Kean University - College of Education

Teaching Performance Center

College of Education
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The Cooperating Teacher

of the Professional Intern

A. Responsibilities

1. The Cooperating Teacher assumes responsibility for:

  •  becoming acquainted with the background of the professional intern and using the information to help the student grow as a professional.

  • preparing the classroom students for the arrival of the field experience student.

  • creating an atmosphere in which the professional intern feels welcome.

  • acquainting the professional intern with school policies and procedures.
  • orienting the professional intern to the faculty, staff, school, and community.
  • providing a specific workplace in his/her classroom for the professional intern.
    • encouraging the professional intern to attend staff meetings and to participate in professional development activities as well as other school/district events.
    • reviewing and critiquing the professional internís plans, and with his/her signature, approving the plans.
  • sharing methods of student assessment.
  • encouraging the professional intern to ask questions and experiment, and then to reflect upon what worked and why.

  • providing frequent encouragement, constructive criticism, and recognition of success.

  • urging the professional intern to visit the classes of other teachers who are working with students of different ability, in other subject areas/grade levels, or trying an innovative approach and facilitating these visits by gaining the other teacherís permission prior to the visits.

  • keeping a record of the professional internís progress and submitting assessment reports relative to his/her professional growth and development.

  • involving the professional intern in a variety of instructional methods and strategies including cooperative learning, portfolio assessment, and the use of technology including multimedia and computers.

  • providing time for and maintaining communication with the university supervisor.

  • recognizing that planning and classroom management are two areas most professional interns need to strengthen during their internship semester.

  • helping the professional intern develop as a professional by:
  • aiding in the transition from university student to teacher.
  • enabling him/her to develop an understanding of the aims and purposes of education.

  • fostering an atmosphere in which self-evaluation is valued.

  • participating in university-sponsored professional development activities.
  • reinforcing the awareness of state and national initiatives, including NJ Core Curriculum Content Standards and NJ Professional Teaching Standards.
  • 2. The Cooperating Teacher guides observation and instruction by:

    • encouraging the professional intern to use an organized method to record classroom observations and suggesting teacher procedures and behavior to look for in each area.
    • providing frequent (weekly, at least) opportunities for an in-depth discussion of the cooperating teacher's observations of the professional intern's performance.
  • focusing the professional intern on a variety of people in the professional environment.

  • the pupils or participants

  • the cooperating teacher/practitioner

  • other teachers or professionals within the department, agency or grade level

  • other professional interns and practicum students

  • other agency or school service personnel

    • demonstrating the relationship between instruction and curriculum with

      • school/district procedures

      • a variety of teaching strategies

      • classroom management procedures

      • pupil interaction, particularly as it relates to learning

      • pupil-teacher interactions

      • pupil-pupil interactions

      • physical conditions of the classroom and school

      • instructional technology, media and materials

      • parents and guardians.

    • developing a plan for classroom management consistent with school/district discipline policy.

      • discuss the plan and why it works.

      • furnish a copy of classroom rules and procedures or the code of conduct currently in use.

      • provide management and planning ideas

      • encourage the development of the studentís own management style

      • dentify professional resources, articles, journals and books from which a professional intern might gather additional information and practices.

  • discussing with the professional intern New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards and their impact on daily instruction. Indicate where these core standards are incorporated.

  • reviewing and discussing the use of the curriculum as a guide for choosing materials and strategies as well as planning for the day, week, month and school year.

  • clarifying the expectations of the professional intern about lesson plans:
  • Professional interns are required to write formal lesson plans
  • Cooperating teachers should approve and sign lesson plans prior to their use.
  • B. What Professional Interns Appreciate

    Professional interns appreciate a cooperating teacher who:

    • makes the professional intern feel welcome and comfortable in the school.
    • is available and willing to respond to questions and concerns of the professional intern.
    • gives formal and informal feedback to the professional intern on lessons, management, planning, etc.
    • identifies topics or items on which the professional intern is to focus during the day.
    • encourages the intern to try his/her own ideas and not to be a "carbon copy" of the cooperating teacher.
    • demonstrates a variety of teaching strategies.
    • takes the professional intern to faculty meetings, committee meetings, professional development sessions.
    • helps the intern think about personal management style and its effectiveness with students.
    • displays an interest in future plans of the professional intern.
    • familiarizes the intern with diagnostic screening tests and discusses how to use test results as an effective teaching tool.
    • shares grading procedures and practices, school and/or district grading policies, and authentic assessment specifics with the professional intern.
    • includes the intern in parent conferences or child-study sessions as appropriate.
    • assists the professional intern in planning, writing and administering teacher-made assessment techniques, i.e., tests, portfolios or journals.
    • enjoys the pleasures and satisfactions of teaching while acknowledging the stress that is linked to the responsibilities of the task.

    C. Assessment

    During the semester of professional internship the cooperating teacher is recognized as the professional who bears the major responsibilities for ongoing support, positive language, effective classroom management, content mastery, and modeling of successful teaching practices. This unique relationship, predicated on time involvement and space proximity, places the cooperating teacher in a role to assess the daily progress of the emerging teacher.

    A cooperating teacher is requested to:

  • select lessons during the semester to formally observe and evaluate. Give the professional intern feedback as soon as possible after those observations.

  • complete the PROFESSIONAL INTERNSHIP PERFORMANCE COMPETENCY ASSESSMENT FORM at mid-term as well as at the conclusion of the semester.

  • discuss with the professional intern his/her competency levels throughout the semester and thoroughly at its end.

  • file a SPECIAL CASE IN FIELD EXPERIENCE form if warranted.

  • confer with the professional intern and university supervisor on an ongoing basis throughout the semester to discuss areas of strength or those in need of improvement.

  • submit copies of the mid-term and final competency evaluations to the Teaching Performance Center, 110 Willis Hall, Kean University, Union NJ 07083.

  • D. Checklist For A Cooperating Teacher Of A Professional Intern

    The following checklist is a summary of required and recommended responsibilities involving the cooperating teacherís role in the professional internship experience.

    ___ Have an initial conference with the professional intern at start of professional internship semester.

    ___ Share class routines, procedures, student needs, etc.

    ___ Orient professional intern to building and facilities.

    ___ Introduce professional intern to staff, class, schedule, school policies and procedures.

    ___ Introduce and review district curriculum guide(s) and NJCCCS specific to grade/subject level

    ___ Provide personal work space (desk, etc.) within the classroom.

    ___ Sequence responsibilities so that the professional intern becomes gradually involved in:

    a. observation

    b. individuals

    c. small group

    d. total class

    ___ Provide varied opportunities for professional intern to attend or participate in one or more:

    a. board meetings

    b. parent conferences

    c. classroom visitations for the purpose of observation

    d. bulletin board preparations

    e. videotaped lessons

    f. extra-curricular after-school functions

    g. professional development seminars and workshops

    ___ Provide a model of effective teaching

    ___ Require the professional intern to create thorough lesson plans.

    ___ Review lesson plans and make suggestions, as needed.

    ___ Provide regular conferences with the professional intern

    a. reinforcement and encouragement

    b. constructive criticism; model suggested changes

    c. encourage professional intern to reflect on lesson in order to become more self-directed

    d. consider the following topics for in-depth discussions:

    1. lesson planning

    2. teaching strategies

    3. classroom management

    4. student concerns

    5. any area(s) on competency assessment form

    6. record keeping

    7. pupil assessment

    ___ Involve professional intern in assessment process.

    a. mid-term (approximate due date: November 1 (Fall)/March 1 (Spring)

    b. final (approximate due date: December 20 (Fall)/May 1 (Spring)

    ___ Notify university supervisor if any problems are encountered.

    ___ Keep student aware of problem areas. Document any concerns.

    ___ Record all absences and tardiness.

    E. Professional Development Hours & Honorarium

    Professional Development Hours are awarded to cooperating teachers who mentor interns based upon the internís educational program. Click here for a list of the programs and their respective professional development hour credits.

    In order to receive a certificate awarding professional development hours and an honorarium, cooperating teachers must return the Request for Honorarium and Professional Development Hours Form. Certificates will be mailed to the cooperating teacherís home address.

    Honorarium requests will only be honored if received during the academic year (July 1-June 30) in which the inservice teacher acted as a cooperating teacher.