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Cooperating Teacher


Substitute Teaching While in a Field Experience

According to provincial policy, a student teacher has no authority to act as a substitute teacher when their cooperating teacher or any other certificated staff member in the school is absent. Both the cooperating teacher and the administration should be well aware of the possible adverse effects and legal ramifications when placing student teachers in these types of vulnerable situations (see FAQs, number 4).

The following is reprinted with permission from Henry and Weber (2016, 7, 10). Minor changes have been made to fit ATA style.

Cooperating teachers are well-advised to ensure student teachers are aware of and understand where to access information when faced with following challenging situations:

  • Child abuse reporting
  • Discipline and physical contact
  • Due process
  • Family education rights
  • Freedom of Information and Privacy Act (FOIP)
  • Providing first aid
  • Administering medication
  • Liability insurance
  • Negligence
  • Seeking parental/guardian permission
  • Rights of students with exceptionalities
  • Search and seizure
  • Professional relationships with stakeholders: students, parents, peers
  • Employment issues: teacher dismissal; discrimination, including harassment and abuse; collective bargaining; teacher liability; student discipline; competency

Cooperating teachers are accountable for their students, regardless of whether the student teacher is teaching or not.