Cooperating Teacher Characteristics for Quality Field Placements

Originating from the Cooperating Teacher Agreement Form

Objective: In order to provide supportive classroom environments for preparing preservice teachers, cooperating teachers should strive to exhibit the following characteristics:



1. Teacher Performance

  • Performs at the top levels of the district teacher appraisal

  • The cooperating teacher demonstrates and models proficient use of academic English (and academic Spanish or other language, in bilingual classrooms)

  • Follows through with job-related commitments


2. Professionalism

  • Demonstrates behaviors that reflect commitment to ethical concerns

  • Exhibits enthusiasm, flexibility and open-mindedness

  • Teacher participates regularly in professional development about approaches to teaching and updates practices based on new knowledge.


3. Mentoring Skills

  • Models and encourages self-reflective practices

  • Promotes a collaborative and non-threatening environment where mistakes are the building blocks of learning

  • Provides constructive feedback and praise

  • Communicates effectively

  • Receptive to new ideas and practices


4. Diversity

  • The cooperating teachers’ actions are respectful of the numerous diversities within the school population and community (e.g., culture and language, economic status, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, physical and personal attributes and disabilities)

  • Actively promotes student appreciation of diverse groups and cultures through curricula and instructional activities
  • Utilizes culturally and linguistically responsive strategies and techniques to address the needs of diverse learners


5. Special Populations and Inclusive Settings

  • Collects and shares student information in order to plan and implement differentiated curricula and instruction

  • Demonstrates knowledge of federal, state and local policies/procedures

  • Demonstrates knowledge of instructional strategies for all special populations served in the classrooms
  • Works collaboratively with family members, and other support personnel to appropriately identify and address students’ individual needs


6. Technology

  • Is supportive of an interactive, technology-rich teaching/learning environment


7. Student Outcomes

  • Demonstrates an ability to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of each and every student
  • Continuously monitors student achievement and efficacy of instruction
  • Uses student data to effectively plan and implement best-practice interventions.

Texas school-district personnel and University of Texas faculty collaboratively developed these recommendations.