Early Field Cooperating Teachers Selection and Placement Procedures
Two important factors in the development of a successful field experience program are:
1. the availability of effective cooperating schools for field experience; and
2. the matching of cooperating teachers and teacher candidates.
1. The administration and faculty of the School of Education, or a school district superintendent or his/her representative, may express a desire to have field experience teacher candidates placed within a particular school.
2. The school district must possess the following qualities or resources:
Early field placements are made through a cooperative and mutual agreement with P-12 schools and agencies. These arrangements are initiated and completed by the Early Field Coordinator in collaboration with the Dean and in accordance with School of Education policies and procedures. Candidates are generally placed in university-school partnerships and the Middle Road Professional Development School.
Field-based experiences are designed to provide teacher candidates with many, varied opportunities to transfer their learning to real life settings where the entire school focuses on P-12 learning. The faculty and staff of the School of Education endorse field placements in multicultural districts and diverse classrooms. Field assignments are designed for Monmouth University teacher candidates that prioritize opportunities to interface with P-12 students of differing abilities, race and cultural backgrounds.
The cooperating teacher is the single most important component of a successful early field experience. Modeling exemplary classroom practices, a cooperating teacher offers the early field experience teacher candidate opportunities to provide effective instruction, observe and practice successful classroom management strategies, and develop positive social interactions among pupils and adults.
To serve as a cooperating teacher, a teacher must:
Early field supervisors or School of Education professors are assigned for each student doing field work in a district. These supervisors will be checking with your cooperating teacher at least twice during the semester to be sure you have made contact and have begun your field hours, as well as checking to be sure you have completed your field hours. This information is then passed on to your professors. When fieldwork courses are taught by university faculty on site, the professor of record consults with the cooperating teacher and building administrator.
Student Teaching Cooperating Teacher Selection, Roles, and Responsibilities
The role of the cooperating teacher is one of the most important and meaningful roles in the preparation of future teachers. The cooperating teacher is a major force in the professional preparation of teacher candidates. Being a cooperating teacher is a wonderful and exciting mentoring responsibility.
The National Research Council has identified field work as one of the three aspects of teacher preparation likely to have the highest potential for positive effects on outcomes for students. Student teaching, then, is one of the most important learning activities a future teacher will experience before assuming the responsibilities of a classroom. This guided practice in a real-life situation allows teacher candidates to observe, practice, and test their skills in controlled situations. The teacher candidate is a novice who will look to the cooperating teacher for help, guidance, suggestions, and support. It is imperative that the cooperating teacher frame and nurture the efforts of the teacher candidate in a manner that positively affects the learning of teacher candidates and P-12 students.
The cooperating teacher models teaching behaviors, differentiated instruction, and multiple assessment strategies, and explains to the teacher candidate what they did and why they made certain decisions. The results of effective teaching practice on student learning need to be made clear to this beginning professional. As the teacher candidate begins to accept instructional assignments, the cooperating teacher offers to act as a sounding board as the candidate examines and evaluates his/her own teaching decisions and performance through the process of professional reflection. The cooperating teacher discusses and collaborates with the teacher candidate as he/she strives to demonstrate excellence in teaching the 21st century skills needed for success in a global economy. The cooperating teacher also discusses and collaborates with the teacher candidate as he/she develops and implements the required Teacher Work Sample unit of instruction.
The Office of Certification, Field Placements, and School Partnerships sends formal student teaching placement requests along with student teacher resumes to school districts in order to match student teachers and cooperating teachers for a full semester of full-time student teaching. The Director of Field Placements works closely with the school districts that host the Monmouth University School of Education student teachers. The Director of Field Placements communicates with school district administrators and staff throughout the student teaching placement process. This ensures that each student teacher is placed with a cooperating teacher who can best mentor the student teacher in completing their Monmouth University program and do all that is required for New Jersey state teaching certification.
We at Monmouth University acknowledge our cooperating teachers’ commitment to the profession and their valuable service and guidance to our teacher candidates. The role of the mentor teacher, in accordance with the NJ Professional Standards for Teachers, N.J.A.C. #6A:9-10.3 (d), is critical to the professional development of teacher candidates.
For Cooperating Teacher’s Roles and Responsibilities, please refer to the Monmouth University School of Education Student Teaching Handbook.