As the year closes on yet another batch of student teachers, I am reflecting on the bitter and sweet parts that my students must endure as student teachers. There will always be some bitter and sweet sections of one's teaching internship and apprenticeship, but it should rarely orignate from the lack of support from cooperating teachers.
I feel fortunate to have been a university supervisor for two years, so I constantly try to stay aware of the need to consistently communicate with my cooperating teachers. In doing so, I keep them informed of all that they need to do in giving the student teachers the support that he needs.
Alas, it does not always work out so well for the entire process. Often, this comes from a lack of experience. Being a cooperating or coach teacher requires more organization (on top of the heap that the teachers already have to do in the classroom) and a constant awareness of "best practices" in concert with their own teaching styles. Sometimes, it can leave the cooperating teacher feeling a bit "undertrained" compared to the more knowledge and skills that the student teacher brings. I tell the coop teachers, though, no one needs to be threatening. This is a partnership learning experience...a true sociocultural, constructivist arrange in which both the student teacher and the coop teacher co-construct what "effective teaching" looks like.
So....ends another year. I will continue to pray to do my best to help every (both student teachers and coop teachers) focus on creating sweetness rather than any bitterness:)