The supervision dance: Learning to lead and follow a student teacher


Teacher Education

Date of this version


Document Type



student teaching, teacher education, care, motivation, ethics


This article chronicles the journey of a student teaching supervisor as she worked with one of her student teachers. Early in their relationship, the supervisor's assessment of the student teacher's dispositions for teaching triggered concern. In this self-study, the supervisor was guided by Nel Noddings' (2003) phenomenological description of ethical care as she tried to engage the student teacher in dialogue about his growth as a beginning educator. The supervisor intended to include the student teacher's goals along with her assessments to support his professional development. Exchanging the lead in the supervision dance warranted ethical considerations. The supervisor, working within the limited timeframe of the student teaching experience, had the dual responsibilities of coaching and assessing the student teacher's performance as he worked toward licensure. She also had to manage her limited time for attending to the needs of the student teacher. The repercussions included the supervisor taking center stage more than she had originally planned and adapting her schedule to better explore the student teacher's motivations and aspirations.

Published in

The New Educator

Citation/Other Information

Trout, M. (2008). The supervision dance: Learning to lead and follow a student teacher. The New Educator, 4(3), 252-265. doi: 10.1080/15476880802234649