Skip To Main Content

The Role of the Cooperating Teacher

The Cooperating Teacher is viewed as the primary supervisor of the student teacher and is clearly the person most in touch with the student teacher's concerns, needs, and professional growth throughout the placement. To facilitate this experience, the cooperating teacher is expected to

Planning and Preparation

  • Prepare the class for the student teacher.
  • Collect a set of textbooks for the student teacher and provide helpful materials such as school bulletins, schedules, class rosters, school handbooks and curriculum guides.
  • Provide a work and study space in the classroom.
  • Welcome the student teacher by familiarizing him/her with the school building.
  • Familiarize student teacher with available instructional resources.
  • Ensure that student teacher demonstrates knowledge of content and pedagogy.
  • Ensure that student teacher acquires knowledge of students' skills, interests and special needs.
  • Assist student teacher in lesson and unit design and creating appropriate learning activities.
  • Ensure that assessments align to grade level or subject indicators and benchmarks.

The Classroom Environment

  • Help the student teacher establish effective interactions with students.
  • Guide the student teacher in learning to monitor and respond to student behaviors.
  • Assist the student teacher in understanding how to effectively organize physical space.
  • Ensure the student teacher has high expectations for all students.


  • Guide the student teacher in designing clear and focused directions and procedures.
  • Demonstrate a variety of effective teaching techniques.
  • Explain the reasons behind decisions and suggestions given to the student teacher.
  • Assess the student teacher frequently as to his/her performance on an informal and formal basis, sharing these assessments openly with the student teacher.
  • Guide the student teacher in preparing daily lesson plans, unit plans and tests and approve and critique all plans before they are taught.
  • Require the student teacher to be solely responsible for all planning, preparation, instruction and evaluation for a minimum of three weeks.
  • Arrange for visits to other classrooms from time to time.

Professional Responsibilities

  • Guide the student teacher in understanding and developing the skills of reflective practice.
  • Explain, at appropriate times, methods of keeping attendance, homeroom records, grade and report cards, cumulative folders and other necessary records.
  • Set a weekly meeting time to discuss issues and student progress.
  • Introduce him/her to other school personnel.
  • Provide time for him/her to visit and observe throughout the school.
  • Be flexible in responding to changing needs and concerns of the student teacher.
  • Maintain a positive professional relationship.
  • Inform the principal and college/university supervisor immediately should the student teacher encounter serious problems.
  • Meet with the college/university supervisor on a regular basis to assess the student teacher's progress.
  • Prepare and submit evaluation reports as required by the college/university.
  • By accepting a student teacher, the cooperating teacher understands that s/he is personally entering into an agreement with the college/university. Highland Local Schools is not responsible for the contractual obligations entered into between the cooperating teacher and the college/university.

[Based on A Framework for Teaching by Charlotte Danielson]