Cooperating Teacher Responsibilities
- Prepare the classroom students to receive the student teacher as a professional co-worker.
- Prepare a workspace for the student teacher with a desk, chair, shelves, curriculum guides, and teaching materials.
- Participate in a cooperating teacher orientation session with the field supervisor.
- Orientate the student teacher to:
- the students,
- the classroom procedures,
- the school calendar and daily schedule,
- the building facilities and resources,
- the personnel—administrators, faculty, and staff,
- school policies and procedures,
- the nature of the community, and
- professional opportunities.
- Provide a gradual induction to the teaching process by modeling appropriate planning and teaching, as well as explaining the purpose. An example is provided.
- Demonstrate methods and resources for creating daily lesson plans that are sequential and integrated.
- Demonstrate the use of curriculum guides, teachers’ manuals, and other resources for your grade/subject level.
- Explain the philosophy of classroom management, the specific techniques that are to be used, and how management is to occur when the cooperating teacher and student teacher are both in the classroom.
- Choose a specific time for planning together on a daily/weekly basis.
- Guide the student teacher toward effectiveness by:
- monitoring effective use of time,
- requiring written lesson plans two days in advance of teaching,
- creating a climate that encourages questioning and self-reflection,
- praising and encouraging,
- keeping interactive lines of communication open,
- discussing problems frankly, one at a time,
- sharing professional experiences and materials,
- capitalizing on the special interests, talents, and abilities of a student teacher in order to enrich the curriculum,
- encouraging the use of alternative instructional and management techniques, and
- guiding the acceptance of varied school duties and tasks which represent a teacher’s workload.
- Explain the methods of record keeping for attendance, tardiness, grades, conduct, etc.
- Discuss emergency and health procedures such as fire drills, illness, fighting, etc.
- Allow the student teacher to assume full responsibility of the classroom instruction and management for one two-week sessions for a single placement and one one-week session for a dual placement during the semester.
- Give specific instruction on how to set up a classroom for the beginning of the year.
- Promote daily interactive discussions that encourage reflective thinking about the strengths and weaknesses of the student teacher’s effectiveness in the planning/teaching process.
- Assist the student teacher in implementing recommendations received during the daily evaluation sessions.
- Confer with the field supervisor on a continuing basis. Performance problems should be identified and discussed as early as possible. Use a Growth/Probation Plan whenever necessary to encourage timely change.
- Free the student teacher to confer with the field supervisor following the observation.
- Write weekly, mid-point and final evaluations of the student teacher’s progress and discuss them with her/him.
- Participate in a three-way evaluation conference with the student teacher and supervisor at the mid-point and final evaluation.
- Accept each student teacher as an individual and refrain from comparison of her/him with previous student teachers.
- Free the student teacher to attend all mandatory seminars which are part of her/his student teaching experience.
- Leave the student teacher alone in the classroom so that s/he can have a feeling of independence and an opportunity to learn from her/his mistakes. Be sure this occurs gradually, and indicate where you may be located in case of an emergency.
- Introduce the student teacher to professional journals, resources, and organizations.
- Involve the student teacher in faculty and curriculum meetings, parent meetings, ARD meetings, and parent/teacher conferences when appropriate.