Resource Handbook for Cooperating Teachers, Student Teachers, and College/University Supervisors in Virginia by the MidValley Consortium for Teacher Education Bridgewater College Eastern Mennonite University
James Madison University Mary Baldwin College
Augusta County Schools Harrisonburg City Schools
Rockingham County Schools Shenandoah County Schools
Staunton City Schools Waynesboro City Schools August, 2000 funded by a grant from the Virginia Department of Education
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Project Summary 2
Organization of the Resource Handbook 3
Project Participants 4
Co-Teaching: A Different Approach for 6
Cooperating Teachers and Student Teachers I. Primary – NK-Grade 3 (pink) 13
II. Upper Elementary – Grades 4-5 (green) 25
III. Middle – Grades 6-8 (blue) 37
IV. Secondary – Grades 9-12 (yellow) 49
Dear Virginia Educator,
Over the last several years, Virginia's public schools have experienced major changes in curriculum content, instructional methods, delivery format, and expectations for student achievement. The revised Virginia Standards of Learning, as well as the advent of block scheduling, integrated instruction, and team teaching, call for new models of teaching and new levels of accountability. In response, Virginia's teacher education programs have redesigned their programs to insure that graduates are prepared to meet these new expectations.
One of the most critical components of teacher preparation, however, is student teaching. It is imperative that the student teaching experience now be reexamined from two perspectives. First, it must be reviewed in light of new educational reform initiatives and redesigned so that student teachers provide value-added service that will enhance student learning, while at the same time they gain the necessary experience to prepare them for their own classrooms and their own students.
In 1998, the MidValley Consortium for Teacher Education received a $16,870 grant from the Virginia Department of Education for a two-year project to produce and disseminate a Resource Handbook containing specific instructional and supervision models and strategies to help clinical faculty and student teachers address these issues. This handbook is designed to ensure that student learning and student achievement remain paramount throughout the student teaching experience. We do hope that it will be useful to the many student teachers, cooperating teachers, and college/university supervisors in Virginia who work together as Partners for Student Achievement.
Project Goals: 1. identify current major education reform initiatives focused on improving K-12 student achievement in Virginia;
2. describe the challenges that these reforms provide for student teachers and clinical faculty;
3. outline possible solutions for addressing these challenges (e.g., differentiated patterns for student teaching; new, more responsive coaching and evaluation models for clinical faculty);
4. pilot some of these solutions with "project triads" of student teachers, clinical faculty, and college/university supervisors; and
5. produce and disseminate a Resource Handbook containing specific instructional and supervision models and strategies that successfully address these challenges.
General Findings: Based on clinical faculty, student teacher, and college/university supervisor feedback, the following general conclusions may be drawn from this project:
1. Student teachers are a valuable resource for enhancing K-12 classroom instruction. Neither the student teaching experience nor student learning should suffer at the expense of the other. 2. Clinical faculty and student teachers who use co-teaching strategies can provide K-12 pupils with critical opportunities for intensive instruction in the Virginia Standards of Learning. 3. Some co-teaching strategies are more appropriate for certain grade levels or subject areas, or at certain times of the year, than others. Clinical faculty, student teachers, and college/university supervisors should work together to design individualized student-teaching schedules that meet the needs of specific K-12 classrooms. 4. Co-teaching requires pairing clinical faculty and student teachers who are compatible and can plan, teach, and reflect well together. 5. The decision of clinical faculty and student teachers to co-teach must have full school-wide support. Neither the clinical faculty nor the student teacher should be asked to assume other responsibilities such as substituting or serving on committees during shared instructional time. 6. Student teachers still must have full responsibility for direct instruction and an opportunity to “fly solo”. The amount and scheduling of this time, however, should be designed to meet the needs of both the K-12 students and the student teachers. Student teachers should assume increasing responsibility for planning and assessment, even when the actual instruction is being shared with clinical faculty. 7. Student teachers who use co-teaching strategies gain experience in teaching the Standards of Learning and in working as part of a team, which will benefit both them and the school divisions that employ them as first-year teachers.
The first section of the handbook (white) provides a brief description of the purpose of this project, a timeline of project activities, and a listing of the clinical faculty trainers, clinical faculty, student teachers, and college/university supervisors who have assisted with the project. This is followed by an adaptation of an article, Co-Teaching: A Different Approach for Cooperating Teachers and Student Teachers, prepared by Michael Perl, Barbara Maughmer, and Cindi McQueen for presentation at the 1999 annual meeting of the Association of Teacher Educators. This article outlines five co-teaching models and strategies and was used as a framework for the Spring 1999 clinical faculty workshops that provided much of the resource material for this handbook.
The main portion of the handbook is color-coded and organized by major grade-level groups – primary (pink), upper elementary (green), middle (blue), and secondary (yellow). The section for each grade-level group includes four subsections:
Approaches to Co-Teaching summarizes clinical faculty discussions of the pros and cons of the five co-teaching models for their own grade levels. In many instances, teacher quotes have been included as “sidebars.”
Case Study details clinical faculty recommendations for redesigning the student teaching experience in a grade-appropriate case study, presented as part of the Spring 1999 refresher workshops.
Strategies outlines successful techniques that area clinical faculty have used with their student teachers.
Voices from the Field provides evaluation comments and suggestions from the clinical faculty, student teachers, and college/university supervisors in the MidValley Consortium for Teacher Education who piloted a variety of co-teaching strategies during their Spring 2000 student teaching experiences.
~~~~~ This handbook is being disseminated in two forms. One edition includes the sections for all four grade-level groups. Alternative editions contain the introductory materials and the information for just one of the grade-level groups. If you receive one of the alternative editions and would like to receive the editions for other grade-level groups, please contact Dr. Thomas Elliott at the Virginia Department of Education or see the James Madison University web site at . NOTE: The term clinical faculty, as used throughout this handbook, refers to cooperating teachers who have received specific training for mentoring student teachers through the MidValley Consortium. Although this handbook has been produced with allcooperating teachers in mind, the term clinical faculty is used when referring to those teachers who directly participated in this project.
PROJECT PARTICIPANTS The MidValley Consortium expresses its grateful appreciation to the following educators who have worked so hard on this project:
Tamara Boxler, Clymore Elementary School
Larry Correll, Stewart Middle School
Shirley Dingledine, Beverly Manor Elementary School
Deborah Hawkins, Clymore Elementary School
Bruce Hollingshead, Buffalo Gap High School
Cynthia Jarvis, Stuarts Draft Middle School
David Lane, Ft. Defiance High School/ James Madison University
For the purposes of this paper, co-teaching is defined as a student teacher and a cooperating teacher working together with groups of students and sharing the delivery of instruction and physical space.
For many years cooperating teachers have been encouraged to gradually turn over their teaching responsibilities to the student teacher until, for a period of several weeks, the student teacher has complete responsibility for all teaching. This approach certainly serves the student teacher well, but it does not always take advantage of having an additional adult in the classroom.
In recent years the professional development schools in league with Kansas State University have encouraged cooperating teachers to act as co-teachers with their student teachers. With co-teaching, early in the semester, the student teacher might serve as an assistant and perhaps present portions of lessons while the cooperating teacher remains primarily responsible for the teaching. The student teacher might also work with individuals or small groups of students who need special or additional help. Or, for certain activities, the class might be divided between the two to reduce the teacher-pupil ratio.
As the semester progresses, the cooperating teacher will gradually give the student teacher more and more of the planning and teaching responsibilities and begin to perform some of the functions that the student teacher did earlier in the semester. Near the end of the semester, the student teacher will be primarily responsible for the teaching, much as the cooperating teacher was at the beginning of the semester. With co-teaching, the amount of time the student teacher is left totally alone is reduced so that the cooperating teacher and the school division can take advantage of having an additional, trained adult to teach students.
The Promise of Co-teaching The concept of co-teaching is new to the student teaching process, but has been used in classrooms with special students for nearly 20 years. In inclusion classrooms a general education teacher and a special education teacher become co-teachers to serve the needs of all of the students in the classroom. Walsh and Snyder (1993) completed a significant piece of research that addresses co-teaching. They compared state competency test scores of 9th grade students who had been taught in traditional classrooms with those who had been taught in co-teaching classrooms. In their study of over 700 students, they learned that the passage rates on the Maryland minimum competency tests (science, social studies, math, and language arts) were significantly higher (66.9% vs. 52.8%) for those taught in co-teaching classrooms compared to those taught in traditional classrooms.
Such results encouraged the personnel at professional development schools aligned with Kansas State University to pursue co-teaching as a solution to some of their problems. Shortly after the establishment of professional development schools, parents began to complain that their children were being taught too often and too long by inexperienced student teachers and not enough by experienced teachers. They felt their children were being used as guinea pigs. Teachers complained that they had to give up their classrooms to student teachers too often and for too much time. Many argued that there were too many student teachers in the professional development schools.
After using co-teaching over the past four years, parents are now requesting that their children be placed with a teacher who will have a student teacher, and teachers are requesting student teachers every semester. Ten years ago there were not enough local classrooms in which student teachers could be placed, and now there are more requests than there are student teachers to fill them.