Student Teaching Begins Tomarrow and Im terrified

Discussion in 'Student & Preservice Teachers' started by Geologygirl, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. Geologygirl

    Geologygirl Comrade

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    Sep 2, 2013

    Was anyone else scared on the first few days of student teaching?

    I feel like the pressure my college has put on us to treat every day as an interview has me scared I will make a bad impression. I also worry about failing with class management with my classes and failing student teaching. I cannot afford to redo it next semester so this is the one shot.

    I am sure these worries are unfounded. I tend to get a little anxious in new situations, and I like to hear how other folks have persevered under the same odds. Does anyone else have stories to share about how they felt going into student teaching?
     
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  3. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Aficionado

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    Sep 2, 2013

    1. Yes, you should do your best every day, and treating it as an interview is a good idea, but don't think of it like that if it really stresses you out.
    Think of it like this: every day be prepared for everything, and do your best. That's all you can do. Think of an administrator walking in at any moment and she can only get a 5 minute snapshot of you, so you want that to be good.
    When I student taught, the admin. walked in, and later told my master teacher that she didn't like my objectives on the board. They were too vague, they didn't really tell what the students were supposed to be learning, etc. My master teacher talked to me about it, gave me advice on how to do it right, and that was it. I don't know if the P had a bad or ok opinion of me, or if she even cared, after all I was just a student teacher. But I wished I would have gotten it right.

    2. Most master teachers will start you out with just observing and will gradually give you more responsibilities and alone time with your students. I have heard a lot of stories when the teacher had a hard time letting go, and never really allowed the student teacher to be on her own. So don't worry, it's not like the teacher will leave, and you're on your own on the first day.

    3. student teaching is the time when it's ok to make mistakes.Every one knows that you're practicing what you learned and will get better and better. Of course, you can make certain mistakes that will darken your teacher future (calling kids names, putting hands on them, neglect, bad, bad decisions, etc), but things like not so great classroom management or not so great lesson plans will not cause you problems. As long as you are willing to listen, seek help and learn.
    No student teacher is perfect, so don't put that much pressure on
    yourself.

    4. be nice and polite with everyone. Other teachers can be a great resource (they were for me). Try to develop a great relationship with your college supervisor (I did and she made everything easier).
    Make people see that you are happy to be there, you're professional, enthusiastic, humble and want to learn. Be on time, better yet, be early every day. Don't complain about anything, don't talk about others. If you have trouble in the classroom and want to vent, definitely don't do that at school. Talk to your master teacher and ask for solutions, but don't complain about the class during lunch. There was a teacher when I student taught, who did that, and I saw how bad that looked. She painted herself as the teacher who can't handle the kids. If you want to vent, do it here :) We'll listen.
     
  4. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Sep 2, 2013

    These are all perfectly normal worries and fears. Relax! You can't possibly treat every day like a job interview. As long as you are polite, respectful and YOURSELF, you'll be fine. Classroom management- just be clear, confident and consistent.

    My student teaching was a few years ago. I was part of a Master's Program that required me to teach all school year in the same classroom as a mentor while completing all of my MS Ed courses in one year. So I was stressed and sleep deprived all year.

    My mentor was (and is) one of the most amazing teachers I've met. She let me have as much space as I was comfortable with and was right there to help me when I made mistakes. Which I did and you will too.

    My biggest fear was classroom management too, especially because I teach in an urban high school with a high number of behavioural problems. The first time I had to stand off with a 6'3" muscular football player, I was shaking like a leaf on the inside, convinced he was about to deck me. But I learned that kids are kids. Regardless of age and where they're from, the vast majority want the same attention, praise ,and direction whether they're 5 or 19. My HS students will do tricks for a sticker some days!

    I ended up being hired at the same school at which I student taught and it's been amazing ever since. I have my mentor teacher 2 doors down and we still rely on each other for certain things DAILY.

    You'll be fine. I was convinced the students hated me. I'll never forget the first letter I received from a student telling me what a positive impact I had on her. I'm not the most popular teacher (men are always SO much more loved! :p) but I've received a few of those letters over the last few years and they remind me why it was worth that first year.

    Good luck!
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 2, 2013

    Deep breaths. They're not going to throw you into the deep end until you're ready.

    Tomorrow you'll be observing. I promise, no one will make you teach a lesson without prep.

    As to impressions: dress professionally. Hair back in a real clip, not a scrunchie. No gum. Smile and shake hands, just like a real grownup. When you introduce yourself to the kids, it's as Ms. Geologygirl. Act the part of an adult, even if you think you're more comfortable as one of the kids.

    Take lots of notes. Note the way the teacher introduces him/herself to the class. What happens when someone talks? Is unprepared? Write down everything you can think of, with question marks next to the things you want to ask about.

    Give the teacher benefit of the doubt, even when you're sure you would have handled a situation differently. Often the teacher knows background info you're not privy to.

    But mostly, remember those deep breaths. You're going to work hard, and enjoy it more than you can imagine!
     
  6. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Cohort

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    Sep 2, 2013

    Congrats on making it to your first step toward teaching! I agree with everyone who posted earlier and I will add other ideas.

    1. Ask PLENTY of questions! Your classroom management won't be initially be needed as you and your CT will both be in the room. That's how it was for me. You will encounter times when you will try your darnedest and no one will pay attention to you. That's when you ask for advice from your CT or before.

    2. Don't arrive when you're supposed to. Get there earlier. I bugged the secretary every day for her key as I almost always got there before my CT did!

    3. Connections are everywhere! Where I student-taught, there was a position that opened up after I graduated. Went on the interview but did not land the job. Where I work now, the P knew the P from my internship as he was an AP at the HS of my current city school system! You'll never know how far your connections will take you.

    4. Make mistakes so you can learn from them. This is your time to grow so mistakes made now will be beneficial for your future.

    5. Spend your lunch time listening to what other teachers talk about.

    6. Be available to tutor your students after school or during your planning period. From what I hear, and I could be wrong, student-teachers aren't required to stay past when their CT stay but going above and beyond is seen as a positive!

    Good luck and have a great adventure! You're gonna remember your student teaching days. Just yesterday, I bumped into a former student of mine at the mall and she gave me a big hug! :D
     
  7. Geologygirl

    Geologygirl Comrade

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    Sep 4, 2013

    I just wanted to thank everyone for their responses. I made it through the first day of school-wide meetings and my first day of student teaching just fine, and do not feel so terrified anymore. Thanks for all of the advice too! I wish all the other student teachers lots and lots of luck, and to other teachers, I hope you have a good year!
     
  8. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Sep 4, 2013

    Be careful about the lunch room! Sometimes ours is very negative so certain days I choose to eat in my room!
     
  9. DressageLady

    DressageLady Comrade

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    Sep 4, 2013

    Good luck and don't forget to have some fun during this time. My internship and student teaching year was a fantastic experience for me. I had a lot of fun, even when I was working my bum off!
    Sheilah
     
  10. DKM

    DKM Rookie

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    Sep 12, 2013

    I partially agree. It is ok to make a few mistakes IF they are minor and you do NOT repeat them throughout your internship. My student teaching experience screwed me from getting a professional career out of college because I was repeating mistakes that my mentor teacher was not upfront about with me (and she should of) and ended up giving me a mediocre evaluation without having any prior conversations about her concerns. I was extremely upset at her when she wasn't giving me feedback... and if your mentor teacher isn't giving you any, you need to ask her so you can improve your craft because it isn't fair to you. PLUS you want to do as best as you can to get a reference letter from your mentor teacher AND administrative supervisor.

    If your mentor teacher personally doesn't feel that you are fit to be a teacher, he/she can screw you from future employment. Once you are out of college, you are going to be competing against teachers with experience and you need to show that you are GOOD at what you do. Your student teacher evaluation AND reference letter from your mentor teacher will be requested by school districts where you apply for.

    And if you think that isn't true... one HR rep from outside of Philly I contacted this summer admit to me that those who don't have an outstanding evaluation AND don't hold at least a 3.5 GPA (even if you graduated over 5 years ago) got flushed out of the application pool because HR has to review over 100 applications for ONE position. HR reps usually hire experienced teachers UNLESS you are excellent at student teaching.

    Everything what you do in student teaching matters. Take this experience with full seriousness because this is your step into the profession. You want to please your mentor teacher AND the administration as best as you can and milk their advice. Do not blow these people off- they hold a lot of weight to what your future employment will look like.
     
  11. Bozley

    Bozley Rookie

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    Nov 26, 2013

    Thank you for this in depth answer! I am beginning student teaching in January & your advise is very helpful. :)
     
  12. Bozley

    Bozley Rookie

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    Nov 26, 2013

    Thank you for this wonderful advise as well as all of the amazing tips. I pray that I have a similar experience when I student teach.
     
  13. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    Nov 27, 2013

    Relax, be yourself, try not to be rigid. Don't think of it as a job interview.

    Learn, have fun, enjoy your student teaching and take away all that you can.

    You're going to have a blast!
     
  14. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Phenom

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    Nov 27, 2013

    I was terrified!

    I had never taught a lesson in my life when I started my student teaching. I threw up and/or cried every morning before I left for school.

    Yes, I made some mistakes, but it went fine. I learned from every experience. I wish I'd asked more questions or gotten to observe some other teachers in the building, too. Nobody ever showed me around. I never in four months laid eyes on the main office, the cafeteria, or the gym! I don't even know if they had a lounge.

    You're there to learn. Everyone knows that. We use the co-teaching model now, and I like it a lot. I had a great student teacher last year.

    Don't take on too much. If you are stressed out and overworked, you're not going to do your best in the classroom.

    Good luck!
     
  15. otterpop

    otterpop Enthusiast

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    Dec 6, 2013

    As someone who will be hopefully student teaching in January, I've learned a lot from these posts. Thanks.

    OP, if you are still around the forums, how has it gone so far? Any advice you want to add for those of use just starting out?
     
  16. Camel13

    Camel13 Rookie

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    Dec 31, 2013

    Sounds like some great advice. Thank you to those who posted here. I am student teaching less than a week from now, and am super nervous even though I have observe several days with my supervising teacher. Any advice is extremely helpful right now.
     
  17. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Assume that every single moment spent at school is part of a job interview. So act, dress, and behave like a professional at all times. No gum, professional attire, professional persona-- the works!

    Bring a notebook and take note of everything, both good and bad, that you see.

    Know that very often there will be a backstory that will explain a teacher's actions; don't assume that what you see is the whole story. That will explain why sometimes a teacher is more strict or more lax than you would have been-- those kids have been in her care for 4 months already, and the odds are very high that the teacher is privy to some confidential info that you don't have.
     
  18. Bozley

    Bozley Rookie

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    Dec 31, 2013

    Please keep the tips / advise coming...

    Thank you to those of you who posted your expertise here. I too begin my student teaching assignment in January & want to be as prepared as possible. Any additional tips &/or advice would be wonderful.
     
  19. LisaLisa

    LisaLisa Companion

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    Jan 1, 2014

    Have confidence. Don't act incompetent - something that would involve helplessness and lack of confidence. This time is so unique in teaching. You can make mistakes - but learn from them and don't let those errors define who you are as a teacher. Also remember that teaching can be an isolating profession and while some of your colleagues may not be friendly to you don't take their lead. Don't take anything personally.
     
  20. vivalavida

    vivalavida Companion

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    Jan 1, 2014

    I am glad I stumbled upon this. I begin my semester takeover this month and am extremely nervous! All the lesson planning, classroom management, grading, etc. ahead of me is quite daunting. I'm not sure how all you veteran teachers do it. I'm wondering if I'll even have time to sleep and breathe between now and June! Any and all advice is welcomed! :)
     
  21. Geologygirl

    Geologygirl Comrade

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    Jan 1, 2014

    Hey I am still around and it has gone both good and bad so far. I have 2 master teachers, one whom has trouble letting go of the class and another who is awesome. I have learned that if one master teacher is not allowing you to do the things the Ed department expects to let your supervisor know but expect to follow the maxim that the master teacher is always right.

    Other stuff I have learned hmmm. Always show up on time or early. One of the other student teachers on site started showing up after the tardy bell since 1st period was her prep but got in trouble for this. Dress professionally everyday even if the teachers do not do this. You are on a kind of daily interview and should always look put together. This also reflects well on your university and makes them want to take future student teachers from it. Having a positive attitude works wonders. Greeting kids at the door does help you connect with them but it can take a long time especially with 8th graders. The kids are just kids and are not really out to get you or anything. I know being in control of 40 of them at one time is intimidating but the master teacher should slowly allow you to gain control the first few weeks and you can learn a lot from them about how to manage specific situations. Talking about problems with your ed class can help you find solutions.

    I am still student teaching since in my state we have to do 20 weeks to get a credential. However, I have gotten my grade for the class already even though I have a month left to go and I passed. The supervisor gives you the grade at my university not the master teachers. Now I just have to hope that my master teacher's evaluations are positive since that can effect job prospects, and hope I passed TPA 3 and 4 since I need them to get my credential.

    If your starting your student teaching in the next week or so just try the best that you can. That is all you can do anyways and always remember tomorrow is a new day so things that may have not been perfect one day can be better the next.
     

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