The University of Minnesota teacher licensure programs offer a unique co-teaching experience that allows students to gain their licensure hours during the program, putting their coursework into action during their teaching clinical. Students are paired with a master teacher and actively work as a member of the teaching team for the entire school year. Pre-service teachers will collaborate with the cooperating teacher by participating in developing student lesson plans, assessments, and instruction in the beginning.
As the co-teaching experience progresses, the pre-service teacher will be given increased responsibilities in leading the instruction, planning and assessment. During this progression, the cooperating teacher will remain an engaged partner in the classroom to support the needs of the student learner.
Our co-teaching practicum uses the “lead” co-teaching model, in which the student gradually becomes fully responsible for instruction but has the support and guidance of their mentoring teacher as needed. This varies from the traditional “solo” teaching model where the first weeks are spent observing. Gradually, the student learning is given responsibility to teach one content lesson or for an hour. In the next progression, the student learner takes full responsibility of classroom instruction and duties while the cooperating teacher spends time outside the classroom for weeks.
SOLO Teaching Model (Student-Teaching)
LEAD Teaching Model (Co-Teaching)
In the traditional model, the student is placed with an active teacher. This is the “solo” student-teaching model, as the student is given complete control of instruction by the end, and the mentor teacher exits for that time.
While I have had many different experiences in classrooms throughout undergrad, I had never planned and implemented curriculum to an entire class of students from start to finish. Student teaching gives you this opportunity. Additionally, it provides this to you in an incredibly supportive environment where trying new things is encouraged and welcomed.