Being the Best Cooperating Teacher I Can Be

I had four student teachers in the first half of my career, which was way before Common Core and Resident Educator Programs.

Now in my 20th year, I am working with a graduate student who decided the career of accounting just wasn’t for him. He’s now committed himself to being an intervention specialist.

He’s already spent some time this school year observing for other courses, and he even taught a lesson before Christmas break.  Now he’s with me full-time, and I’m seeking ways to make this the best experience for him.

I had the custodian bring an extra desk to my room so he’d have his own space and feel official.  I am already self-conscious of how neat and tidy he is able to keep his space! Talk about peer pressure!

I’ve also given him a few small tasks to be responsible for:

  • monitoring the 8th grade students’ progress on their upcoming science project
  • conferencing with students about their upcoming MAP test goal for reading
  • gathering informational text articles for a building wide literacy project

That was all in Week 1!

As I head into Week 2, I’ve found myself making my lesson plans more streamlined and a little clearer as far as the learning goals for the students.

I’m going to be honest, having a student teacher has really made me think about how I am teaching and what I are teaching, because I want to be the best model I can be.  It really requires me to break down the process into smaller steps, and pay attention to the little details…things that come naturally to me with 20 years of experience.

I don’t want to overwhelm him, but I definitely want to make this the best experience for him – allowing him to do as much as possible as soon as possible.

Have you had a student teacher or been a student teacher in the past few years?

What worked well?

What should I NOT do?

Please share your thoughts in the comments!


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