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Cooperating Teacher Resources

Role of the Cooperating Teacher

Cooperating Teachers play a critical role in the growth and development of a student teacher. Morehead State University recognizes and appreciates your efforts to share model teaching practices and provide ongoing and continuous feedback to your student teacher. We thank you for your willingness to mentor our MSU Student Teaching Candidate.

Please review the following:

  • Please be aware that 16 KAR 5:040(3) states that the “ratio of student teachers to cooperating teachers shall be one-to-one.” If you have agreed to a placement for another college or university, please ensure that the placement dates do not overlap. 
  • Please be sure to complete BOTH Part A & B Trainings PRIOR to your student teacher entering the classroom as outlined in 16 KAR 5:040(3).
  • Part A generally takes around 40-45 minutes to complete, while Part B takes about 30-40 minutes. You cannot stop and start the training; however, you can do Part A separately from Part B.
  • Please be sure to update your EPSB account and ensure that your primary account is your school email and not your personal email.
  • Please ensure you are conforming to 16 KAR 5:040(1), which states:
    • The cooperating teacher, whether serving in a public or nonpublic school, shall have:
      • (a) A valid teaching certificate or license for each grade and subject taught; and
      • (b) At least three (3) years of teaching experience as a certified educator.
    • A teacher assigned to a teaching position on the basis of a provisional or emergency certificate issued by the Education Professional Standards Board shall not be eligible for serving as a cooperating teacher.
  • If any of the above in Item #4 is an issue for you to be a cooperating teacher, please let us know immediately.
  •  Please be sure to submit in a timely fashion your observation and dispositions evaluations of your student teachers within Taskstream. These assessments are vital not only as a tool for growth for your student teachers but are also required as part of MSU’s accreditation process.
  • At the beginning of the placement, you will receive an email from “Watermark/Taskstream” with instructions on creating your account.
  • Download this guide to learn how to how to complete student teacher evaluations in Taskstream. Faculty – Clinical Practice Assessments (link)

Responsibilities of the Cooperating Teacher

  1. Ensure all training requirements have been met.
  2. With the student teacher (ST), review the specific tasks that need to be completed in CED 499 with the support of the Clinical Educator (CE).
  3. Meet with the ST before the placement begins to review texts, curriculum guides, sample lesson plans, daily schedule, handbooks, classroom management plan/school wide behavior management plan and location of gym, library, etc.
  4. Introduce your ST to your students. Use Ms. or Mr. to address your ST so your students see your ST as another teacher in the classroom.
  5. Carefully watch your own attitude toward the ST because your students will echo your attitude (the goal is to treat the ST as a professional and another teacher in the classroom).
  6. Exemplify the best teaching techniques, planning, organization, assessment, individual student differences, differentiation, classroom management, and reflection.
  7. Allow the ST to engage in instructional lessons from Day 1 using co-teaching and require increasing responsibility throughout the clinical experience. The Cooperating Teacher (CT) should ensure that the ST can identify and summarize key elements of lessons being presented in the classroom such as learning targets, varied forms of assessment data being used in the classroom, specific content instructional strategies being used, etc. CT will require ST to submit all lesson plans to CT and keep these available for review.
  8. Co-teach and co-plan upcoming lessons. Review lessons prior to implementation and provide feedback as necessary.
  9. Formally observe at least one lesson using the observation instrument (for an 8-week placement). This will be completed in Taskstream. 16-week placements will observe at least 2 lessons.
  10. Provide support and information that will allow the ST to complete units of instruction.
  11. Set aside time each week for conferencing. Share strengths and areas for improvement weekly.  Share serious concerns with their University Supervisor (US).
  12. Review each of the tasks the ST is responsible for and work with him/her throughout the professional semester.
  13. Communicate weekly with the University Supervisor (US) about the progress and goals for the student teacher.  Share any concerns in this weekly email communication.
  14. Verify the daily attendance of ST with the monthly calendar submitted by the ST.
  15. Complete the Final Evaluation for your ST in Taskstream.

Planning with the Student Teacher Candidate

  • The need for planning is critical: Assist in clarifying the teacher candidate’s purposes and procedures; learn expectations of the CT; develop skills in lesson planning and providing feedback during planning.
  • The CT should plan to meet with the ST at a designated and uninterrupted time each week. This planning time can be used to revise plans, suggest revisions, provide feedback, and handle problems or situations in the classroom together.
  • The CT should provide effective and accurate feedback. Be very specific with feedback including recommendations for improvement. Keeping an anecdotal record of the teacher candidate’s actual behavior, expressions used, and timing will help to evaluate teaching effectiveness.  Encourage self-reflection (how did your lesson go) and recommendations for improvement. Be honest with the ST, as our profession is all about growth as a teacher.
  • The ST should have the opportunity to take the lead with instruction as often as possible.
  • The ST is expected to fully participate in all school activities, responsibilities, and duties.
  • The ST should not feel that there is only one correct instructional approach for teaching but should begin to acquire a repertoire of strategies.
  • The ST will need help to see the students as individuals and will need to know about students with differentiation needs (IEP’s, gifted, ELL, 504, etc.).
  • The CT should provide the ST with seating charts, arrange work with individuals and small groups, hold frequent informal conferences, and encourage the ST to take advantage of opportunities to meet parents.
  • The ST should realize that good teaching is creative. To achieve this creativity, the ST must feel that actions are not narrowly outlined by a teaching manual, textbook, CT, or University Supervisor (US).
  • The ST should be encouraged to use a wide variety of teaching techniques: student investigations, laboratory work, group discussions, debates, question-and-answer periods, directed study, small group instruction and research based instructional strategies.
  • Required Training & Documentation
  • Admissions, Placement and Supervision in Student Teaching (Part A) 
  • Co-Teaching Training - Best Practice in Supporting a Student Teacher (Part B)

Cooperating Teacher Training & Resources: