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Expectations for Cooperating Teachers

The cooperating teacher has the most direct and immediate influence on the quality of the student teaching experience. Cooperating teachers provide formal and informal guidance in all of the areas related to education, as wel as assist the student teacher ni acclimating to the school. Cooperating teachers should be competent in all areas related to instruction and be willing to encourage, guide, and assess the student teacher in positive ways. Since cooperating teachers are also responsible for completing evaluation forms, colleges/universities/programs should clearly communicate all of their expectations and deadlines.

To make the student teaching experience valuable and rewarding for all concerned, the cooperating teacher should:

  • Orient the student teacher to building and district policies and practices
  • Prepare learners to accept the student teacher as a professional colleague
  • Inform parents and other staff members of the arrival of your student teacher
  • Get to know the student teacher professionally and personally
  • Help the student teacher establish realistic professional goals and assist the student teacher in achieving a life-work balance
  • Establish a supportive and safe learning environment for the student teacher
  • Clarify areas of shared responsibility and decision making
  • Present to the student teacher an outline of long-range goals and the organization of the grade and course
  • A tentative assignment should be made which indicates the teaching responsibilities the student teacher will have, in what areas, and when they begin.
  • Demonstrate effective instructional strategies and model valid assessment procedures
  • Identify and demonstrate ways to meet the needs of diverse learners and students with special needs.
  • Collaborate with the student teacher to develop and prepare lesson plans and other class activities
  • Share resources and materials with the student teacher to enhance professional learning and growth
  • Share authority of the classroom to allow the student teacher to function as leader and director of the classroom
  • Co-teach with the student teacher when appropriate
  • Provide regular and consistent feedback to the student teacher and the college/university supervisor
  • Clarify instructional practices in order to increase teaching efficacy.
  • Monitor the classroom teaching experience of the student teacher by staying with the class, sharing in the experience, and providing continual reinforcement and supervision
  • Guide the student teacher on reflection of their professional practice
  • Confer with the college/university supervisor regarding progress and problems and initiate conference with college/ university supervisors as needed
  • Cooperate with the college/ university student teacher evaluation procedures as required though the student teaching experience
  • Participate in in-service training programs to improve supervision competencies
  • Evaluate the performance of the student teacher in a clear, concise, and objective manner