I need advice/help...

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by bunches3614, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. bunches3614

    bunches3614 Rookie

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    Nov 3, 2010

    I am in my 12th week of a 16 week student teaching placement. First of all, let me say that I appreciate the fact that my cooperating teacher has allowed me into her classroom. It is a fifth grade class with 33 students. About a quarter of them are the GATE cluster (she is the GATE coordinator), and about 1/4 are far below basic (this includes ELL's and resource kids). Just this mix alone, I am sure that most teachers would find challenging.

    I went into my student teaching experience full of confidence, ready to go above and beyond (which I have), and ready for comments, both good and bad. Here is the problem; my CT is a control freak. I am in the second week of my three week "solo" and she has not left the room for more than 1/2 an hour. She constantly interrupts my lessons when I am not doing something the way that she would do it. This includes the way that the students number and head their paper. When she does this I get flustered and then it seems to blow my whole lesson because I feel like I am doing everything wrong. I get very little positive feedback, although, my university supervisor, and the principal tell me how much she raves about me. I am working on classroom management, but she jumps in before I can even do anything. All of this makes me feel like the kids are looking at me like they can walk all over me, and that is what is beginning to happen. Now, she is telling me that my classroom management is poor. How am I supposed to develop it when she is always there jumping in the middle?

    Other teachers in the school have told me how much they feel bad for me for having to deal with this teacher, so I know that it can't be me. I have had the highest of reviews from my university supervisor, and he tells me I am one of the best student teachers he has. I know that I only have 5 more "solo" days, but I need some advice on how to get through them. I am losing more and more confidence every day.
     
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  3. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    Nov 3, 2010

    wow......do you feel comfortable asking your cooperating teacher to "back off" (in a nice way) so you can get a feel of your own teaching style and classroom management? If not, I would talk to your supervisor to see how to handle this situation with kid gloves...
     
  4. bunches3614

    bunches3614 Rookie

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    Nov 3, 2010

    I have hinted at it, and that is about all I feel comfortable with when it comes to her. Like I said, she is very much a control freak. As far as my university supervisor, he has told me that it is her classroom, I am a guest, and have to abide by her rules. I just never thought my student teaching experience would be like this.
     
  5. Leatherette

    Leatherette Comrade

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    Nov 3, 2010

    Like you said, you are almost done, and look at this as an important lesson in maintaining focus and teaching no matter what the environment throws at you. Sadly, there are principals who are like this, too.

    Don't let this person's mental health needs become your mental health needs.

    It sounds like you will be an excellent teacher. Many teachers have to work in discouraging environments, unfortunately. The ones that last have some sort of inner strength in the face of these sorts of challenges.

    Take care,
    L
     
  6. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    Nov 3, 2010

    ha ha love this

    I'm sorry that your supervising teacher isn't more accommodating
    and that you got a massive control freak for a teacher = ( I guess there isn't really anything you can do except finish out.
     
  7. Momma C

    Momma C Comrade

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    Nov 3, 2010

    Piece of advice--there will ALWAYS be at least one negative person you have to work with. As she is your supervising teacher, there is not a whole lot you can do, but do your best. Ask for her advice - most of which should probably go in one ear and out the other. However, you only have 4 (make that basically 3) more weeks with her -- so stroke her ego. As long as your professors know the truth, don't worry about it. Don't let her undermine your confidence. Keep posting to us, and we'll keep sending you support through cyber space. Lots of love and luck!!
     
  8. bunches3614

    bunches3614 Rookie

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    Nov 4, 2010

    Thank you all so much. I guess this is all stuff that I knew, but it is so discouraging day after day. I know that there will always be negative people that I will work with, but I am hoping they won't always be looking over my shoulder and undermining my authority with students. I think that is what is bothering me the most. She really doesn't believe that her correcting me (on minor things, in my opinion) in front of students is undermining their respect for me. In turn, this is effecting my classroom management. What do you all think?
     
  9. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    Nov 4, 2010

    You are almost finished,the cooperating teacher needs to spend the rest of the year with this group and might be fearful of losing a difficult group at any time.
    It is unfortunate that she does trust you more,but take what you have learned from this experience and move on to hopefully a more pleasant experience.
    Please be careful not to say too much to other teachers or administrators in the school how unhappy you are,it can come back to hurt you if you need a recommendation from your cooperating teacher.
     
  10. bunches3614

    bunches3614 Rookie

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    Nov 4, 2010

    Honestly, I have not had to day anything, they know her and can see it. When she is in the teachers lounge lecturing me on how to teach a math lesson, they are giving me looks of sympathy. Teachers that have worked with one another for a while know what the others are like. I am just hanging on.

    On an up note, she had to leave the room for like 2 1/2 hours today, and I felt so confident in the classroom. The class and I had a nice talk about expectations, and how they should behave. It was just wonderful being able to be myself, and teach these students.
     
  11. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Nov 4, 2010

    This sounds like a very challenging class. When you take over your own classroom, I think you will have a different perspective on this situation and her actions.

    You can still learn from this situation (I know this is easier said than done). You know that you are a good teacher, and this is confirmed by your college supervisors. So be confident in that, and step back and see what this situation can offer you.

    How students number and head their papers might seem inconsequential to you, but it is an important routine that the teacher wants to establish. The fact that you are not following that routine would be upsetting to many teachers. You are a guest in her room, and need to follow her lead, not veer off into your own routines.

    You can establish your own routines when you have your own classroom. Right now stay with her established routines, which can be so important when you have a very challenging class. The students need this consistency.

    If you do this, you will gain more of her support, and the students will see that she respects you more, and they will do so as well.

    This is really a confidence game. Be open to her suggestions, know that this will pass quickly, and you can go forward with everything you've learned.

    Good luck!
     
  12. bunches3614

    bunches3614 Rookie

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    I completely understand what you are saying about keeping things consistent, and being a guest in the classroom. I don't see things as it as inconsequential, but I feel like as fifth graders headings and numbering should not have to be modeled week after week. I even got yelled at last week for not checking to see if they numbered the paper correctly. If she wants a certain heading I will use it, but if I forget, or it is off a little, it shouldn't be a federal case. I guess I just expected that I would be able to bring a little of myself into the class, and that hasn't been allowed.

    I do need to add, in all fairness, that I have learned a lot from her. I may not use it all, but it is knowledge in case I need it. I also do think that I have her support, she just doesn't show it well, and correcting me in front of students just doesn't seem like it should happen. With all of that said, I only have four solo days to go, and I am sure that I can handle them, take my new found knowledge and go on to be a great teacher.
     
  13. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Nov 5, 2010

    It is very unprofessional and inappropriate of her to correct you in front of students.

    But you know that, and it sounds like you are handling this well. Come here to vent as much as you need to, and we will support you and offer suggestions on how to deal with it.

    I think it's great that you can still see how much you are learning from her, in spite of her unprofessionalism.
     
  14. bunches3614

    bunches3614 Rookie

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    Nov 5, 2010

    Thank you all so much for all of your support. It means a lot to me. I was told today by another teacher that my co-op teacher said that after me she would never have another student teacher again. While I am glad that no one else will have to go through that, it is still hurtful. The teacher only told me because she wanted me to know that it is her and not me. Her reasoning was that she doesn't think that it is fair for the student teacher to have to come into a fifth grade class not know the curriculum. Um, isn't that the case for all grade levels?
     
  15. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Nov 6, 2010

    I experienced the same thing as a student teacher. Take comfort in the fact that you are receiving excellent reviews from multiple people. It is your CT's classroom, so if she wants things done a certain way, you need to do it. If anything, file away some of the ideas that you don't ever want to repeat and chalk it up to a learning experience. You have made it this far, you can handle 5 more days. Just let her do her thing - she's going to be running the show again full time in a week.
     

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