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Cooperating Teacher


Tips for Cooperating Teachers

The following is reprinted with permission from Elfert and Clarke (2015). Minor changes have been made to fit ATA style.

  • Model both the preparation for and the practice of teaching.
  • Encourage student teacher reflection, and don’t stop mentoring them once they have learned practical skills, such as lesson planning and classroom management.
  • Offer suggestions and observations from personal experience, and share reflections about the teaching and learning process (for example, in a joint-journalling exercise).
  • Let the student teachers experiment with “doing it their way.”
  • Make student teachers feel like “teachers” by treating them like professionals—for example, by introducing them as fellow teachers, clearing desk space, preparing a binder with information, giving them the opportunity to introduce themselves to the parents and so on.
  • Inquiry is a defining feature of professional practice; therefore, it is essential to inquire into your own mentoring practice.