Penn GSE

Urban Teaching Apprenticeship


Penn Mentors

Penn Mentors are retired or currently non-practicing teachers in the School District of Philadelphia who provide support and guidance to apprentices who are student teaching in Penn GSE’s Urban Teaching Apprenticeship Program. These teacher education mentors share the same values, goals, and concerns for urban education as UTAP and are passionate about providing access to great teachers for all learners.

Penn Mentors:

  • Visit student teachers in their K-12 classrooms at least weekly, ensuring that the classroom mentor and student teacher share goals for the student teacher’s learning and progress.
  • Observe student teachers’ interactions with students as well as their classroom teaching.
  • Review lesson plans, often suggesting alternative ideas.
  • Share real-time observations and suggestions in the classroom that help student teachers develop their practice.
  • Respond to student teachers’ reflective journals and participate in evaluating the inquiry portfolio.
  • Provide a rich source of knowledge about the school, community and, often, teachers in the school to which the student teacher has been assigned.
Learn more about our Penn Mentors:
  • Rona Hamilton
  • Connie Major
  • Lana Gold
  • Alice Pakman
  • Alan Ozer
  • Judith Radbill
  • Jacqueline Richburg-Burgess
  • Jerry Silverman
  • Judy Schwartz
  • Dede Strumpf
  • Rebecca Mison Wolnek
  • Ann Superfine
  • Mindy Yeager
  • Sarah Poncz
  • Lauren Szczesny

Classroom Mentors

Classroom Mentors are the elementary, middle school, and high school teachers who share their classrooms and practices with our student teachers. We carefully select schools and classroom mentors so that our student teachers can learn about the realities of urban teaching from those who are deeply engaged in it and who want to help prepare new teachers for their students. Often, Classroom Mentors are our own UTAP alumni, providing a perfect alignment of values and goals for new teachers.