midriff (stomach) covered.

What Mentors Expect

Previous mentors have listed the following most important qualities of successful teaching candidates:


  • Jump in; find things to do
  • Be willing to try new things and take risks
  • Show eagerness and interest
  • Seek interaction with mentor teacher and pupils
  • Collaborate with the mentor teacher
  • Accept feedback
  • Have a positive attitude
  • Be present in class
  • Dress and act professionally
  • Show up early; keep your schedule organized
  • Provide draft lesson plans ahead of time
  • Respond to email and requests promptly


  • Practice online teaching skills
  • Apply what you have learned in classes
  • Actively help plan lessons
  • Ask engaging questions during lessons

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