ATA Focus Group: Wise Words of Advice to Student Teachers From Cooperating Teachers
The following is a summary of the sage comments offered to student teachers by cooperating teachers in Association Area Field Experiences Committee focus groups in 2018.
- Bring an open mind to your field experience.
- Be punctual, prepared, present, positive and professional.
- You are a professional—act like one in your actions, attire and attitude.
- Be aware of and fully understand the school expectations for you. If unclear, ask.
- Quickly establish rapport and intentional relationships with your students.
- Master the target teaching language, both in written and oral fluency.
- If needed, practise your penmanship on whiteboards.
- Show initiative in finding resources other than those given to you.
- Being a professional means contributing to the wealth of knowledge within the school community by developing your own resources.
- There are no silly questions. Nope! None!
- Be willing to make mistakes and grow from them.
- Immerse yourself in the school community.
- This is your time to try a variety of teaching strategies—there is a safety net under you.
- Commit to being a learner and learn from your cooperating teacher, the students and the whole school community.
- Continuously reflect on your practice.
- Communication is key! Keep the lines of communication open with your cooperating teacher and university faculty advisor.
- Be honest and realistic.
- Be available to meet with your cooperating teacher at their convenience.
- You are a guest in the school—understand what that looks like, feels like and sounds like.
- Supervision of students involves a professional liability. Ensure you are not distracted by your cellphone.
ATA Field Experience Committee Meetings Focus Groups, 2018