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Cooperating Teacher Tips
Old 12-21-2013, 12:42 PM
 
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I will have a student-teacher for the first time when we return from winter break and I'm starting to feel a bit nervous. I want to make the experience a positive and productive one for my student-teacher. Do any of you wonderful Proteachers have any tips, advice, or insights you are willing to share with me?


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just had one
Old 12-21-2013, 01:23 PM
 
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She was my fourth. I try to go slow and have the student teacher observe for a few days and write down questions or concerns. At the end of the first week she would ask me what she wrote. It is always a good starting point to do that. I then had them slowly start to teach a lesson. I shared everything with her and explained everything that I knew. My main point was to have good classroom management skills. You cannot teach without that. After the first few weeks you can gradually increase the lessons she teaches. Don't be afraid to say something about the lessons she plans. My student teachers always planned too much and I tried to get them to keep it simple. Keep the lines of communication open and you will do fine! Enjoy the experience!
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Student teacher
Old 12-21-2013, 02:28 PM
 
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I had another teacher desk brought in to put across the room for mine. It worked out quite well. I kept my desk as mine.

I decided that I would like lunchtime for myself. I told him that on the first day. It was important to have a little time of separation. Otherwise we spent the entire day together at first. It worked out well too. We ended up talking some but he enjoyed eating at his desk and having a break too.

Make sure you look for good things he or she does as well as ways to improve.

My student teacher came from an alternative certification program. I found he did not know a lesson cycle to follow. When I first started I was taught the Madeline Hunter model. I really like it and showed him that.

I taught him kagan structures and cooperative learning strategies. Showed him early how to get the class's attention quickly.

I teach sixth grade so this may be different from you.

We implemented a bingo game for the class where they could mark off squares when the whole class was doing good things. The students had chosen a reward ahead of time. It was a simple way to promote positive compliments.

Just a few ideas. I had never had a student teacher either and really wanted some info on it too. Good luck!
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Old 12-21-2013, 05:20 PM
 
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I've had several student teachers over the years.
I learned to give them a rules and expectations sheet at the beginning. I hand it to them, and then we discuss it the following day. Any questions, suggestions, or comments are shared and discussed thoroughly.
I gave her a folder with a map of the school, names, important reminders, etc.

I made a small gift for her, including pens, pencils, a small mirror, hand sanitizer, post its, etc.
I gave her an area for her so she does not use my desk. That was major for me.
I had her share yard duty days with me. Good for both of us.

My last suggestion is to be clear about your expectations, and follow through with that. Introduce them to everyone at school, and have him/ her attend staff meetings. A student teacher could be a huge asset, or a great hindrance in your classroom.
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I've had three student teachers.
Old 12-21-2013, 05:42 PM
 
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I always make sure that the ST has a desk and supplies of her own. I let her watch the first week, and then let her start taking the classes she felt most comfortable taking. With one of my STs, I had the assistant principal come in and observe her, just as he would a new teacher. She wanted him to. The others did not want that. That was okay too, but I like to give them that choice.i give them copies of anything in my files that they want, and I set up times for them to observe in other classrooms I've always had positive experiences with my student teachers. I hope your experience is good as well.


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Ideas
Old 12-21-2013, 06:53 PM
 
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I had a wonderful mentor. We became "friends:

1. Be nice and be positive. As student teachers we are nervous enough already and don't believe we ever are doing good. Offer more praise than criticism (of course, there are ways to give good pointers).
2. Set up a space for HER (like a desk area). I did not have this but it would have been nice.
3. Invite her to important meetings (IEP, staff, conferences, etc).
4. Give her your contact info (phone, email, etc) and be willing to stay after to help with her needs.
5. Let he observe for awhile and let he decide when to take over certain subjects if possible. Possibly co-teach---I wish my CT had done that with me!

Hope this helps.
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Old 12-21-2013, 10:21 PM
 
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Know when to step out of the room. My student teacher last year apparently felt much more confident when I would leave the room and let her manage on her own.
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Thank you!
Old 12-26-2013, 11:30 AM
 
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Thank you all for sharing your words of wisdom and insights with me. I will definitely keep it all in mind as I prepare for the quarter with my student-teacher. We will be meeting sometime during break to go over her program requirements and each of our expectations, so that should help ease both our minds a bit.

I already know her pretty well because she did a lot of subbing for me last year. She has gone through a lot to make sure that she could do her student-teaching with me, which is very flattering but is also what makes me nervous. I guess I'm just hoping she'll be able to learn as much from me as she seems to think she will! I'll tell you what though, one of the first tips I will pass along is to sign-up for ProTeacher because this is an amazing community of fantastic, supportive peers!
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