Cooperating Teacher Module Option

School of Education
Cooperating Teacher Module

"Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher."
~Japanese proverb~

Framework for Teacher Education
Duties and Definitions
Policies and Procedures
Evaluation of a Student Teacher

This module was designed to introduce you to the framework for Teacher Education at UW-Stout, the duties and definitions, policies and procedures to follow as cooperating teachers. After reading the pages of this module, you will be asked to complete a brief assignment. This exercise is designed to meet the Department of Public Instruction's criteria for cooperating teachers in the completion of training in the supervision of student teachers.

Framework for Teacher Education

At the University of Wisconsin-Stout, the process of becoming a reflective practitioner follows a framework for teaching that includes: 
     a) planning and preparation, 
     b) classroom environment, 
     c) instruction and 
     d) professional responsibilities (Danielson, 1996).
These four domains are aligned with the Wisconsin Standards for Teacher Development and Licensure and contain necessary and specific components that are assessed throughout each student's program.

Domain 1: Planning and Preparation

  • 1a.  Demonstrating Knowledge of Content and Pedagogy
    1b.  Demonstrating Knowledge of Students
    1c.  Selecting Instructional Goals
    1d.  Demonstrating Knowledge of Resources
    1e.  Designing Coherent Instruction
    1f.   Assessing Student Learning

Wisconsin Teacher Standards

  • 1.  Teachers know the subjects they are teaching.
    2.  Teachers know how children grow.
    3.  Teachers understand that children learn differently.
    7.  Teachers are able to plan different kinds of lessons.
    8.  Teachers know how to test for student progress.

Domain 2: Classroom Environment

  • 2a.  Creating an Environment of Respect and Rapport
    2b.  Establishing a Culture for Learning
    2c.  Managing Classroom Procedures
    2d.  Managing Student Behavior
    2e.  Organizing Physical Space

Wisconsin Teacher Standards

  • 5.  Teachers know how to manage a classroom.
    6.  Teachers communicate well.

Domain 3: Instruction

  • 3a.  Communicating Clearly and Accurately
    3b.  Using Questioning and Discussion Techniques
    3c.  Engaging Students in Learning
    3d.  Providing Feedback to Students
    3e.  Demonstrating Flexibility and Responsiveness

Wisconsin Teacher Standards

  • 1.  Teachers know the subjects they are teaching.
    4.  Teachers know how to teach.
    6.  Teachers communicate well
    7.  Teachers are able to plan different kinds of lessons.

Domain 4: Professional Responsibilities

  • 4a.  Reflecting on Teaching
    4b.  Maintaining Accurate Records
    4c.  Communicating with Families
    4d.  Contributing to the School and District community.
    4e.  Growing and Developing Professionally
    4f.   Showing Professionalism

Wisconsin Teacher Standards

  • 6.   Teachers communicate well.
    9.   Teachers are able to evaluate themselves.
    10. Teachers are connected with other teachers and the Community

Duties and Definitions

Cooperating Teacher

UW-Stout cooperating teachers play an important role in preparing future teachers.  An exemplary student teacher/intern site provides a learning experience in which student teachers/interns can develop their teaching style in a supportive atmosphere, accepting of mistakes without threat of failure. If the student teacher/intern receives and gives feedback on the teaching action exhibited, progress can be made toward becoming a self-analytical, reflective, and self-directed teacher. The following is provided as a guide for the cooperating teacher in helping the student teacher/intern achieve the greatest value from the experience.

Tips for a Successful Experience 

(click & save)

″ Prepare your class for the arrival of the student teacher/intern

″ Designate an area for the student teacher's workspace which will provide adequate space for the student teacher's materials

″ Clarify expectations of the student teacher/intern to help them feel a sense of security and direction

″ Assemble a packet of information introducing the student teacher to the school, community and beginning teaching units to help the student feel more prepared for this experience

″ Assist the student teacher in analyzing their strengths and weaknesses using the framework as a basis to build their confidence

″ Suggest artifacts that the student teacher might use as portfolio evidence in meeting the domains of learning  that correlate to the Wisconsin Teaching Standards

″ Discuss problems that are observed privately

″ Positively influence the student teacher by modeling professionalism, enthusiasm and respect for the teaching profession

″ Share your goals and educational philosophy as related to students and practices within the classroom, because they will help formulate the student teacher/intern's own educational philosophy

″ Incorporate a variety of teaching experiences such as: classroom teaching, preparation time, study hall or other supervisory duties to enhance the overall experience of the student teacher/intern

″ Offer suggestions on maintaining student-teacher-parent rapport

″ Encourage creativity by the student teacher

″ Schedule time to conference with the student teacher on a regular basis

″ Discuss expectations you have of the student teacher and what the student teacher can expect from you

University Supervisor

The university supervisor assumes responsibility for the supervision of student teachers and serves as the liaison between UW-Stout and the personnel of cooperating schools and agencies. While their responsibilities may vary from one program area to another, university supervisors generally share the following common responsibilities.

Model best practices

Establish and maintain positive relationships between the university and cooperating schools.

Help student teachers, cooperating teachers, and building administrators develop an understanding of UW-Stout's framework for becoming a reflective practitioner.

Provide the student teacher with timely and constructive feedback regarding UW-Stout's framework for becoming a reflective practitioner.

Learn the philosophy, objectives, organization, and content of the cooperating school program.

Help cooperating teachers understand their supervisory role in the teacher education program.

Clarify the role of the student teacher in the school program.

The cooperating teacher and university supervisor consult regarding the final grades  for student teaching. The final grades as determined by the University Supervisor will not be submitted to the Registrar's Office until the student teaching experience has been completed and all required paperwork has been submitted to the School of Education.

Student Teacher

A goal of student teaching is continual assimilation of the knowledge, skills and dispositions needed to be a successful pre-service teacher. To accomplish this goal, the student must use prior knowledge and experience and the guidance and expertise of the cooperating teacher.

Cooperating teachers and students will be given additional information from their respective programs that clarify program specific expectations for student teaching. Students are informed of these program requirements in the discipline specific methods courses or at special meetings held by their program director.

Intern Teacher

The intern teacher is a university student in the process of completing a teacher preparation program leading to professional licensure. The interested school district submits a Wisconsin Improvement Program intern application form with their proposed design (schedule) of the intern's duties. This design is approved or denied at the state level by Wisconsin Improvement Program officials. The assignment can be no more than 50 percent of the workload of a full-time teacher in the district.

Once the internship design is approved, the school district would interview potential candidates. The selected candidate would be offered the internship and if accepted, enter into a contract with the school district.

Interns are paid a minimum stipend of $4,500 per semester by the district while working under the guidance of an experienced, verified cooperating teacher.

Click here for more information regarding Wisconsin Improvement Program Teacher internships

Policies and Procedures


Student teachers/interns are expected to follow the daily schedule and term calendar of the school in which they are teaching, including beginning and ending term dates, vacation and professional development days, as specified on the student teaching/interning assignment forms. In compliance with Wisconsin statute: "Student teachers and intern teachers are assigned to full days for a full semester following the daily schedule and semester calendar of the cooperation school, or the equivalent." (Wis. Stat. 118.19 (3) (a))

Workload of a Student Teacher

The student teaching/interning experience requires commitment for the duration of the assignment. An appropriate workload for the student teacher should be cooperatively arranged and agreed upon by the cooperating teacher, the student teacher, and the university supervisor. A full range of activities should include, but not be limited to:

· Classroom instruction

· Student assessment

· Classroom management

· Faculty meetings

· Supervisory duties

· Co-curricular activities

· Parent-teacher conferences

Student teachers normally do not start out by carrying the same, or an equal teaching load as a regular classroom teacher, they gradually assume more responsibility throughout the experience. At a minimum, the student teacher should experience teaching a full load for at least one week during each nine-week placement. The actual number of classes assigned to student teachers varies across programs. Key factors include the student's readiness to assume increased responsibility and the number of preparations involved.

Intern Teacher

The interning teacher assumes a partial teaching assignment. The assignment can be no more than 50 percent of the workload of a full-time teacher in the district. The intern is assigned a variety of instructional duties: planning, teaching, observing, and conferring with colleagues. The intern works alone in the classroom and is not a substitute teacher.

Students as Substitute Teachers

A student teacher who does not hold a valid permit or license is not qualified to serve as a substitute teacher.

If a cooperating teacher must be absent for a short term basis (1-5 days), a substitute teacher must be present in the classroom. The student teacher's responsibilities should include those which have been previously defined. The student teacher may observe or assist the substitute in ongoing classroom activities.

Wisconsin Statue 118.19 and Chapter P13.01 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code clearly states that "substitute teachers" must possess a bachelor's degree and a license to teach. Since student teachers are not licensed and their legal authority in the classroom is different from that of a teacher, they should not serve as substitute teachers. This policy is intended to protect the cooperating school system, its students, and student teachers. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS. Student teachers who are already licensed teachers should also refrain from substitute teaching while engaged in the student teaching experience.

Interns have a license and may substitute for the cooperating teacher to whom they are assigned.


Student teaching/ interning experiences are a top priority. Only illness and personal emergencies in the immediate family are considered legitimate reasons for absence from the student teaching/interning assignment. Absence due to illness or other emergency must be reported following the procedure specified by the cooperating school policy. Additionally, the university supervisor must be notified immediately of any absences in written form.

Student teachers/interns who wish to report for job interviewsshould limit the number of interviews and make every effort to arrange for interviews after the regular teaching day. If no other options are available except during the workday, student teachers/interns need to request permission from the cooperating teacher and university supervisor at least one week in advance of the interview appointment.

Excessive absences of any kind (generally more than 3day per placement) could result in a Withdrawal Unsatisfactory or Incomplete grade.

Attendance at on-campus student teaching/interning seminars is mandatory. Unexcused absences from the student teaching/interning assignment or the on-campus seminars could result in termination from the clinical practice assignment.

Labor Disputes

If a system-wide strike, work stoppage, or work-to-contract situation occurs in the school district where a student teacher is assigned, he/she is to remain a non-participant until negotiations are settled. Student teachers may not cross picket lines or participate in any school-related activities until the issues have been resolved. Decisions about arranging an alternative placement will be made on an individual basis in consultation with the university supervisor, School of Education's Coordinating Chair and Coordinator of Field Experiences.

When a work stoppage or work-to-contract situation occurs in a cooperating school system where interns are assigned, it is the policy of the Wisconsin Improvement Program that interns be declared non-participants to either party involved. Interns will remain on a standby basis, without pay, during the period of time when schools are closed or during the period of time when schools are declared open without resolution of conflicting issues between the Board of Education and the local teacher association.

Removal/Termination of Placement of Student Teacher/Intern

The University of Wisconsin-Stout recognizes the right of the cooperating school district and the university to terminate a student's professional placement without notice, if necessary. A student teacher or intern teacher may be immediately removed when the continued participation in the experience is determined by the school district or university supervisor(s) to adversely affect the pupils served, the university student, the participating school or agency, or the University. If the student teacher/intern is not meeting the minimum requirements of the experience but not requiring immediate removal as determined by the cooperating teacher(s) and the university supervisor, the student teacher/intern may be consulted prior to a decision regarding termination. Whenever possible, the student teacher/intern will be provided an opportunity to remediate deficiencies prior to a termination decision. If possible, the School of Education's Coordinating Chair is to be consulted prior to a termination.

The removal of a student teacher/intern includes the following procedures.

a. Consultation concerning the removal of a student teacher/intern takes place between the cooperating teacher and university supervisor.


a. Consultation concerning the removal of a student teacher/intern takes place between the school principal and the cooperating teacher. The university supervisor is notified of their decision.

b. The university supervisor notifies the student teacher/intern of the impeding removal from student teaching/internship and the reason.

c. The university supervisor notifies the School of Education's Coordinating Chair. The School of Education's Coordinating Chair provides written notification to the student and to the Coordinator of Field Experiences.

d. A student teacher/intern who is terminated for cause receives a failing grade.

Professional Liability Coverage

Professional Liability coverage is provided by the State of Wisconsin under provisions of S.S. 165.25 (6) and 895.46 (1) of the Chapter 81, Laws of 1975 for all University of Wisconsin System student teachers, interns teachers, or for any others assigned to field experiences. This coverage protects the university student against claims from third parties for personal injury or property damage caused while performing within the scope of duties as a student teacher or intern teacher. Students may also obtain professional liability insurance through private companies or professional organizations.

**Please refer to the School of Education's Undergraduate Student Teaching Handbook for additional and information regarding all aspects of the student teaching experience.

Evaluation of a Student Teacher


The evaluation of a student teacher is a continuous process that includes conferences, day to day feedback, and formal evaluations by the cooperating teacher, the university supervisor, and the students.

Comments regarding a student's knowledge, skills and dispositions in teaching should be specific and constructive. The emphasis on the domains of learning, the ten teaching standards and on authentic assessment using a variety of tools and techniques will provide students with a successful experience. On-going day to day evaluative feedback can be made through comments written on the student's lesson plans, separate evaluation sheets or through verbal discussion. Time should be set aside daily to discuss questions, concerns, or reflections on the days events.

Mid-quarter evaluation serves as a progress check for the student teacher and is based upon the UW-Stout framework for Teacher Education. The evaluation is used by the cooperating teacher, student teacher, and supervisor and summarizes the student teacher's strengths and areas for continued growth. Reviewing the evaluation form together will help your student teacher understand areas of strength and needed growth. Student teachers appreciate forthright evaluations to help them channel their efforts.  

A Final Evaluation is to be completed by the cooperating teacher and reviewed and signed by the student teacher and the university supervisor.

The cooperating teacher should assist the student teacher/intern in identifying valuable artifacts that support the domains and standards. These artifacts as well as the cooperating teacher's evaluation will be included in the student teacher's ePortfolio.

The evaluation forms should be turned into the university supervisor who will submit it to the School of Education office.

For more detail on the student teaching forms, please refer to the Student Teaching/Intern Forms Checklist.


All student teachers and intern teachers are expected to have an ePortfolio.

The students begin an ePortfolio based upon the UW-Stout conceptual framework for teaching when they are in the Foundations of Education course and program introductory courses.

What is an ePortfolio?

ePortfolio is a tool education students develop that could be used to assist in assessment, employment search and professional development.

The ePortfolio contains evidences of teaching ability and performance that will be used for assessment purposes as students proceed through the benchmarks in teacher education. Carefully chosen artifacts and reflections will help demonstrate student's understanding and competency in acquiring the knowledge, skills and dispositions necessary for teaching licensure.

ePortfolios could also be used as a tool for job placements. Additionally, ePortfolios can be used as the basis for developing a professional development plan.

What is a reflection?

Reflections are an important component of the ePortfolio.

A reflection demonstrates how an artifact fits into a domain of the UW-Stout framework and Wisconsin teaching standard.  The reflection gives rationale for placing the artifact in the domain and standard and helps demonstrate student's understanding and competency in acquiring knowledge, skills and disposition.

Reflections can also summarize a student's professional growth in the knowledge skills and dispositions they have acquired through their learning.

How to Write a Reflection

Title of artifact/artifact cluster: Provide a short, descriptive title.

Creation Date: Approximately when was/were the artifact(s) developed

Context: This/these artifacts were developed to… describe on one or two sentences the condition under which the artifact(s) were created (part of a course requirement/ field placement requirement/ purpose related to licensure.

Role: (Optional). This field is placed here to allow you to indicate what your contribution to the overall development of the artifact(s) presented. This is ethically a requirement if you collaborated with others who also made contributions.


Final Portfolio Rubric

Each graduate needs to have an ePortfolio of evidence that illustrates a student has met the Domains of Learning (Ten Wisconsin Teaching Standards).

The following rubric is proposed for use by University seminar instructors to assess ePortfolios. [ Rubric ]

Final assessment of the ePortfolio will be done at the conclusion of student teaching.



Office of Field Experiences
Heritage Hall, Rm 267
Menomonie, WI 54751

Voice: (715)232-1088
Fax: (715)232-1244