Should I Take a Student Teacher?
Student teaching is the premier experience for every teacher candidate. After tons of coursework, pre-clinical teaching experiences, mountains of reflective notes and hours of observations we send them to you, the cooperating teacher. We hope we have prepared them for a successful and productive time in your classroom. Hosting a teacher candidate is an important time for you and the teacher candidate. As an experienced professional, you have been designing lessons, developing the smooth flow of classroom management and creating a respectful culture in your art classroom. This takes time, dedication and a great deal of effort that makes you the perfect mentor! Here are a few thoughts to share with you when you are considering hosting the teacher candidate:
1. Tasks that you can complete in a systematic and efficient way will be disrupted by an eager learner who has many questions such as: how did you decided to grade art work like this; where did you get the idea to hand out supplies like this; why did you decide to put the tables in the room like this, etc.
2. Concepts that you teach in the art class may have a new twist to them. A teacher candidate may ask if they can try an idea in a different way.
3. Lessons that normally run very smoothly may have some up and down moments in the hands of teacher candidates.
4. Ideas and creative approaches will be on fire in your classroom. You will enjoy the interaction with the teacher candidate and their enthusiasm to teach.
5. Partnerships will be formed between wonderful mentors and appreciative interns. To this day, I have not forgotten my two cooperating teachers and all the care and guidance they gave me as a young art educator, actually I imagine you have not forgotten about your cooperating teacher either.
Chicago Directors of Student Teaching [CADST] (2003). Cooperating Teacher’s Reference Guide.
-Anne L. Becker, EdD