Cooperating Teacher Qualifications

Cooperating teachers should complete MEES Online Training.

The cooperating teacher is the key person in the student teaching program. In many cases the success of the teacher candidate is determined by this person. The cooperating teacher is a mentor who models effective teaching practices for the teacher candidate.

Minimum Qualifications

Teachers selected as cooperating teachers in placement schools have been recommended by their building  administrators as teachers with outstanding ability. They are fully certified teachers holding bachelor’s degree and preferably a master’s degree. They have had three or more years of teaching experience including at least one in their present district. Also, they teach a minimum of three periods per day in the major subject matter of their teacher candidate.

Roles and Responsibilities

The cooperating teacher serves a dual function:  teaching students and supervising the work of a teacher candidate. More specifically, the role of the cooperating teacher is summarized in the following list of activities.

The cooperating teacher should:

  1. Become familiar with the background of the teacher candidate (through materials sent by the University).
  2. Plan for the initial orientation of the teacher candidate to the classroom and the school.
  3. Create an accepting atmosphere of the teacher candidate among the students, faculty and community.
  4. Acquaint the teacher candidate with instructional materials.
  5. Introduce the teacher candidate to classroom routines and instructional procedures.
  6. Provide opportunities for observation and participation in various classes and extra-curricular activities.
  7. Provide opportunities in which the teacher candidate may gradually develop skill in planning while evaluating    procedures currently in place.
  8. Provide opportunities for the teacher candidate to test theory in practice in a variety of classroom situations.
  9. Formulate a plan with your Teacher Candidate to create a gradual transition from observation to full-time teaching responsibilities.  Also, formulate a plan if the co-teaching model is utilized. 
  10. Provide for the continuous evaluation of the teacher candidate’s teaching through planned conferences, weekly evaluations, self-evaluation and a final evaluation.
  11. Guide the teacher candidate in attaining cooperatively established objectives.
  12. Provide opportunities for professional growth through attendance at professional and staff meetings.
  13. Complete evaluations of the teacher candidate.

Student teaching must be a carefully directed experience based on the unique abilities of the teacher candidate.  Conditions for success must be built into the experience.