Best practices for mentoring: An exploratory study of cooperating teacher and student teacher perspectives




agricultural education, internship, mentorship, retention, teaching


With nearly one-half of U.S. teachers leaving the profession within the first five years of their career, focusing on retention is an ongoing effort. Providing quality mentorship during the student teaching internship provides further support to new teachers preparing to enter the classroom. Cooperating teachers play a pivotal role in the success of these student teachers. However, little is known about the mentoring process between the cooperating teachers and their student teachers. This study compares the perspectives of the cooperating teacher and their student teacher on the frequency of 17 best practices employed by the cooperating teacher during the student teaching experience. The results suggest cooperating teachers rate themselves as utilizing 16 of the 17 best practices of a cooperating teacher more frequently than their paired student teacher observed. In addition, the student teachers rated their observed frequency for five of the 17 best practices employed by their mentor teacher between rarely and often, implying potential weaknesses in the preparation of the cooperating teacher. Differences between the perceived practices of the cooperating teachers and the observed frequencies of these practices by their student teachers warrants further research in the preparation and support of cooperating teachers in their roles as mentors.


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How to Cite

Nesbitt, H., Barry, D., Lawson, K., & Diaz, J. (2022). Best practices for mentoring: An exploratory study of cooperating teacher and student teacher perspectives. Advancements in Agricultural Development, 3(4), 30–42.