When working as mentors, cooperating teachers (CT or CI) have multiple roles they play in support of student teachers (ST), who are just learning to handle all professional demands. On the other side, student teachers also carry out several different roles as they develop their teaching competence. When working together, cooperating teachers and student teachers who explore these roles build communications that allow them to better support one another and to share the classroom 'space'. Under each role, we've listed sample tasks for you to consider.
The Cooperating Teacher as...
Help the student teacher establish realistic professional goals.
Assist the student teacher to achieve a life-work balance.
Help the student teacher develop meaningful professional relationships.
See the humor in situations to lighten the stress.
Encourage professional growth.
Demonstrate effective instructional strategies.
Establish a supportive and safe learning environment.
Model valid assessment procedures.
Demonstrate flexible thinking and actions.
Explicitly communicate the instructional decision-making process.
Include the student teacher in collegial relationships.