The Acorn

A Newsletter for CSB/SJU Cooperating Teachers

Volume 2, issue 14 * March 4, 2020


(All issues of The Acorn are available on the CSB/SJU Education Department website under Student Teaching. Access them through this link.

Growing, Nurturing, Developing, and Supporting

"The Acorn" is a newsletter for the cooperating teachers working with student teachers from the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University. This publication is intended to help our cooperating teachers understand their roles and responsibilities as well as provide them with current research and best practice on working with student teachers.

Goal Setting for Student Teachers

As teachers, we seek growth in our students in many ways, and often that growth is driven by the content and practices we establish for our students and our classrooms. We set expectations and goals for our students and support them in the achievement of those goals. We provide feedback for our students as they walk through processes and upon completion of tasks that will guide them further toward meeting the established goals and expectations. However, at some point, the students must own their own learning goals and develop their own expectations because we know that goal setting “promote[s] student learning and achievement” (Camp, 2017, p. 61). Grounded in our support and based on the feedback they have received, students should be able to set and reach goals they set that meet multiple expectations. This is true, as well, for our student teachers.


Our student teachers are at the mid-point of their student teaching experiences, and they have received a great deal of feedback from supervisors, cooperating teachers, and others along their paths to becoming licensed teachers. Now, it is time for student teachers to be purposeful in setting goals for themselves. Heather Camp, professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato, studied goal setting as professional development and found that goal setting can “energize and direct, encourage skill development and perseverance” (2017, p. 70). While goal setting cannot “substitute for skills and abilities that are beyond a teacher’s reach,” they can help a teacher “chart their own path toward learning and improvement” (p. 70). This is where cooperating teachers and supervisors can play a pivotal role in the student teacher’s efficacy.


For goals to come to fruition, there must be commitment. Slocum, Cron, and Brown (2002, as cited in Camp, 2017) stated, “no motivational effects will occur from goal setting if there is no commitment to a goal” (p. 68). To increase goal commitment, the student teacher’s support team (cooperating teacher, supervisor, university faculty and staff) can assist in walking the student teacher through setting the goals, supporting steps in goal completion, making the goals public, and clarifying elements of the goal. Because cooperating teachers have day-to-day contact with student teachers, it would be helpful to assist the student teachers in their goal setting and follow-through. The Victorian Institute of Teaching recommended a collaborative and coordinated process for this (see figure below). Consider the power of this goal narrative as it builds from evidence and requires more evidence to prove that the goal has been met.



Student teachers are being asked to look at their observations, evaluations, and notes to create three goals for themselves as merging educators. In doing so, I ask cooperating teachers and supervisors to assist them in creating these narratives and in supporting them with the processes necessary for achieving their goals.


References:

Camp, H. (2007). Goal setting as teacher development practice. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, (29)1, 61-72.

Victorian Institute for Teaching (n.d.) Goal setting guide for teachers. Retrieved from https://cpb-ap-se2.wpmucdn.com/global2.vic.edu.au/dist/9/8503/files/2017/04/Final_TEACHER_Guide_Writing_PDP_goals-16y8a25.pdf

Goal Setting Cycle

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What to Do in Weeks 10 & 11 (based on student teacher's timeline)

Remember that helpful information can be found in our Student Teaching Handbook.


For cooperating teachers with students in 12- or 16-week placements:

*If you haven’t already, complete the mid-placement evaluation and discuss with the student teacher

*Allow the student teacher to teach as much as possible

*Assist student teacher in addressing areas needing improvement with continued informal observations and feedback

*Conduct a formal observation by the end of week 10 (this should be the third formal evaluation)

*For students in a 12-week placement, begin the transitioning process and plan for a final evaluation conference with the university supervisor.


Here are the forms:

Cooperating Teacher’s Mid-Placement Evaluation of Student Teacher (2019-2020)

This evaluation should be done at the mid-point of each placement. A copy of this will be sent to the cooperating teacher, student teacher, and university electronically.

Student Teaching Observations (by CT/US/DST)

This form should be used to complete observations throughout the placement. A minimum of three formal observations of the student teacher is required. The entire form does not need to be completed for each observation; however, by the end of the placement, each part should be addressed.


For cooperating teachers with students beginning their second 8-week placement:

Weeks 10 & 11 (weeks 2 & 3 of this placement)—

*Work with the student teacher in planning, preparation and monitoring of student work

*Review lesson plans as necessary

*Co-teach lessons throughout the day

*Informally observe and provide feedback

*Elementary--have the student teacher take on a minimum of 40 minutes per day

*Secondary--have the student teacher take on one course per day minimum

*Should you wish to conduct a formal observation, please use the form below.

Student Teaching Observations (by CT/US/DST)

This form should be used to complete observations throughout the placement. A minimum of three formal observations of the student teacher is required. The entire form does not need to be completed for each observation; however, by the end of the placement, each part should be addressed.



Please continue to visit with the student teacher about how they are doing, what plans you have, how they can contribute, and deliver any feedback you have about the day. It is best to be transparent, upfront, and clear! Student teachers appreciate honestly knowing how they are doing. It helps calm their nerves and assists in building communication.

Professional Development Opportunity at CSB/SJU

Use the QR code to register.

Hover your camera over the code to be connected with the link.

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CSB/SJU Education Department

Jennifer L. Meagher, Ed.D.

Director of Elementary and Secondary Student Teaching