In the past several years I've had the opportunity to work with many student teachers. It's always a lot of fun watching them grow during their short time with me, and I get a lot of personal satisfaction in knowing that I may have helped them achieve their goals.
One reason I work with these students is because of my own wretched student teaching experience! My supervising teacher gave me her plan book and told me that under no circumstances would I be allowed to do anything other than what she had put in her plan book. She said she wanted the class to be exactly where she wanted them to be after I left, and that there was no time for me to add my own ideas. Although I loved the kids and made my A, I left at the end of the term feeling very unprepared and incompetent. I lost all confidence in my abilities. I didn't teach for 8 years, and it wasn't until I had my own kids that I realized that I could teach and do a good job at that!
Because of that time, I love working with student teachers. I know what NOT to do, thanks to my own supervising teacher! I always go over the subject matter that needs to be covered, but I let them know that I regard them as professionals and that I trust that they will succeed. I encourage them to do things the way they are most comfortable. I serve as a mentor and guide, offering advice when needed, and praising all the good things that happen. They all tell me that they appreciate being treated more as co-teachers than students, and all have gone on to establish their own classrooms.
I hear of other supervising teachers who treat their student teachers as badly as mine treated me, and all I can say is, what a waste of good talent! With a growing teacher shortage, we should be doing our best to help these students develop skills that will enable them to be successful and happy as teachers.