For the first 8 weeks of this semester, I agreed to take on a student teacher from a local university. This is actually the 4th one that I have worked with in the past 2 1/2 years. The experience of being a cooperating teacher has been wonderful! If you have not been fortunate enough to serve as a co-op, I highly recommend it.
1. It makes me want to be the best teacher that I possibly can be. Now, I know that I should want to do this anyway, and I usually do. But, you can’t deny that feeling of, “Okay, I am supposed to be setting an example for this young educator.” This has been great for me, because it has forced me to get back to doing things that I may have been slacking off on lately (lesson planning!). It really makes me take a good look at myself, and really evaluate everything that I do…some would argue that maybe I do this too much!
2. I get wonderful new ideas. What I love about being a co-op is that in a many respects, I feel like I’ve gained a colleague. I find myself constantly bouncing ideas off my student teachers and getting their reactions. I am always truly interested in their opinions and thoughts on the music ed. field.
3. I am excited to share with these young teachers my enthusiasm and passion for the profession. Working with student teachers is another opportunity for me to teach about something which I am passionate. It is a wonderful feeling to get to help these students become teachers. I love it for the same reasons that I love teaching my middle and high school students – It is extremely satisfying to work with them over a given period of time, and to see them improve and hone their skills!
If you have not worked with a student teacher, I really encourage you to give it a try! You will become a better teacher because of it! I know that I have!
So Justin, Brandon, Will, and Courtney, if you happen to read this, Thank you, and best wishes to you for continued success!