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.
Elfert, M, and A Clarke. 2015. “Surprising That Anyone Would Want to Be a Cooperating Teacher: The Challenges and Rewards of Hosting Student Teachers.” Education Canada (Winter 2015).