The School of Education offers high-quality teacher preparation programs in more than 30 subject areas and at various levels. Considered some of the best in the nation, these programs are preparing future educators to meet the challenges of 21st-century classrooms. The School of Education is committed to sharing resources to provide support and professional development for PK-12 educators and our partner teachers.
For Cooperating Teachers
The quality of our educator preparation programs depends on the willingness of talented teachers and administrators to offer their buildings, classrooms, time and energy to our students. Field experiences—and especially student teaching—are acknowledged as the most powerful and formative components of professional education.
Becoming a Cooperating Teacher
The district mandates that all cooperating teachers (student teaching and practicum) be approved in advance of a placement by the designated school administrator. Once approval has been obtained, your name will become available to the appropriate program coordinators in the School of Education. If a program coordinator requests that you be solicited to work with a University student from their program, you will receive an email solicitation. Please note that not all teachers choosing to participate will receive a student due to the variables within each program.
If you are interested in being a cooperating teacher, please contact Nancy Kuehn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Field Experience Settings
Under Wisconsin state regulations, all teacher education students are required to complete at least one pre-student teaching practicum and at least one full semester of student teaching. Most programs at UW–Madison require students to complete additional field experiences.
Pre-Student Teaching Practicum
The pre-student teaching practicum gives students first-hand knowledge of the classroom environment and the teacher’s role. For many students, the practicum is the initial encounter with the real world of teaching. Practicum students do not assume the degree of classroom responsibility they do during student teaching. Under the supervision of an experienced teacher, practicum students observe classroom activities, assist the teacher with day-to-day classroom management tasks, interact one-to-one with students, and instruct small groups. In some programs practicum students will lead activities and assume responsibility for whole class instruction. The cooperating teacher and university supervisor use the practicum to assess the student’s readiness for the student teaching experience. For this reason, active student engagement in the practicum experience is necessary and expected.
Student Teaching Experience
Student teaching, the culminating field experience, is a full-time, school district semester assignment that places a university student under the guidance of an experienced, qualified cooperating teacher. Most semesters with a student teacher will follow a similar progression—through periods of orientation, participation, collaboration, independence and closure. The process of gradually releasing responsibility for the classroom to a student teacher is highly supported by the cooperating teacher and university supervisor. It is also uniquely tailored to each student teacher’s strengths and areas of growth.
Cooperating Teacher Qualifications for Student Teaching Placement
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction requires that cooperating teachers working with student teachers:
- hold a Wisconsin license and have volunteered for assignment as a cooperating teacher or practicum supervisor.
- have at least 3 years of teaching experience with at least one year of teaching experience in the school or school system of current employment or have at least 3 years of pupil service or administrator experience with one year in the school or school system of current employment.
- have completed training in both the supervision of clinical students and in the applicable teacher education standards.
Please contact the Nancy Kuehn, Field Experience Coordinator, Education Academic Services at 262-3773 or email@example.com for more information.
Getting Qualified To Work With Student Teachers
New cooperating teachers must attend a seminar or workshop, or complete a formal course in supervision of student teachers. Teachers who participated as cooperating teachers prior to July 1, 1977, are recorded as having met the requirement. Teachers’ DPI qualification status is monitored and recorded officially in the Teacher Education Center.
The School of Education provides the following to teachers who wish to become qualified as cooperating teachers:
- Online workshop on the supervision of student teachers. This is offered on a regular basis to teachers within UW–Madison service area (within 50 miles) by staff from the Teacher Education Center at no cost to participants. Please contact the Nancy Kuehn, Field Experience Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Seminars or face-to-face workshops conducted by faculty and/or staff members responsible for student teaching programs.
- Conferences for cooperating teachers conducted by faculty members responsible for student teaching programs. The conference is considered temporary qualification until a teacher can enroll in and complete a workshop, seminar or course.
Cooperating Teacher Benefits
Cooperating Teacher Payments
The following schedule is currently used to determine payments to school personnel or school systems, depending on terms of participation and established policy. (Secondary Education has an alternate payment plan. Contact Joey Lubasi with Secondary Education at 263-3404 or email@example.com for more information):
- Full-time, full semester student teaching assignments (payments for less than full-time assignments will be prorated accordingly) $70.00
- Pre-student teaching practica assignments $25.00
- Split Academic Assignments
- Major subject area $45.00
- Minor subject area $30.00
Guidance Counselor Assignments
- Half-days, full school year $50.00
- Full-days, full school year $75.00
Checks will be issued in January for fall semester placements; June for the spring semester placements. Social security benefits associated with the payments are paid by the University. No payment will be made for persons identified as exempt or for on-campus or agency placements. Payments are mailed to the address listed on the cooperating teacher’s W9 or to an established fund as requested by the school district. Questions or concerns regarding cooperating personnel payments should be referred to School of Education Field Experience.
Faculty/Staff Identification Cards
All cooperating personnel who receive payments and all school principals who supervise these cooperating personnel may receive a university faculty/staff identification card. The card provides university facility use privileges on a limited basis, including access to UW recreation facilities, libraries and unions. Athletic facility fees are charged at all sites. Contact each facility directly for detailed information on access and use.
Staff ID card authorizations are in effect for one year past the paid semester (three semesters).
Complete the online Faculty/Staff Photo ID card application and follow the directions on the form. Individuals with a valid ID card need do nothing. Questions about ID authorization should be referred to School of Education Field Experience.
The faculty/staff ID card permits cooperating personnel to establish an email account at the University. After you have picked up your ID card you may activate your Net ID online.
Field Experience Policies
Find below the most recent update of the UW-Madison School of Education TE Field Experience Policies. This document has not been formally approved by School governance committees, but has been vetted widely and includes long-standing School of Education policies and practices. Faculty, supervisors, students and cooperating teachers are encouraged to consult this document.
TE Field Experience Policies (July, 2017)
The following document, Considerations regarding Credit-Bearing Field Work in the School of Education, is an unofficial statement on characteristics of credit-bearing field experience courses. This document was developed to give guidance to faculty and staff who are developing such classes.
Considerations regarding credit-bearing field work (August, 2017)
Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA)
The edTPA is a subject area-specific, performance-based assessment for pre-service teacher candidates, which is centered on student learning. Evidence of candidate teaching proficiency in the areas of planning, engagement, instruction and assessment is drawn from a subject-specific learning segment, 3–5 lessons from a unit of instruction. Assessment artifacts include video clips of instruction, lesson plans, student work samples, analysis of student learning and reflective commentaries. These artifacts will be taken together and scored by trained evaluators using the standardized set of edTPA rubrics. After August 31, 2015, initial license candidates must complete the edTPA as part of their student teaching and after August 31, 2016, initial license candidates will be required to pass the edTPA before they can be recommended for licensure. Current admitted teacher education students and authorized faculty/staff can visit the School’s edTPA website for more detailed information.
For more information on WI-focused edTPA and certification information, you may want to visit http://tepdl.dpi.wi.gov/epp/edtpa
Partners in Education Banquet
As a special thank you to the many PK-12 school professionals who open their classrooms to provide field experiences for UW-Madison student teachers and practicum students, the UW–Madison School of Education will once again present the Partners in Education Banquet & Recognition Program during the 2017-18 academic year. The event will take place on Thursday, April 19, 2018 at Olbrich Botanical Gardens.
The event will include complimentary dinner service to all cooperating personnel, followed by a formal program hosted by Associate Dean Jeff Hamm and Field Experience Coordinator, Nancy Kuehn. During the program, the School of Education will also present its Rockwell Awards for Cooperating Personnel, recognizing excellent teachers who have chosen to pass on their expertise by providing professional experiences for UW–Madison student teachers and Teacher Education Alumni Awards, recognizing UW–Madison School of Education graduates for their outstanding skills and commitment to their local educational communities.
Rockwell Awards for Cooperating Teachers
Through the generosity of Roland and Ruth Rockwell, the University of Wisconsin–Madison is pleased to offer four $1000 awards to outstanding cooperating teachers. The Rockwell Awards recognize excellent teachers who have chosen to pass on their expertise by providing professional experiences for UW–Madison student teachers. The awards will be presented at the annual Partners in Education Banquet on Thursday, April 19, 2018 at Olbrich Botanical Gardens from 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Award recipients will have had at least five (5) UW–Madison student teachers and will have demonstrated
- exemplary teaching ability by establishing an environment that instills a desire for students to learn, bringing enthusiasm into the classroom, and putting into practice quality and successful teaching techniques, methods, and goals.
- long-term commitment to their students, the profession of teaching, and their student teachers.
- effective mentoring of student teachers by modeling and transmitting skills, professional attitudes, and the love of the profession to the next teaching generation.
Candidates are rated on the extent to which they
- make student teachers feel welcome and involved in the school environment from the initial stages of the experience;
- share information about and facilitate access to the variety of school resources available for student teachers;
- are flexible and open to change;
- encourage student teachers to try new ideas and develop new curriculum;
- provide effective guidance, feedback, and opportunities for student teachers to reflect on their teaching experience.
Nominations are invited from colleagues, university supervisors, program faculty, school administrators, and former (not current) student teachers. Selection of award recipients will be made by a committee of teachers and University staff from the UW–Madison School of Education.
The nomination packet must include
- a completed Nomination Form 2018 including the signature of the candidate’s principal.
- at least three and no more than five additional letters of support from different participants in the student teaching experience–administrators, university supervisors, peers, and former (not current) student teachers. No more than two letters should be from individuals in any one category.
- a brief letter of endorsement from the program coordinator in the student teaching area if s/he is not the nominator or does not submit a letter of support.
Participants should make clear their relationship to the candidate in the nominating statement or letter of support. Please note that letters from former student teachers have been especially persuasive. A strong nomination packet describes in detail how candidates have met the selection criteria and provides examples and anecdotes. Nominees from previous years will be reconsidered by written request.
IMPORTANT: The online application requires that items in the nomination packet be completed and documents uploaded in a single sitting. Contact Nancy Kuehn by phone at 262-3773 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn whether your potential candidate has a file already established, to determine the candidate’s number of student teachers and/or program coordinator, or other relevant information.
Nominations will be accepted until Friday, March 1, 2018
Teacher Education Alumni Awards
Do you know an outstanding teacher, administrator, or other K-12 school professional? Someone whose lifelong dedication to public service reflects the ideals of the School of Education?
If that person is a UW–Madison School of Education graduate in elementary or secondary education, consider nominating him or her for a special alumni award. The School honors outstanding school professionals with two alumni awards:
- Lois Gadd Nemec Elementary Education Alumni Award
- Robert and Carroll Heideman Secondary Education Alumni Award
Award Criteria & Eligibility
Both the Nemec and the Heideman awards recognize graduates who have demonstrated commitment and distinguished service as classroom teachers, administrators, or other K-12 school professionals (one recipient per category).
Lois Gadd Nemec Elementary Education Alumni Award
- The Nemec Award recognizes graduates for their outstanding skills and commitment to their local educational communities.
- The nominee must have received a degree in elementary education from the UW-Madison School of Education.
Robert and Carroll Heideman Secondary Education Alumni Award
- The Heideman Award also recognizes graduates for their outstanding skills and commitment to their local educational communities.
- The nominee must have received a degree in secondary education from the UW-Madison School of Education.
NOTE: Current faculty and staff of UW–Madison are not eligible to receive alumni awards.
*** NOMINATIONS FOR THESE AWARDS ARE CLOSED ***
Nomination packets for both awards should include the following materials:
- Nomination Statement
- Candidate’s Résumé or CV
- Letter(s) of Support (min: 1, max: 3)
Please submit nominations in one of the following ways:
- Online submission form
- Email to Events Coordinator Jody Moen
- Mail or deliver to:
School of Education External Relations Office
Attn: Jody Moen
181 Education Building
1000 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
Award Selection & Recognition
Selections for the Nemec and Heideman awards are made by a School of Education award committee (one recipient per category). Awardees will receive an inscribed plaque and an award stipend.
For UW Field Experience Staff
Supervisors are official representatives of the School of Education who assume responsibility for directly supervising our students in the field and who serve as liaisons between the campus and cooperating sites. A supervisor may be a faculty/staff program coordinator, a graduate student, or another staff person. The supervisor role is critical to the success of the School’s educator preparation programs.
Field Experiences Information
The UW-Madison School of Education TE Field Experience Policies is linked below. This document has not been formally approved by School of Education governance committees, but has been vetted widely and includes long-standing School of Education policies and practices. Faculty, supervisors, students and cooperating teachers are encouraged to consult this document.
- TE Field Experience Policies (July, 2017)
The Considerations regarding Credit-Bearing Field Work in the School of Education document is an unofficial statement on characteristics of credit-bearing field experience courses. This document was developed to give guidance to faculty and staff who are developing such classes.
- Considerations regarding credit-bearing field work (August, 2017)
Supervision Resources and Other Information
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has established minimum requirements for student teaching observations:
- Observed by the university supervisor at least four times throughout the semester.
- Each observation visit must be at least one hour in duration.
- Written evaluations of each observation must be completed and included in the student’s permanent file. Completed forms should be submitted to program coordinators at the end of the semester. These forms should be considered supplemental to preferred instruments that may be in use in specific program areas.
- At least two three-way conferences involving the student teacher, cooperating teacher and university supervisor must be held during the semester.
These requirements governing student teaching observation visits should be considered minimum expectations. The number of university supervisor visits may vary according to student teacher need and program expectations. It is recommended that the cooperating teacher participate in as many of the post-observation conferences as time will allow.
Generic observation forms are available in PDF format as well as an example for Supervisor Evaluation Art and a mid term evaluation used for MCEA Special Education Dual Certification. Observation forms developed by former UW-Madison supervisor Barbara Bales are also available in MS-Word format.
- Travel Information and Forms
Student Testing and Assessment
Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA)
The edTPA is a subject area-specific, performance-based assessment for pre-service teacher candidates, which is centered on student learning. Evidence of candidate teaching proficiency in the areas of planning, engagement and instruction, and assessment is drawn from a subject-specific learning segment, 3–5 lessons from a unit of instruction. Assessment artifacts include video clips of instruction, lesson plans, student work samples, analysis of student learning and reflective commentaries. These artifacts will be taken together and scored by trained evaluators using the standardized set of edTPA rubrics. Initial license candidates must complete and pass the edTPA before they can be recommended for licensure. Current admitted teacher education students and authorized faculty/staff can visit the School’s edTPA website for more detailed information.
Foundations of Reading Test in Wisconsin
Wisconsin State law requires that all Grade K-5 teachers, special education teachers, reading teachers, and reading specialists who are applying for initial Wisconsin licensure must take and pass the Foundations of Reading Test for Wisconsin. For our School, this requirement applies to all Elementary Education program students, all Special Education program students, and all students completing the Reading Teacher and Reading Specialist programs. Applicants who apply for Wisconsin licensure must post a passing score of 240. Students should check their scores to be sure that they have met the minimum requirement applicable to their license application date. Test sites, registration, preparation, and other test information are available at www.wi.nesinc.com.
Prospective teacher education students have been required to submit test scores to the School of Education to be eligible for professional program admission. Students also have been required to take and pass an approved content examination. World Language Education students must meet an ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview requirement and must take and pass the ACTFL Writing Proficiency Test (WPT).
Due to recent changes in Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction regulations, some of these testing requirements are under review. Please consult published program admission requirements, program advisors, and teacher preparation program coordinators for the most current information.
MMSD Guidelines for ID Badge
The Madison Metropolitan School District hosts hundreds of practicum students, student teachers, and fieldwork interns in their schools each year. They know pre-service teachers and professionals play an integral role in supporting a great experience for all MMSD learners. To help ensure the safety and security of their students, they require all full-time student teachers to visit Human Resources prior to the start of their student teaching semester for fingerprinting (for a background check) and ID badge issuance. In general, most school visitors (non-employees) should only require a Visitor Pass and will not need a printed ID badge. However, there may be instances where a school determines other categories of regular visitors (for example, practicum students, interns, student observers, volunteers, college/university supervisors, etc.) should be issued an MMSD ID badge.
At elementary schools, school secretaries may submit an ID badge request online here. At secondary schools, the secretary may print an ID Badge on site.
The Human Resources Office for the Madison Metropolitan School district is located in Room 133, at the Doyle Administration Building, 545 West Dayton Street. The office is open between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. on school days. MMSD will notify full-time student teachers on how to proceed with arranging an appointment to complete the necessary steps prior to the beginning of placement. For more information, please visit Pre-Service Teaching with MMSD
Contact Human Resources:
Emily Nyquist – email@example.com
Shauna Sendelbach – firstname.lastname@example.org