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Cooperating/Mentor Teacher Information

The College of Education and Human Development of The University of Texas at San Antonio is pleased to welcome you to the team of professionals who will contribute to the training of future teachers. Taking on the task of guiding a clinical teacher through those first real experiences in the classroom is a mixed blessing.  While it is a benefit to have a pre-professional to assist in working with your students, a substantial amount of time and effort is required of you in helping your clinical teacher to become a successful member of our profession.  The university faculty and staff are prepared to assist you in this endeavor.  If you encounter problems or simply have questions concerning your clinical teacher or the program, please contact the university supervisor as soon as a concern arises.  


It is our sincere hope that as you share your knowledge and experience with a prospective teacher, you too will gain new insights and confidence in your chosen profession.

Cooperating/Mentor Teacher Handbooks

Cooperating Teacher Orientation VODCAST

Vodcast Form

Download: Vodcast Form

Clinical Teacher Compensation

Policy:  During the student teaching semester, clinical teachers are not permitted to receive compensation from the school district to which they are assigned for any jobs or tasks performed during the school day.  These jobs include, but are not limited to:

  • Substitute Teacher
  • Tutor
  • Coach
  • Athletic Trainer
  • Club Sponsor

After the clinical teaching semester has been completed, clinical teachers are eligible for employment in any position for which they are qualified.


Legal Status of the Clinical Teacher

TEXAS EDUCATION CODE-CHAPTER 22-SCHOOL DISTRICT EMPLOYEES AND VOLUNTEERS

Chapter 22.051 Subchapter B: Civil Immunity
DEFINITION; OTHER IMMUNITY.  

1. In this subchapter, "professional employee of a school district" includes:

  • a superintendent, principal, teacher, including a substitute teacher, supervisor, social worker, counselor, nurse, and teacher's aide employed by a school district;
  • a teacher employed by a company that contracts with a school district to provide the teacher's services to the district;
  • a student in an education preparation program participating in a field experience or internship;
  • a school bus driver certified in accordance with standards and qualifications adopted by the Department of Public Safety of the State of Texas;
  • a member of the board of trustees of an independent school district; and
  • any other person employed by a school district whose employment requires certification and the exercise of discretion.

2. The statutory immunity provided by this subchapter is in addition to and does not preempt the common law doctrine of official and governmental immunity.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch.204, sect. 15.01, eff. Sept.1, 2003;  Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1197, sect. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Section 22.0511.  IMMUNITY FROM LIABILITY.

  1. A professional employee of a school district is not personally liable for any act that is incident to or within the scope of the duties of the employee's position of employment and that involves the exercise of judgment or discretion on the part of the employee, except in circumstances in which a professional employee uses excessive force in the discipline of students or negligence resulting in bodily injury to students. 

  2. This section does not apply to the operation, use, or maintenance of any motor vehicle.

  3.  In addition to the immunity provided under this section and under other provisions of state law, an individual is entitled to any immunity and any other protections afforded under the Paul D. Coverdell Teacher Protection Act of 2001 (20 U.S.C. Section 6731 et seq.), as amended.  Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit or abridge any immunity or protection afforded an individual under state law.  For purposes of this subsection, "individual" includes a person who provides services to private schools, to the extent provided by federal law.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, sect. 1, effective May 30, 1995.  Renumbered from sect. 22.051 and amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch 1197, sect. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Please note:  clinical Teachers from the University of Texas at San Antonio receive no pay during their student teaching experience.

Clinical Teacher Absenteeism

Regular attendance is required and the clinical teacher is expected to be in attendance at his/her school placement or at UTSA for seminars conducted by the university supervisor.

The UTSA Clinical Teaching Log sheet is to be completed each day showing time in and out of school. The Log Sheet should be signed daily by the cooperating teacher. At the end of the semester, both clinical teacher and cooperating teacher should sign and date the Log Sheet and the clinical teacher should turn the Log Sheet in to the university supervisor for inclusion in the clinical teacher’s file.

Job interviews are allowed during the clinical teaching semester, however, notification and approval by the supervisor must be obtained prior to the interview. Every effort should be made to arrange the interviews for after school hours.

Per TEA requirements, clinical teachers must accrue 70 days on their campus placements. Arrangements must be made to make up any additional loss of time at the end of the scheduled clinical teaching period.

If it is necessary for the clinical teacher to be absent for one or several days during the clinical teaching experience, the clinical teacher is required to do the following:

  1. Telephone the assigned school as soon as possible and report the absence to the school secretary, or inform him/her the day before the absence.
  2. Inform or telephone the cooperating teacher of the absence immediately.
  3. Inform the university supervisor of the absence.
  4. In emergency cases, the rule of prudent judgment should apply, including emergencies that may occur during the school day.
  5. Time missed from school must be made up at the end of the semester, if the total days in attendance does not equal 70 days, per TEA requirements.

 

Responsibilities of Cooperating Teachers

PREPARATION

  1. Read UTSA Student Teaching Handbook.

  2.  Prepare students to receive clinical teacher as a professional co-worker.

  3.  Provide a desk or work area, class seating chart(s), and class schedule for the clinical teacher.

  4.  Become an active teaching mentor.


PHASE ONE: ORIENTATION

  1. Familiarize clinical teacher with school staff.

  2. Acquaint clinical teacher with fire drill and other safety procedures. 

  3. Arrange opportunities for the clinical teacher to manage such daily responsibilities as attendance reports, lunch count, and so forth. 

  4. Allow the clinical teacher to assist individuals and groups. 

  5. With the clinical teacher set up a schedule for the gradual assumption of teaching responsibilities.

  6. Hold daily conferences to give assistance in planning, evaluating, and guiding the clinical teacher.  While addressing areas of concern, remember to stress positive aspects.


PHASE TWO: GRADUAL INDUCTION

  1. Supervise and guide the clinical teacher as he/she plans and teaches his/her lessons. Approve the clinical teacher's lesson plans before they are taught with date and your initials. 

  2. Guide the clinical teacher in appropriate strategies for maintaining effective discipline.

  3. Encourage the clinical teacher to try out creative and imaginative methods and allow the opportunity for trial and error under your supervision. 

  4. Provide the clinical teacher with continuing and specific feedback.

  5.  Include the clinical teacher in professional meetings such as faculty meetings, other teachers' meetings and PTA. 

  6. Complete the Midway/Readiness to Teach Form.

PHASE THREE: SHARING THE ROLE OF THE PROFESSIONAL TEACHER

  1. Maintain communication with the clinical teacher and university supervisor. 

  2. Complete Observation Forms on a regular basis. 

  3. When appropriate allow the clinical teacher to observe and participate in parent conferences and ARD meetings.

  4.  Provide opportunities for teaching experiences in content areas, and require the clinical teacher to assist in evaluating students' work. 

  5. Complete Summative Evaluation form in advance of the final conference with the clinical teacher and the university supervisor.

* NOTE Throughout the semester, please contact the university supervisor immediately about any question concerning the program or situations as they may arise.

Compensation Day for Cooperating Teachers

Cooperating teachers play a vital role in preparing clinical teachers to achieve certification and begin their professional careers in public schools.  A compensation day is offered as an acknowledgement of the service the cooperating teacher provides.


If the school/district approves, this bonus day should be taken during the last two weeks of the student teaching semester.  The clinical teacher will be the substitute and will receive no pay for this substitute day.

UTSA does not provide a form since most campuses/districts have their own procedures.  Some districts have a printed form that must be signed by the cooperating teacher, the clinical teacher, and the university supervisor.  Other districts require only verbal approval from the cooperating teacher and the university supervisor.  Whatever format the campus/district uses, this notice serves as documentation for university approval.  

Contact the supervisor if you have any questions.