Cooperating Teacher Resource Guide

The Cooperating Teacher Resource Guide (CTRG) is for educational professionals who are mentoring Teacher Candidates. This guide will serve as orientation and training for a Cooperating Teacher. The CTRG is a guideline for the Cooperating Teacher’s expectations of a Teacher Candidate, as well as a guide for how to assess them.

This guide may also serve as a resource for experienced Cooperating Teachers who may need an update or review on Tift College of Education’s preparation procedures, policies, and criteria.

The selection of Supervising Teachers (Cooperating Teachers) will adhere to the guidelines set forth by the Tift College of Education and the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. Supervising Teachers will:

  1. Be professionally certified in the field of certification sought by the Teacher Candidate;
  2. Have a minimum of three (3) years of experience in a teaching, service, or leadership role; and
  3. Have demonstrated (through formal evaluations) successful performance in the field of certification sought by the Teacher Candidate.

The following checklist provides a Cooperating Teacher with guidance for preparing a Teacher Candidate to participate and/ or teach within the classroom:

  • Exchange contact information with Teacher Candidate, specifying your communication preferences
  • Confirm the schedule for the Teacher Candidate to be in the classroom
  • Discuss the requirements of the field experience with the Teacher Candidate
  • Discuss how the Teacher Candidate can assist you in accomplishing tasks in the classroom
  • Relate any specific school policies and procedures, classroom policies and procedures, or norms that might apply to the Teacher Candidate during the experience including staff parking, bus procedures, and sign-in/out.
  • Relate dress, behavior, timeliness, and confidentiality expectations
  • Address appropriate use of technology in the classroom, including cell phones, texting, and taking photos
  • Discuss classroom management and discipline techniques being used
  • Review school calendar
  • Orient Teacher Candidate to the school community, including faculty, administrators, and support staff
  • Introducing the Teacher Candidate to the parents and students as "your other teacher" or "my co-worker" or a member of our "teaching team" will convey the impression of a peer relationship.
  • Acquaint the Teacher Candidate with type(s) of lesson plans used in the school and classroom
  • Articulate the amount of instructional freedom and autonomy allowed in the classroom, including making changes with furniture, bulletin boards, etc.
  • Demonstrate and explain the grading system
  • Establish a time for conferencing with the Teacher Candidate
  • Establish a post observation conference time during which you may discuss the Teacher Candidate's strengths and areas needing improvement 

The Office of Field Placement is going digital this year!

1. The Cooperating Teacher Resource Guide will serve as orientation and training for a Cooperating Teacher. The Cooperating Teacher Resource Guide is a guideline for the Cooperating Teacher’s expectations of a Teacher Candidate, as well as a guide for how to assess them.

Please continue to refer to the online Cooperating Teacher Resource Guide as it is a living document, and subject to change.

2. Evaluation forms will be completed on the Tift Online Field Experience System (TOFES) (https://apps.mercer.edu/tofes/login.cfm?CT)

Field experience is an integral part of the Teacher Preparation Program. Each Candidate is expected to complete field experiences in diverse settings and meet cluster requirements of their individual program plan. All students must hold a Pre-Service Certificate or an IN4T certificate.

Field experiences are those activities that include organized and sequenced engagement of Candidates in settings that provide opportunities to observe, practice, and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions delineated in institutional, state, and national standards. The experiences must be systematically designed and sequenced to increase the complexity and levels of engagement with which Candidates apply, reflect upon, and expand their knowledge and skills. Since observation is a less rigorous method of learning, emphasis should be on field experience sequences that require active professional practice or demonstration, and that include substantive work with P-12 students and P-12 personnel as prescribed by Tift College of Education.

All Early Childhood Education Candidates must have field experiences in the following grade clusters: Pre K-K, 1-3, and 4-5. Field experiences are coordinated through the Office of Field Placement, and additional fees will be assessed for each field experience course.

All Middle Grade Education Candidates must have field experience in the following grade clusters: 4-5, 6-8; One Concentration Area, 6-8; Second Concentration Area. Field experiences are coordinated through the Office of Field Placement, and additional fees will be assessed for each field experience course.

All Secondary Education Candidates must have field experience in the following grade clusters: (1) Experience in  6-8; Concentration area,  and (2) Experiences in 9-12; Concentration Area. Field experiences are coordinated through the Office of Field Placement, and additional fees will be assessed for each field experience course.

Schedule requirements:

  • Fieldwork I/Fieldwork II/ Pre-Practicum: students are required to complete their individual schedules given by the office of field placement. This experience is active observation.
  • Professional Practicum/Mentored Practicum: students are required to complete their individual schedules given by the office of field placement, Cooperating Teacher, and the University Supervisor.  This experience is active observation, assisting, tutoring, lesson planning and teaching lessons, and other duties and responsibilities from the Cooperating Teacher and the University Supervisor.
  • Student Teaching/Internship: students are required to participate in a semester-long full time teaching experience that coincides with the Cooperating Teacher's schedule. This experience includes but is not limited too; active observation, assisting, tutoring, lesson planning and teaching lessons, and other duties and responsibilities from the Cooperating Teacher and the University Supervisor.

If you have questions regarding field experiences, please contact the Office of Field Placement.

"edTPA is a performance-based, subject-specific assessment and support system used by more than 600 teacher preparation programs in some 40 states to emphasize, measure and support the skills and knowledge that all teachers need from Day 1 in the classroom.

Developed by educators for educators, edTPA is the first such standards-based assessment to become nationally available in the United States. It builds on decades of work on assessments of teacher performance and research regarding teaching skills that improve student learning.

It is transforming the preparation and certification of new teachers by complementing subject-area assessments with a rigorous process that requires teacher candidates to demonstrate that they have the classroom skills necessary to ensure students are learning." - from http://edtpa.aacte.org

To submit evaluations on your Teacher Candidate, please log into TOFES (https://apps.mercer.edu/TOFES/login.cfm?CT)

Evaluative Feedback

Evaluative feedback can be made through comments written on the Teacher Candidate's lesson plans, separate evaluation sheets or through verbal discussion. Time should be set aside daily to discuss questions, address concerns, or to provide reflection on the day's events.

For descriptions and sample documents of assessments, see below.

Candidate Assessment on Performance Standards (CAPS)

SAMPLE DOCUMENT

Disposition

SAMPLE DOCUMENT

All Teacher Candidates are assessed at the completion of every course at Mercer. The assessment is conducted in order to facilitate the Candidate’s professional growth; it provides feedback for the Candidate and allows the Candidate to see him or herself through someone else’s eyes.
The assessment is not a part of the Candidate’s grade for the semester. The Mercer policy is that if a Candidate has repeated assessments that demonstrate unacceptable ratings over a period of time and from different Professors and Cooperating Teachers, that Candidate’s assessments will be further evaluated. Please be honest in your evaluation of your Teacher Candidate. This will provide helpful feedback for her or him.

Where can I find all the forms that I need?

All assessments on Teacher Candidates will be completed in TOFES. For descriptions and sample documents, click section heading Evaluation of a Teacher Candidate above.

How are Candidates’ schedules created?

The schedule is created based upon the CT, the Candidate, and the University Supervisor.

Do I get paid?  How do I get paid?  

Only CTs of Candidates in Student Teaching/Internships get a stipend. The Cooperating Teacher voucher form can be found here.

Can a Candidate serve as a Substitute Teacher or Test Proctor for standardized testing?

No, the Candidate cannot serve as a Substitute Teacher or Test Proctor for standardized testing.