Magazine article School Arts

The University Supervisor

Magazine article School Arts

The University Supervisor

Article excerpt

Working in tandem, the university supervisor and cooperating teacher are the cornerstones of the student-teaching experience. While the cooperating teacher acts as a day-to-day mentor, the university supervisor is a liaison who visits on a less regular basis to "take the temperature" so to speak of the of the student teacher and to provide feedback.

Because of the daily contact, cooperating teachers and student teachers usually become confidants--the student teacher feeling at ease teaching with or in front of the mentor. Similarly, because the university supervisor observes perhaps as few as four classes during the semester, and is perceived as the visitor from the ivory tower, student teachers have a tendency to be less at ease.

When the supervisor visits the classroom, be yourself. The supervisor wants to see how you really are in the classroom. There is no need to request that observations occur only in well-behaved classes, nor is there a need to put on a show in an effort to cam high marks.

Beyond observing the student teacher, most supervisors will chat with students in the class. A supervisor might ask young students to explain what the lesson is about or what they have learned. Such questions and student responses are generally accurate barometers of student-teaching success. The responses are also indicators of whether the same type of teaching is occurring when the supervisor is not present.

It is important to remember that university supervisors are not observing student teachers with the singular purpose of finding fault; rather, the supervisor is there to point out strengths and weaknesses--to help the student teacher become a professional educator. …

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