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Roles & Responsibilities of the Cooperating Teacher

The professional development educator is the most important factor in the quality and the success of the student teaching experience. While the supervisory responsibility is shared with the college field supervisor, the CT  has a tremendous influence on the professional development of the student teacher. 


Throughout the engagement in the preparation of teachers, there is a need to be aware of the “art and science” of mentoring by providing a realistic, but supportive, learning experience for teacher candidates. Student teachers need acceptance, understanding, encouragement, support, scaffolding, and guidance in their efforts to identify their individual strengths and their areas of professional development. This collaborative and collegial process will provide the vital constructive feedback to engage student teachers in self-reflection that fosters professional growth.

The CT provides the necessary learning opportunities and initiates the dialogues that provide an accurate assessment of their teaching-efficacy.

Cooperating Teacher’s Responsibility to the Teacher Candidate

  • Provide an atmosphere within the classroom and school and between the school and college for the teacher candidate to achieve maximum progress and success. 
  • Provide time for two-way conferences with the college field supervisor and a three-way conference with the teacher candidate and the CFS when needed.
  • Provide time on a weekly basis for two-way conferences with the teacher candidate to discuss progress in depth.
  • Treat the teacher candidate as a "co-teacher," including him or her in all classroom and non-classroom activities such as faculty and PTA meetings. 
  • Model effective classroom management techniques for the teacher candidate.
  • Help the student teacher implement efficient daily routines and procedures.
  • Demonstrate best practices methods.
  • Provide understanding, acceptance, encouragement, freedom, and guidance in order to assist the teacher candidate in achieving professional goals.
  • Provide opportunities for the teacher candidate to experiment with teaching ideas and assist in the development of his/her own teaching style.
  • Facilitate the teacher candidate in getting to know students, faculty, special teachers, administrators, and staff.
  • Review daily and long-range plans and provide feedback as applicable.
  • Make written observations of student teacher’s teaching endeavors (Note: One formal observation each week is the general expectation. It is recommended that you prepare a brief summary for the three-way conferences during the mid-quarter evaluation and the final evaluation. (The college field supervisor will explain the process in more detail.)

Evaluation by the Cooperating Teacher

  • The evaluative process is a concerted and collaborative effort. Your feedback is valued and welcomed. The college field supervisor, however, will be responsible for completing the paperwork for the mid-quarter and Final Evaluation. It is essential that the student teacher receive regular specific evaluative input throughout the experience. The CT should document comments and suggestions with specific classroom observations.
  • The CT should complete at least one "Student Teaching Observation Form” assessment forms each week.
  • The formative & summative forms will be provided to the CT & supervisor and should provide the basis for in-depth conferences during which time the teacher candidate’s strengths and needs can be assessed. Joint conferences between the teacher candidate, the CT, and the supervisor are recommended at the beginning, middle, and end of each student teaching experience.
  • Professional development educator’s responsibility to the student teaching supervisor:
    • Utilize the CFS as a resource person.
    • Provide the setting and conditions for positive student teaching.
    • Inform the CFS of school policies.
    • Accept the responsibility of actively participating in the evaluation process.
    • Participate in supervisory training when possible.


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