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Cooperating Teacher

Clinical Teaching

The clinical teaching semester is one of the most important components of our teacher education program. The clinical teaching site and cooperating teacher are critical for the success of the clinical teacher. The cooperating teacher may be the single most influential person the clinical teacher encounters in their development from pre-service teacher to professional educator. Tarleton State University sincerely appreciates the skilled and dedicated professionals who are willing to serve in this extremely important role of cooperating teacher.

Role of the Cooperating Teacher

  1. Introduce the clinical teacher as one of the teachers.
  2. Explain to the clinical teacher what is expected of him/her as a teacher at the particular school, including an orientation of the following:
    1. School policies and procedures
    2. Lesson plans and unit plans
    3. Appropriate student records
    4. Student Handbook and Faculty Handbook
  3. Provide a desk/table and chair, copy of teaching schedule, and a teacher’s edition of each textbook for the clinical teacher.
  4. Help the clinical teacher develop successful classroom management techniques.
  5. Place the clinical teacher in as many different situations as possible during the time that he/she is under your direction.
  6. Ensure that the clinical teacher teaches as much as possible during the time that he/she is in your class.
  7. Complete an on-line mentor training module from Tarleton State University each year.

Recommendations to the Cooperating Teacher

  1. Allow the clinical teacher to assume teaching responsibilities gradually. The following are examples of ways to turn your class over to the clinical teacher.
    1. Give the clinical teacher the responsibility of one or two classes.
    2. When ready, increase the clinical teacher’s teaching load to a third or fourth class.
    3. You should provide the opportunity for the clinical teacher to write and teach a minimum of one unit, which will be taught during a minimum of three weeks of full time teaching. It is suggested that the clinical teacher be allowed to teach more than three weeks.
  2. Set aside time each week for:
    1. a formal meeting weekly to review the clinical teacher’s teaching and professional roles, document strengths and identify areas needing improvement, and create goals for the coming week
    2. informal observations
    3. planning the next week’s lessons
  3. Communicate to the field supervisor your concerns, suggestions, or obvious problems with the clinical teacher.
  4. Be willing to let the clinical teacher try a variety of strategies and methods.
  5. Help the field supervisor make frequent evaluations of progress. Constructive feedback helps the supervisors do a better job in conferencing with the clinical teacher. The cooperating teacher’s feedback/evaluations are considered when the supervisor determines the final grade.