1. Contact with the cooperating school staff
It is important to create a good rapport with the school staff and to gather evidence of the student teacher’s progress from them. This can be achieved by the following suggestions.
Greet the head teacher and introduce yourself. Explain the purpose of your visit, which is to support, assist and guide the student teacher. Ask for an update on the student teacher’s progress and thank them for the support being given to the student teacher.
Keeping school staff informed
Share with them that the student teacher is being encouraged to use active learning during their teaching practice. You can do this by sensitising the head teacher towards TESSA, introducing them to the purpose of of the OER materials. Emphasise that these are useful resources for teachers too. This sensitisation meeting is particularly important if you have not been able to meet the head teacher before the teaching practice visit as detailed above.
Involving the cooperating teacher
The cooperating teacher is the teacher who would normally be teaching the class. In a primary school, they will be the mentor as well. In a secondary school, the student will be working with several cooperating teachers, one of whom will be the overall mentor. Valuing the cooperating teacher helps to secure good support of the student teacher. Part of valuing their contribution is asking for feedback on their observations of the student teacher. Make sure you ask them about the progress the student has made in using active-learning and teaching methods.
A more delicate matter is finding out if the cooperating teacher is fulfilling their role as defined in the relevant handbooks (observing, inducting, guiding, mentoring and assisting the student teacher). You can gain this feedback from the cooperating teacher and the student teacher. This provides an opportunity to advise the mentor. If they are not fulfilling this role, you should report this to the head teacher to decide the best way forward.
7.2 Key aspects of the school experience visit
2. Meeting with the student teacher prior to observing the lesson