So you’ve made it through your student teaching experience. Congratulations – that’s no small feat! Now that your time in the classroom is coming to an end, it’s important to show your appreciation for the teacher who guided you through it. Your cooperating teacher dedicated their time and expertise to support you, and a heartfelt thank you letter can go a long way.
While student teaching is invaluable in preparing you for your own classroom, it can also be stressful and challenging at times. Your cooperating teacher was there to offer guidance and advice to help you grow into the teacher you aspire to be. They shared their space, students, and wisdom with you, and supported you through the ups and downs. Though the experience has come to an end, the impact of their mentorship will stay with you in your teaching career.
A thank you letter is a small gesture that can make a big impact. Here are some tips for writing a meaningful thank you letter to your cooperating teacher to express your gratitude for their role in your development as an educator.
Why Write a Thank You Letter to Your Student Teaching Cooperating Teacher?
Why Write a Thank You Letter to Your Student Teaching Cooperating Teacher?
Your student teaching experience would not be the same without the guidance of your cooperating teacher. They opened their classroom to you, shared their wisdom, and supported you through challenges. A heartfelt thank you letter is the least you can do to express your gratitude for their mentorship.
A thank you letter allows you to highlight specific ways your cooperating teacher impacted you. Maybe they gave you helpful feedback or advice that shaped your teaching philosophy. Perhaps they inspired your lesson plans or classroom management style. A customized, specific letter will make them realize how much of a difference they made in your life.
Beyond that, a thank you letter is a professional courtesy. Student teaching is demanding work, and your cooperating teacher dedicated time and energy to mentoring you. A letter shows them you appreciate the sacrifices they made to help you grow into an educator.
Finally, a thank you letter could benefit you down the road. Your cooperating teacher’s reference and recommendation will mean a lot when you start applying for teaching jobs. A heartfelt letter now establishes your thoughtfulness and maturity, making you a standout candidate for any position.
In summary, a thank you letter to your student teaching cooperating teacher is important for three reasons: it allows you to share the impact they had on you, it’s a professional courtesy for their time and support, and it can help strengthen their future recommendation of you. Such a small gesture can go a long way in expressing your immense gratitude for them.
Timing Your Thank You Letter
Timing is everything when it comes to thanking your cooperating teacher. You want to express your gratitude while
the experience is still fresh in their mind.
Within 1-2 weeks after finishing student teaching
This is the ideal window. Your teacher will appreciate hearing from you when the experience is still top of mind. Keep your letter concise but thoughtful:
- Thank them specifically for the skills and lessons they taught you. Mention a couple examples that stand out.
- Share how their guidance and the experience overall has shaped you as an educator. For instance, you might say you feel far more confident developing engaging lessons or that you have a deeper understanding of effective classroom management techniques.
- Let them know you’re open to staying in touch and hope to work together again in some capacity. Many student teachers build lasting mentoring relationships with their cooperating teachers.
- You might offer to connect them with your new students and their families once you have your own classroom. Building that bridge shows your appreciation for them extends into your own teaching.
While a handwritten note is always appreciated, an email thank you letter is perfectly acceptable and allows you to be a bit more descriptive. Be sure to express your gratitude sincerely in your own words. Your cooperating teacher gave you an invaluable opportunity to learn and grow as an educator, and a thoughtful thank you letter is a meaningful way to convey your appreciation.
What to Include in Your Thank You Letter
A thank you letter to your student teaching cooperating teacher should express your genuine appreciation for their time, support, and guidance. Here are some things you’ll want to include:
- Sincerely thank them for the opportunity to learn from them. Say something like “Thank you for welcoming me into your classroom and providing an invaluable learning experience.”
- Share how much you appreciate them sharing their knowledge and skills with you. For example, “I am extremely grateful for all the wisdom and advice you have imparted to me.”
Highlight What You Learned
- Discuss some of the specific things they taught you, such as effective teaching techniques, classroom management strategies, or content-area expertise.
- Explain how these lessons will shape you as an educator. For instance, “Your passion for engaging students through hands-on activities is something I will take with me into my own classroom.”
Share Your Memories
- Describe some of your favorite memories from your time student teaching with them. Keep these lighthearted and positive.
- Talk about interactions with students or moments of success and achievement that were meaningful to you. For example, “Helping the students prepare for the science fair and seeing their excitement when the experiments were successful is something I will always remember.”
Offer to Stay in Touch
- Express your desire to maintain an ongoing relationship. For example, say something like “I hope we can continue to connect as colleagues and support each other even though our time working together has come to an end.”
- Provide your contact information and invite them to reach out if they ever want to chat or need help with anything.
- End by reaffirming your gratitude and appreciation for the role they played in preparing you for your teaching career. For example, “Again, thank you for everything you have done to help me become the teacher I am today. I feel ready to have my own classroom thanks to your guidance and support.”
Sample Thank You Letters for Ideas
A thank you letter to your student teaching cooperating teacher is a thoughtful way to express your gratitude for their time, support and guidance. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
Share specific moments that stood out
Dear [Teacher’s name],
I wanted to write you a letter to express my deepest thanks for your mentorship during my student teaching experience. Some of the moments that will stay with me include:
- Observing your engaging and effective teaching style, especially the ways you connected with each student. I learned so much from watching you in action.
- Our conversations about both the rewards and challenges of teaching. Your advice and encouragement meant the world to me.
- Giving me the opportunity to lead lessons and activities, and providing helpful feedback that built my confidence as an educator.
Mention the skills and lessons learned
Through this experience, I gained valuable skills that will serve me well as I embark on my teaching career. I learned the importance of flexibility, connecting with students, and collaborating with colleagues. I also developed a deeper understanding of creating engaging lessons, managing a classroom, and assessing student needs.
Express your appreciation
Thank you again for being such an amazing mentor and role model. I feel prepared and excited to have my own classroom, thanks to your guidance and support. You have made such a difference in my life, and I will always be grateful for this formative experience.
Following Up After Sending Your Thank You Letter
Sending a heartfelt thank you letter to your cooperating teacher is an important step, but the follow up after sending it can be just as meaningful. Here are a few things you can do to strengthen your connection even further.
Send a Small Gift
As a token of your appreciation, consider giving your cooperating teacher a little gift like a gift card to their favorite coffee shop or a book by their favorite author. Keep the value small, around $10-$20, so it doesn’t seem like you’re trying to bribe them, just show your gratitude in a tangible way. Include a handwritten thank you note referencing your letter.
Stay in Touch
Don’t disappear after your placement ends. Send an email every now and then to update your cooperating teacher on your progress in the teacher prep program or job search. Let them know about positions you’re applying for and ask if they’d be willing to provide a reference. Building an ongoing relationship will benefit you both in the long run.
Meet for Coffee
If possible, try and meet your cooperating teacher in person for a quick coffee or lunch. Face to face interaction is the best way to convey how much their mentorship meant to you. Come prepared with specific examples of lessons and strategies you learned from them that you’ll carry into your own classroom. Ask them for any last bits of advice or wisdom to impart. Meeting one-on-one will solidify your connection and leave a lasting impression.
Invite Them to Your Classroom
Once you land your first teaching job, invite your cooperating teacher to visit your classroom. Give them a chance to see the results of the foundation they helped build. Their visit will bring your student teaching experience full circle and show how you’ve grown into the teacher they always knew you could be. Extending this invitation is a meaningful way to express eternal gratitude for their guidance and support.
Following up in these personal ways after sending your thank you letter will ensure your cooperating teacher understands the profound and lasting impact they had on you. Strengthening your connection will lead to an ongoing mentorship that benefits you both far into your careers.
And there you have it, the blueprint for crafting a meaningful thank you letter to your cooperating teacher. Putting pen to paper and expressing your gratitude in a heartfelt, sincere way is so important. Your cooperating teacher dedicated their time, expertise, and patience to helping you grow into the teacher you’re becoming. Though your student teaching experience has come to an end, the lessons you’ve learned from your cooperating teacher will stay with you forever. So take a few minutes to reflect on your experience, think about what they’ve meant to you, and write them a letter they’ll treasure for years to come. You’ll be glad you did.