Supporting Those Who Work With Student Teachers

School of Education News graphic

The teachers who share their classrooms with School of Education student teachers – known as cooperating teachers – play a vital role in preparing these students to take charge of their own classrooms when they enter the profession.  

Anna Bierce, Clinical Experience Coordinator in Office of Clinical Experiences
Anna Bierce

Anna Bierce, Clinical Experience Coordinator, and Jenny Brownson, Teaching Faculty for the Elementary and Middle Education program, designed a project to support and mentor these cooperating teachers in Milwaukee Public Schools and other Milwaukee area districts for the work they do with teacher candidates.   

The project, which continues through December, 2023, included: 

  • Providing an existing Cooperating Teacher Verification Workshop for future cooperating teachers’ 
  • An advanced workshop that looked at ways to address equity issues including culturally relevant teaching and inequity in school communities’
  • Mentoring opportunities for cooperating teachers and UWM teacher candidates (such as co-planning or holding courageous conversations) within the school.  

“Cooperating teachers loved being part of the program,” Brownson said.  

Jennifer Brownson, Teaching Faculty in Teaching and Learning
Jenny Brownson

The Department of Public Instruction only requires one professional development workshop for cooperating teachers, said Bierce, but through the Women’s Giving Circle Grant UWM is providing the opportunity for more extensive professional development and activities to develop a larger and more prepared cadre of cooperating teachers.  

The project is also working to build closer ties between the university and the schools, so cooperating teachers and students can share ideas and experiences.  “We want to be true partners,” said Brownson. 

If you would like to help fund Student Success, please visit the Give to School of Education webpage.