A Newsletter for CSB/SJU Cooperating Teachers
Volume 4, no. 1--Friday, August 27, 2021
Growing, Nurturing, and Supporting CSB/SJU Student Teachers
A Message from the Director of Student Teaching
Thank you to all of our cooperating teachers for welcoming teacher candidates from our program into your classrooms and schools this year. We are grateful for you and honor the work you have done and will do with all of our students. Your involvement in shaping future educators is work we deeply value and appreciate.
We ground our work as teacher educators in our model of Teacher as Reflective Decision Maker and with the institutional values and beliefs embedded in Benedictine traditions. All of these elements center on an individual’s responsibility to thoughtful practice and community. As a mentor teacher, you are bringing someone new into your community—classroom, school, and beyond—to engage in building practices that will positively impact teaching and learning. Darling-Hammond and McLaughlin (2011) remind us that “Teachers learn by doing, reading, and reflecting (just as students do); by collaborating with other teachers; by looking closely at students and their work; and by sharing what they see” (p. 83).
As your time with our student teachers begins, we have been mindful that being a cooperating teacher is a significant commitment of time and energy. We have begun to ease that by having our teacher candidates center their work around goals that will be shared with you. We know that “mentors need to collaborate with the mentee for establishing…goals and facilitate the mentee’s self-reflection towards a higher level of expertise” (Hudson, 2004, p. 144). To become more intentional about their work and growth in the teaching and learning community, our candidates rely heavily on their cooperating teachers for their modeling, feedback, and collaboration to that end.
To help your student teacher succeed, I encourage you to consider the advice of educator Jill Staake (2018):
1. Be honest and direct
2. Model the right behaviors
3. Help them plan in advance
4. Use co-teaching, especially at the beginning
5. Provide constant feedback
6. Be up front when they’re struggling
These tidbits connect us back into our teacher candidates as reflective members of the teaching and learning community and position us to collaborate as builders in the next generation of educators.
Darling-Hammond, L., & McLaughlin, M. W. (2011). Policies that support professional
development in an era of reform. Phi Delta Kappan, 92(6), 81-92.
Hudson, P. (2004). From generic to specific mentoring: A five-factor model for developing
primary teaching practices. European Journal of Teacher Education, 27(2).
Staake, J. (2018, November 16). 6 ways to HELP student teachers succeed. We Are
The First Two Weeks for Student Teachers
Week 1 with Students:
- Help the student teacher get to know your students, the teachers, and the school
- Review the Orientation Guidelines/Checklist
- Assist the student teacher in setting up observations--one of the cooperating teacher and another of a colleague
- Allow the student teacher to assist with planning, preparation of lessons and materials, monitoring of individual and group work.
- Develop a schedule to build reaching responsibilities up to full teaching responsibilities for a minimum of 3 full weeks for 12- and 16- week placements, 2 for 8-week placements.
- Discuss goals the student teacher has and begin providing feedback toward those goals.
Week 2 with Students:
- Work with the student teacher in lesson planning (reviewing plans daily) and management design.
- Co-teach lessons throughout the day
- Conduct informal observations and provide actionable feedback.
- Complete feedback form
- Elementary: Allow the student teacher to solo teach 30-40 minutes per day and lead morning meetings/classroom routines.
- Secondary: Allow the student teacher to fully teach at least one section
Cooperating Teacher Information (if not completed in the past three years)
Feedback (weeks 2, 6, 10, & 12)
Cooperating Teacher's Final Evaluation of Student Teacher
Great Resources for Beginning the Year
"On the Teaching of Souls" Series
Dave Stuart offers a three-part series on starting the school year with a handful of fantastic ideas on the fundamentals of student motivation. Check out his blog here. Click on Part 1 in the article to be redirected to the start.
Back to School Starter Pack
The Teaching Channel helps us to organize our school year by offering checklists based on the grade levels we teach. Check them out and download them from this link.
We are Game Changers
In this motivational video, Jeremy Anderson grounds us in our purpose and pushes us to see ourselves as game changers. Check it out here.