Office of Clinical Experiences (OCE)

School Partners: Cooperating Teachers

Frequently Asked Questions

What qualifications are required to be a cooperating teacher?

To host teacher candidates for STUDENT TEACHING, cooperating teachers must have 3 or more years of teaching experience in their field, be licensed in the requested area AND secure the approval of the building administrator. Some districts require tenure in order to host teacher candidates.

What compensation do cooperating teachers receive?

Stipends are given to cooperating teachers for hosting teacher candidates in their student teaching. By Minnesota State regulations, these stipends are $75 for hosting an 8 week student teaching experience and $150 for hosting a 16 week student teaching experience.

Cooperating teachers are asked to complete stipend forms with the OCE office. This paperwork is mailed out to you for signature.

Often times, the formal written and signed agreement between the school district and SCSU actually requires that these stipends go into a district pool of professional development funds. Sometimes districts will redistribute stipends directly to the teachers, and in some cases, OCE sends stipends directly to the cooperating teacher. Again, this depends on the signed agreement between each district and SCSU. You may contact your district Human Resources office to find out more specific information.

How can I sign up to be a cooperating teacher?

Contact the Office of Clinical Experiences (OCE) at (320) 308-4783 OR

Please include:

  • Name
  • Email Address
  • School
  • Years of experience
  • Licensure
  • Grade Level
  • Subject Area

What types of Field and Student Teaching experiences are available to host?

Teacher candidates have a variety of field experiences across grade levels and subject areas.

Please refer to the pdf below for more infomation.

St. Cloud State University Preservice Field and Clinical Experiences (pdf)

What are the expectations of a cooperating teacher hosting field experience students?

Expectations of Cooperating Teachers

The Cooperating Teacher plays a major role in the education of the Teacher Candidate.  Therefore, it is necessary that the Cooperating Teacher be thoroughly familiar with a number of guidelines.

Throughout the student teaching experience, the Cooperating Teacher and Teacher Candidate should function as a teaching team.  This will include cooperative planning, teaching, and evaluating.  During the early part of the experience, the major responsibility for planning, teaching, and evaluating pupils should be assumed by the Cooperating Teacher.

The Teacher Candidate should progress through a sequence of orientation, observation, participation, and full teaching responsibility.  Some suggestions are presented below to serve as a guide for the Cooperating Teacher.

The Cooperating Teacher is responsible for doing a minimum of 6 formal written observations for a Teacher Candidate during a 16-week placement.  If your Teacher Candidate is assigned to you for only 8 weeks, you are required to do a minimum of 3 formal written observations.  These observations should be shared with the Teacher Candidate and the University Supervisor.  Each Cooperating Teacher is responsible for completing a written final evaluation on each Teacher Candidate.


Before a Teacher Candidate assumes major responsibility for teaching a class, he/she should observe (in yours and other master teachers’ classrooms) and participate in the classroom.  In order to be effective in this role, he/she must have specific items in mind to look for during observations of the regular teacher and the pupils.

The Cooperating Teacher assists in the observation phase by:

Discussing daily lesson plans; emphasizing the necessity for flexibility in planning; noting motivational techniques employed; indicating possible techniques for closing the lesson; suggesting variations in teaching procedures used from day to day; familiarizing the Teacher Candidate with routine classroom duties apart from the actual teaching; discussing individual differences, special needs, and ways of handling these within the classroom; and discussing discipline and classroom management.


The Teacher Candidate should assume some responsibilities immediately. Participation is intended to help the Teacher Candidate gain confidence.  Possibilities for participating include: giving assignments; reading a story or poem; assisting with supervision of students; sharing in lesson planning; and sharing special talents or experiences.


A Teacher Candidate should assume responsibility for teaching a lesson as soon as the Cooperating Teacher believes he/she is ready.  Preferably, this will be a cooperative decision between the Teacher Candidate and Cooperating Teacher.  Greater responsibility for teaching should proceed gradually.  Teacher Candidates should teach full-time for approximately 25% of the time in each placement.

Some items to note: NEVER use a Teacher Candidate as a substitute teacher; lesson plans are required and should be reviewed by the Cooperating Teacher two days before the lesson is taught; conferences with the Teacher Candidate should be scheduled regularly; a successful student teaching experience is based on open, honest communication among all parties involved; periodic three-way conferences (Teacher Candidate, Cooperating Teacher, and University Supervisor) are suggested; final evaluation forms are due the last week of the student teaching assignment.

Additional information is located in the Student Teaching Handbook you will receive.

What paperwork is required when hosting a teacher candidate in their student teaching experience?

Cooperating teachers are expected to complete three formal written formative observations during an 8 week student teaching experience. They are also expected to meet with the teacher candidate and sign off on a midterm evaluation. At the end of the student teaching experience, cooperating teachers complete a final summative evaluation including a written narrative documenting the student’s experience and demonstrated skills.

These forms can be found in the Student Teaching Handbook. You will find handbooks on the OCE website “Student Teaching” page.

Specific College of Education and Learning Design departments may also have additional requirements.

edTPA: How do cooperating teachers support candidates?

Teachers Who Support Teacher Candidates

Developed for educators by educators, edTPA® is the first nationally available, performancebased assessment for beginning teachers. This brochure offers information and guidance to P-12 teachers as they partner with preparation programs to support candidates completing edTPA® in their local contexts.

Download Presentation (pdf)

Continuing Education Unit (CEUs) Forms