Cooperating Teachers Matter: Leveraging Work Motivation to Attract and Retain Cooperating Teachers to Train the Teachers of Tomorrow
DeHaas, David R
Significant literature exists investigating the importance of clinical teaching during a teacher candidate’s development – specifically, the clinical teaching placements of teacher candidates. However, an important perspective largely missing from the literature is that of the cooperating teachers. If the research is clear that being coached by a strong cooperating teacher is so productive for clinical teachers during their pre-service year, then why isn’t this practice more common? This question is explored in further detail below. This project explores findings through the lens of a quality improvement study – using qualitative and quantitative research techniques and methods to describe the role, experiences, and extrinsic and intrinsic motivations behind becoming a cooperating teacher within a large metropolitan PK-12 public North Texas school district. The project unearthed the barriers cooperating teachers experience that are structural in nature, and, through discovery, can largely be attributed to the school district itself. The project also offers insight and future considerations for the district to better understand what is necessary to develop a comprehensive Cooperating Teacher program.