Essays in Education


This article critically examines the results of a survey completed by fifty-seven cooperating teachers from nine different school districts in the greater Philadelphia area. All of the cooperating teachers had welcomed elementary education student teachers into their classrooms. Strategies used to help alleviate student teachers’ fears and concerns related to their student teaching experience are shared and explored. Findings suggest that teachers use a multitude of strategies to calm their student teachers and set them up for a successful student teaching semester. Cooperating teachers detailed the tasks needed to be accomplished BEFORE the beginning of the student teaching semester to ensure a smooth and successful experience. Detailed information stating when and how student teachers should assimilate into the classroom are provided, plus strategies such as observing, modeling, and journaling are noted as significant ways cooperating teachers can assist pre-service educators. Overall, this collection of strategies was compiled so all involved in the student teaching relationship (the students, student teacher, and cooperating teacher) experience a fulfilling and meaningful experience in the classroom. Implications for change and future research are provided.

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