A pep talk for student teachers who aren’t getting along with their cooperating teachers

Here's a little pep talk for those of you who may find yourselves in a student teaching placement where you don't get along very well with your cooperating teacher. I want to call out a few things that we should consider when building relationships with our mentor teachers.


First of all, we need to be clear in our communication. That is our first strategy.

  • Always keep an open line of communication with your cooperating teacher.

  • Discuss the upcoming day, lesson, or week.

  • Make sure you ask for specific feedback.

  • Tell your cooperating teacher what you expect of yourself as an educator upfront and clearly

  • If you are unclear about any expectations your co-op has for you, ask them to clarify.

  • You may revisit these expectations if necessary.

College supervisor

Include your college supervisor in the process. You should let them know what is happening with your co-op. If you're trying to communicate and work it out and things aren't working out. Your college supervisor may be able to help you.

Don't let others' opinions of you define who you are as a teacher

  • Don't let one person's opinion define you as a teacher

  • In your bones and in your heart, you know you are meant to be a teacher.

  • Do not let that one individual define you as an educator.

  • Do not let that one experience define your teaching career. You've had plenty of other teaching experiences, right? What was your experience like? Perhaps this class, school, or district isn't a good fit for you. That's ok. You have so many options available to you as a teacher out there.

  • You will gain more experience. It's only a 14 week or seven-week learning experience. Consider it as such, as a learning experience.

Recognize your feelings

So let me just end with one last thing. I know having a relationship with a cooperating teacher or a mentor teacher is really important. We learn from each other. However, everyone doesn't have a fantastic relationship with their cooperating teacher and that's okay.

  • It's not fair.

  • It's not what you deserve.

  • It sucks that you don't have a great relationship

  • Reflect on the feedback provided by your co-op.

100 Glows Challenge

I challenge you to make a list of 100 awesome things that you did from now until the end of your placement. Focus on those positive.

You are an educator of excellent. You can do this. I am so proud of you. You're impacting students on a daily basis. They're lucky to have you in your, in their lives.

You have the EduMagic in YOU!

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