Cooperating Teacher Expectations
The following is reprinted with permission from the Faculty of Education, University of Alberta (2020). Minor changes have been made to fit ATA style.
Welcome your student teacher and acquaint yourself with his/her context and current needs.
Ensure the student teacher is given advanced notice of teaching assignment, supervision and extracurricular responsibilities.
Ensure the student teacher understands professional conduct, responsibilities and obligations.
Ensure the student teacher is informed of all essential school policies, procedures and routines.
Provide a school map, staff directory and school calendar with red-circled days indicating important school and social events, as well as (as appropriate) keys/fobs, security codes and access passwords.
Introduce the student teacher to the school community: school leadership personnel, teaching staff and support staff to ensure that the student teacher feels welcomed as an associate staff member.
Orient the student teacher to the students and clearly communicate to the students that the student teacher is to be respected and viewed as a coteacher rather than a student.
Provide the student teacher with an appropriate workspace within the classroom.
Be aware of possible gaps in learning with an understanding that the student teacher is on a professional induction journey with more to learn.
Enable the student teacher to experience a range of teaching experiences with individual students, small groups and whole-class instruction.
Review the student teacher's lesson plans before they are taught (preferably a day before) and provide feedback.
Debrief with the student teacher at the conclusion of the lesson.
Provide frequent and regular opportunities to dialogue with the student teacher regarding teaching and student interactions.
Serve as a teaching role model for the student teacher and guide the student teacher in developing the requisite skills in relation to:
- Establishing relationships with students, parents and colleagues
- Establishing inclusive learning environments
- Planning, organizing and managing instruction
- Determining lesson and unit plan format and expectations
- Obtaining instructional resources and materials
- Understanding Alberta Education documents and expectations (specifically, applying the Teaching Quality Standard in their practice)
- Assessing and evaluating student achievement
- Understanding student needs
- Using effective teaching strategies and skills
- Managing a positive learning environment
- Developing reflective practice
- Developing strategies for effective supervision
Remain responsible for the teaching occurring in the classroom and ensure the student teacher is under the direct supervision of a certificated teacher at all times.
Facilitate faculty supervisory lesson observations as directed by the preservice teacher preparation program.
Provide formative and summative evaluations of the student teacher teaching in a timely fashion.
Provide opportunities to discuss ongoing student teacher progress (evaluation).
With the assistance of the university advisor, prepare a draft of the summative evaluation.
Adhere to the preservice teacher program guideline in the event of concerns with the student teacher.
In the case of multiple cooperating teachers, shared responsibility for associated tasks should be established.
Faculty of Education, University of Alberta. 2020. “Field Experiences.” University of Alberta website. www.education.ualberta.ca