Teacher candidates usually have one shot at a great student teaching placement. Universities can help aspiring teachers in this essential part of their training by setting conditions for strong placements. This includes policies that require student teachers to be placed in classrooms with an exceptional classroom teacher.
Alyson Roberts, an elementary reading intervention teacher with nine years of experience, stresses this important point: candidates need to be paired with cooperating teachers who have a strong record of success. Unfortunately, as our Teacher Prep Review found, this is all too often not the case. Only 28 percent of the 1370 programs evaluated on this standard require that cooperating teachers be good mentors or receive mentorship training. Only nine percent of the programs require that cooperating teachers be effective instructors.
Having a great cooperating teacher for student teaching can be the make-or-break experience for teacher candidates. The quality of a candidate's student teaching experience is too important to be left to chance.
For more information about the Review's Student Teaching Standard and examples of programs that stand out, check out the full findings report.