Responsibilities of the Cooperating Teachers
Cooperating Teachers must have the Clinical Educator Training, at least three years of successful teaching experience and evidence of reaching Highly Effective Professional Status. Florida Gulf Coast University appreciates the time and effort involved in fulfilling the complex role of the cooperating teacher. This role involves mentoring and evaluating the teaching practice and dispositions of the teacher candidate but cooperating teachers will also fulfill a number of other roles: role model, guide, advisor and colleague. Some of the most important roles involve initiating the candidate into the professional and established norms of the school culture, sharing your wisdom and expertise, and respecting and encouraging innovations. Remember, this is a new situation for the teacher candidate, he/she might not have a sense of what to expect or where he/she will fit into the “scheme of things.” Do not assume that the teacher candidate has background knowledge specific to your classroom situation, by being specific in your directions and expectations you and the candidate will experience less anxiety. Consider working with the student teacher as a co-teacher, plan and teach lessons as a team embracing the Gradual Release of Responsibility paradigm for most of the student teaching experience. Co-planning and co-teaching are effective ways to model sound techniques and better guarantee a quality experience for all. As you prepare to assume this role, the Internship Office hopes you find this list of expectations helpful.