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Student Teacher


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.