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Cooperating Teacher Responsibilities (Student Teacher Mentors)

Transcript from audio-visual presentation Mentor Teacher Guide:

Thank you so much for your willingness to work with a student teacher this semester. Your expertise will make all the difference.

The purpose of this mentor teacher preparation presentation is part of ongoing efforts of the University of Houston-Victoria to improve the student teaching experience for all involved.

The student teacher is responsible for notifying you and the school if he/she must be absent due to illness. There is also a university schedule that the student teacher should share with you.

This presentation is designed to share with you important mentor teacher responsibilities. Student teachers tend to be greatly influenced by the performance of
their mentor teachers. Research indicates they are affected both implicitly and explicitly. The University of Houston-Victoria wants this semester to be successful for
you, the classroom of students and the student teacher.

Please do not feel as if you need to change your behavior or the way you teach. Openly discuss your teaching with your student teacher. Do expect the student teacher to model your teaching style at first, but please do not feel threatened if the student teacher does not agree with your ideas or style. Encourage variety and independence in your student teacher. It is important to maintain open communication with your student teacher. The following ideas are some guidelines to follow while the student teacher is in your classroom.

Preparation for the Student Teacher

Please prepare the classroom students to receive the student teacher as a professional co-worker. The student teacher should have a workspace with some
type of desk and chair.

It would be helpful to allow the student teacher easy access to curriculum and teaching materials.

Orientation

The student teacher will be excited and very nervous about this new experience. Please introduce the student teacher to the students, classroom procedures, the
school calendar and daily schedule as well as the building and the resources offered there, the school personnel such as the principal, faculty and staff.

It is important that the student teacher is familiar with school policies and procedures as well as any professional opportunities such as faculty meetings and
in-service trainings that may take place during the semester.

Induction

  1. Provide a gradual induction to the teaching process by modeling appropriate planning and teaching, as well as explaining the purpose. An example is provided.
  2. Demonstrate methods and resources for creating daily lesson plans that are sequential and integrated.
  3. Demonstrate the use of curriculum guides, teachers’ manuals, and other resources for your grade/subject level.
  4. 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.
  5. Choose a specific time for planning together on a daily/weekly basis.
  6. Guide the student teacher toward effectiveness by:
    1. monitoring effective use of time
    2. requiring written lesson plans two days in advance of teaching
    3. creating a climate that encourages questioning and self-reflection
    4. praising and encouraging
    5. keeping interactive lines of communication open
    6. discussing problems frankly, one at a time
    7. sharing professional experiences and materials
    8. capitalizing on the special interests, talents, and abilities of a student teacher in order to enrich the curriculum
    9. encouraging the use of alternative instructional and management techniques
    10. guiding the acceptance of varied school duties and tasks which represent a teacher’s workload
  7. Explain the methods of record keeping for attendance, tardiness, grades, conduct, etc.
  8. Discuss emergency and health procedures such as fire drills, illness, fighting, etc.
  9. 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.
  10. Give specific instruction on how to set up a classroom for the beginning of the year.

Evaluation

  1. Observe, assess, and evaluate student teachers on a regular basis in regards to their teaching, classroom management, and professionalism
  2. Guide the student teacher in his/her reflection and self-evaluation
  3. Evaluate the student teacher’s lessons in either verbal or written form
  4. Complete a mid-point and final evaluation of the student teacher. This process should include written recommendations. The forms will be provided to you by the University of Houston-Victoria
  5. Participate in a conference with the student teacher and his/her supervisor from
    the university at least once or twice
  6. If problems should develop, provide the student teacher with a “Growth/Probation Contract”. This process will be done in conjunction with the director of field experiences from the university.
  7. Document any infractions of school policy or professionalism as well as unsatisfactory progress in the classroom.

Professionalism

  1. Accept each student teacher as an individual and refrain from comparison of her/him with previous student teachers.
  2. Free the student to attend all mandatory seminars which are part of her/his student teaching experience.
  3. 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.
  4. Introduce the student teacher to professional journals, resources and organizations.
  5. Involve the student teacher in faculty and curriculum meetings, parent meetings, ARD when it is appropriate.

Thank you again for sharing your expertise with this student teacher from the University of Houston-Victoria education student.

Please feel free to contact the university supervisor or the field director if you have any concerns or questions at 361.570.4848.

Again, thank you for your dedication to the profession.