Cooperating Teacher of a Clinical Practice Candidate
Teachers selected for mentoring teacher education candidates are professionals in whom the faculty in the School of Education has great confidence. You have been invited to participate in this endeavor because of your excellent professional record and because you have indicated an earnest desire to provide beginning teachers the best possible introduction to teaching. Baldwin Wallace University is deeply grateful to you for your willingness to mentor our candidates.
Sequence of Responsibilities for the Teacher Education Candidates
The term of clinical practice involves a gradual introduction to, and eventual assumption of, the full range of experiences associated with teaching. As always, teacher education candidates and cooperating teachers should consider the particular requirements of the classroom setting, students, and program. The following schedule is a general one that allows teacher education candidates to assume increased teaching responsibilities over the semester:
The Induction Phase of Clinical Practice- The first and second weeks of clinical practice should include orientation to the classroom, school, and community, and preparation for assuming major teaching activities. Whenever possible during these first two weeks, the teacher education candidates should assume some responsibility for teaching or working with individual or small groups of students and assist the teacher. It is very important for the candidate to get to know the names of students and staff with whom they work. Also, this is the when the candidate should become familiar with school policies, especially those that relate to safety and security.
The Initial Teaching Phase of Clinical Practice – During the next few weeks of clinical practice, the teacher education candidates may start teaching one subject or skill to a small group of students (early childhood), or portions of one class (middle and secondary). The teacher education candidates should begin with one area of concentration and gradually assume additional teaching responsibilities. Also during this phase, teacher education candidates should continue to work with individual or small groups of students and assist the cooperating teacher.
The Sustained Teaching Phase of Clinical Practice – By week five of the clinical practice, teacher education candidates should take on more responsibility for the teaching. At this point, teacher education candidates should be teaching two or three classes/subjects. They should also attend faculty meetings; continue to work with small groups; and plan for continued class involvement. In addition, the teacher education candidates should assume some of the supervisory responsibilities that are part of the cooperating teacher’s job (i.e. supervision of the cafeteria, playground, study hall, bus duty, etc.).
When deemed appropriate, or no later than the end of week eight, the teacher education candidates should assume complete responsibility of the instructional program. During this phase, planning and implementation of the educational program is the entire responsibility of the teacher education candidate, in consultation with the cooperating teacher who provides assistance, makes suggestions, and provides evaluative feedback.
The Concluding Phase of Clinical Practice – During the last week of the clinical practice experience, the teacher education candidate should decrease his or her teaching responsibility, gradually returning the instructional program to the cooperating teacher. If possible, it is recommended that teacher education candidates take some time to observe other classrooms in the building or district.
Cooperating Teacher Forms