Working with an experienced teacher is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about teaching in general, get feedback on your teaching specifically, and to learn about what you can expect in the coming years. Although you will want to ask some questions before you begin student teaching, here are some student teaching questions you can ask your cooperating teacher once you get started.
Questions for Your Cooperating Teacher
Lessons and Professionalism
- Are my lessons is going well? What’s working?
- What about my lessons could I improve?
- Is my professionalism a strength?
- What about my professionalism could I work on?
- Could you videotape my lesson on ___ next week so I can watch it and see how I can improve?
- What have you tried with that student that worked well?
- How do you build relationships with students?
- What about coworkers? What have you found helps create relationships with them?
- How do you build relationships with parents and students’ families?
- Can I sit in on that meeting to observe that process? (This could be for teaching team meetings, IEP meetings, parent-teacher conferences, in-service trainings–anything you are curious about!)
General Teaching Questions
- Is there anything that you wish you’d known as a first-year teacher?
- What’s the best advice you’ve been given about teaching?
- In your opinion, what’s the best part of teaching?
- What’s the hardest part of teaching?
- How do you stay organized?
- How do you take care of yourself so you don’t burn out?
- What is your approach to classroom management?
- Is there anything I should know about teaching in this state?
- What should I know about teaching in this school district?
- Do you like teaching in a public school (or private/charter/parochial)? Why?
- What’s the best lesson you’ve ever taught?
- What’s the worst lesson you’ve ever taught?
- So you have a favorite “success story”?
- What’s a time where you wish you’d done something differently?
- Why do you teach?
Don’t bombard your cooperating teacher with all 25 questions while they’re trying to grab lunch and make copies all at the same time! Do form a relationship with them, and use the opportunity to gain valuable insight into teaching and your own practice. With luck, you’ll gain a great mentor. 🙂
What questions would you add? List them in the comments below!