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Cooperating Teacher


Good Ideas for Cooperating Teachers to Support Student Teachers’ Success

Use a visual classroom arrangement to record where the student teacher

  • asked questions of the students in the classroom;
  • called on identified (talking stick, thumbs or hands raised, flash card raised) students to answer questions;
  • made eye contact; and
  • circulated among the students.

Use a visual classroom arrangement to indicate whether or not the individual student was engaged in the tasks that the student teacher intended by

  • using a key
    O = on task
    T = not on task
    P = playing
    O = other work
    S = out of seat
    W = waiting for assistance
    G = getting assistance;
  • systematically examining the behaviour of each student for a few seconds and recording the behaviour (for example, 1-A, 1-T and so on, for first observation); and
  • repeating this observation at three- to four-minute intervals for the duration of the period (for example, 2-P, 3-S and so on, for subsequent observations).

With regulatory guidelines in place, record what the student teacher says word for word to help the student teacher to

  • be aware of grammatically correct language and vocabulary being used (use of slang and colloquial language, use of filler words such as like or um);
  • analyze the kinds of questions being asked;
  • identify the kinds of responses the student teacher is giving;
  • analyze directions to see if they are clear for the students; and
  • be aware of body language.

Coteach* with the student teacher

  • to continue to model effective teaching,
  • to ease the student teacher into the teaching role and
  • to ensure that students’ learning is on track.

*It is important to determine beforehand exactly which parts of the lesson will be done by whom.

Provide written feedback after each lesson observed, with

  • comments related to areas of strength and growth,
  • attention to detail (specific items that could lead to better learning),
  • suggestions for improvement, and
  • the opportunity to ask questions and discuss.