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    first student teacher
    By Trish

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    First, I want to applaud you for taking a student teacher. It must be quite difficulty to do this. I am very territorial and I do not know if I could do this. I just completed my student teaching. After the first month of observing, I took over completely for the following 3 1/2 months. I can tell you that I had extreme difficulty with the idea that I will not finish the school year with 'my' kids. HA! I cried almost the entire day yesterday.
    Ok.. what made my cooperating teacher the best. (As a matter of fact, she won the cooperating teacher of the year award at our banquet)
    First, have a place set up for your student teacher. This will make her feel like a part of the class, not just a visitor. My teacher had a name plate made for me. That made me feel great. Te students also made me posters with my name on them that I posted on the wall next to my desk. When you introduce her/him to your class.. introduce her as a teacher. That was one of the highest compliments that I received. My cooperating teacher would leave computer printed banners/posters on my desk to mark little milestones with congrats on it. EX. "Trish, you are doing a great job! You have made it half way! I am proud of the way you have grown." And with that she would give me a small gift, like a teacher's key chain, a stapler, little things like that. Give criticism but constructive. If you don't, she won't know what she is doing wrong.
    Include her in the background of the children. After all, she will be very involved with them while she is there. If she knows their basic background, she can teach them better. At least, I know that I could.
    Get her involved with the parents. Give her the task of contacting a few every so often. Even if it is just to say something good about the students. Which I feel is just as important if not more.
    And most importantly, make her feel like she is your friend and equal. She will know that she really isn't your equal, and that you are her 'boss' but it is so nice of a feeling to think that your cooperating teacher thinks that highly of you. After all, you will become her mentor. And the highest compliment is to feel that your cooperating teacher thinks of you that way. Mine told the principal that it was like watching herself teach. I highly admire my teacher and was overjoyed to know that she compared herself to me.
    I hope this all made sense.
    I wish you all the luck.

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