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    cooperating teachers
    By Cathy-Dee

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    I know when I went through my student teaching I also wanted to ensure once I began my teaching career to offer my classroom as a learning place too. However once you actually do start teaching, having a student teacher is a responsibility that sometimes is hard to take on. I've been teaching 8 years now and I will be having my first student-teacher at the end of January and I'm looking forward to it.

    However I can see why some teachers hestitate to have a student teacher in their classroom. First a cooperating teacher has to be willing to share their time and knowledge (not always easy for some) and then they have to be willing to let go of their class for a short time (also not easy for some). I think the comment made about someone following them around was not meant necessarily in a negative way, but in that as a teacher you have someone watching you and everything you do. From being observed by Principals as part of my contract and certification requirements it is not always enjoyable having someone observing you. And some teachers feel they have to be "perfect" if they have a student teacher so they do not allow themselves the experience.

    I do hope that there are always teachers willing and able to share their knowledge and teaching styles with those learning the profession. I'm glad you have had positive learning experiences with your student teaching. It sounds like you were well prepared to go into the classroom to learn. However there are those few student-teachers who require more guidance and in fact do follow the teacher around quite a bit so perhaps the teacher who made the original comment had a negative experience with a student teacher or knew someone who did. I believe it is important that any teacher who offers their classroom as a learning experience for a student teacher should be prepared and organized to assist the student teacher in all areas. It would be worse for a student teacher to be "forced" onto a teacher who didn't really want to have a student teacher in their room.

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