The purpose of this study was to survey and examine the selection criteria used by school districts administrators to select cooperating teachers to work with student teachers in Central New Jersey. Furthermore, the study sought out the perceptions of school district administrators with regards to the selection process and training of cooperating teachers. The study focused on the cooperating teacher selection criteria, process, qualifications, and administrators’ perceptions of the qualifications deemed important.  The cooperating teacher plays a crucial role in preparing student teachers to become well-qualified and proficient teachers. This key person serves as the primary teacher educator (model, coach, and evaluator) for teacher candidates. Because of the close contact and extensive period of placement, the cooperating teacher has a unique opportunity to profoundly influence the student’s professional growth. Data revealed that there was no written criterion or process for selecting cooperating teachers. The selection was based on volunteers; a supervision course or experience was not important criterion for selecting cooperating teachers. Seventy-two percent (72%) of the administrators indicated that teachers did not know about the selection criteria. Positive role model, classroom management, and effective communication were perceived to be important attributes for selecting cooperating teachers. Overall, there is no evident pattern or criteria commonly used by administrators when deciding who should hold these critical roles, and there was no evident training program or process of those selected to be cooperating teachers. FULL MANUSCRIPT AVAILABLE AT:
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