The Acorn

A Newsletter for CSB/SJU Cooperating Teachers

Volume 4, no. 7--Friday, November 26, 2021

Growing, Nurturing, and Supporting CSB/SJU Student Teachers

The Acorn is a newsletter for the cooperating teachers working with student teachers from the College of St. Benedict/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 in working with student teachers. Additional information helpful to mentorship, pedagogy, and current issues in education is often included.

A Message from the Director of Student Teaching

The Science of the Positive

Moving into the holiday season and nudged by the idea of thanksgiving, I typically do two things-- reflect on the year and actively work to push out of the doldrums that happen when nights come early and the air becomes cold. As I started this process, I was gazing at my bookshelf and was drawn to Seeds of Fire, Roots of Hope by Dr. Jeffrey W. Linkenbach. Jeff, as he prefers to be called, is the director and chief research scientist at The Montana Institute. In 2014, I had the privilege to attend a summer institute in Big Sky where Jeff worked with each participant to use reflection and hope to find our why and to focus on our journey of transformation (Linkenbach, 2010, p. 89). He helped us to understand and apply the "Seven Guiding Principles" (pp. x-xi) to experience hope, truth, and transformation. At this time of year, spending time with these again brings light and energy.

As I think of the work our educational community has done to prepare CSB/SJU student teachers for the future, I am thankfully reminded that I see these principles embedded in what we do. We change and transform "because:

*Being Positive is our natural state

*Being Present allows us to live the only thing that exists--the Now

*Being Perceptive honors what is right and good in people as well as community

*Being Purposeful brings hope, as we align our intentions with transformation

*Being Perfected we acknowledge we are learners in progress

*Being Proactive means we choose what we give attention to

*Being Passionate directs us toward serving others" (p. x).


I am thankful for our cooperating teachers, university supervisors, faculty and staff who embrace the spirit, science, action, and reflection needed to build, nurture, guide, and support our CSB/SJU emerging educators. You are appreciated!

Weeks 13 & 14 for Student Teachers

For Candidates in 16-week placements:

Weeks 13 & 14--

  • Continue to teach as in week 10 (ten consecutive days of full-time teaching are to be done in this time)

  • Assist student teacher to address areas needing improvement with continued informal observations and feedback

  • Ensure at least four formal observations have been completed

  • Looking ahead: prepare a letter of recommendation


For Candidates in 5-week placements:

Week 1--

  • Help the student teacher get to know your students, the teachers, and the school
  • Review the Orientation Guidelines/Checklist
  • Set up a five-week calendar of teaching responsibilities
  • 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.
  • Determine which classes the student teacher will lead.
  • Allow the student teacher to teach a lesson you have co-planned (30-60 minutes). Observe this lesson and provide feedback to the student teacher. ·

Week 2--

  • Work with the student teacher in planning, preparation of lessons and materials, monitoring student work.
  • Co-teach lessons throughout the day
  • Allow the student teacher to teach approximately ⅓ of teaching load (more if comfortable)
  • Observe and provide informal feedback for at least two lessons this week
  • CT to complete feedback form


For Candidates in 8-week placements:

Week 5 of second placement--

  • Discuss lesson planning and management techniques
  • Encourage the student teacher to observe another classroom or two based on areas needing improvement; upon completion, discuss what was discovered and what could be implemented in current practice
  • Co-teach in classes/subjects the student teacher isn’t leading
  • Conduct one formal observation
  • Elementary: Solo teach at least ½ of the day, more if the candidate is prepared
  • Secondary: Allow the student teacher to teach up to two classes less than a full-time load, if the student teacher is prepared to do so

Week 6 of second placement--

  • Discuss lesson planning and management techniques
  • Informally observe and provide actionable feedback
  • CT to complete feedback form
  • Solo teaching full time for ten consecutive days

Quick Links

CSB/SJU Student Teaching Handbook


Student Teaching Observations (by Cooperating Teacher/University Supervisor/Director)

This observation/evaluation form should be used to complete observations throughout the placement. Six formal observations of the student teacher are required within the span of student teaching. We ask that you complete 6 for a 16-week placement, 5 in a 12-week placement, 3 in an 8-week placement, and 2 in a 5-week placement. The entire form does not need to be completed for each observation; however, by the end of the placement, each part should be addressed.


Additional Forms:

Cooperating Teacher Information (if not completed in the past three years)

Feedback (weeks 2, 6/7, 10, & 12)
Cooperating Teacher's Final Evaluation of Student Teacher

Cooperating Teacher's Dispositional Evaluation of Student Teacher

Learn to shine bright- the importance of self care for teachers. | Kelly Hopkinson | TEDxNorwichED

CSB/SJU Education Department

Jennifer L. Meagher, EdD.

Director of Elementary and Secondary Student Teaching


Allison Spenader, PhD.

Chair