You have opened your doors, your space, and possibly even your lesson plan cabinet. It can be tough to take a step back and hand the reins to the student teacher, especially when their practices may be very different. It’s vital to share your perspective and words of wisdom. But it’s also important to allow room for trial and error, and ultimately growth. Below are some reminders as your student teacher is most likely handling a full teaching load:
Allow the student teacher to make honest mistakes and to have the opportunity to learn from them. Keep in contact with the university supervisor when they visit, regarding the student teachers’ progress.
Don’t be afraid to leave the classroom for brief periods of time. This time is important in helping the student teacher to determine if they have attained full authority and independence of the classroom.
Although tempting, try not to interrupt the student teacher once they have taken over responsibility of the class. Their directions, techniques and daily procedures will most likely differ from you. Allow the student teacher to work through the experience on their own, and then take the time to go over their perceptions, as well as your own at a later time.
Be sure to have one to two regular meetings per week, although discussion is most likely happening daily. Utilize this time to review lessons, discuss previous lessons, and work on goals to make progress.
It is possible that the Cooperating Teacher may need to step in from time to time—especially if there is a class that is out of control or there is a possibility of someone being harmed.