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  #1  
Old 02-27-2013, 03:36 PM
kleeHOMBRE kleeHOMBRE is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 11
NY, Putnam County
Student Teacher
Currently Student Teaching-Need Advice

Hi guys,
I am currently doing my student teaching and my field is secondary Biology. I have been having such a blast and I couldn’t be happier with where I am. I’ve couldn’t have asked for a better cooperating teacher to be with. She has been extremely helpful and drops everything to help when I need it. She helps me prepare for my lessons and gives me much feedback after. I love teaching, I love being with the kids and connecting with them and I just love being in a learning environment. The kids all seem to like me so I don’t have a problem with any of them. They seem to respect me and are very friendly. Maybe because I am only four years older then them, but for the most part the kids have been fantastic. The reason I am posting is because there are some days where I feel like I am a bad teacher or I feel like I am incompetent. I have found that there are times where I have trouble explaining information. I understand the material, but there are times where I have a hard time explaining it to my students. I just hate the feeling of having my students stare back at me with blank faces. I feel like there are some days where I am confusing the hell out of them. There are also times where my cooperating teacher “butts” into my lesson to explain something better and it really brings me down and I get upset. I have worked very hard for three and a half years to become a teacher and now I am afraid that I am realizing, in my last semester as a senior in college, I will not become a successful teacher. Does anyone have advice? Maybe I’m just having a bad day
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  #2  
Old 02-27-2013, 03:58 PM
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Peregrin5 Peregrin5 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,336
California
8th Grade Science Teacher
Quote:
Originally Posted by kleeHOMBRE View Post
Hi guys,
I am currently doing my student teaching and my field is secondary Biology. I have been having such a blast and I couldn’t be happier with where I am. I’ve couldn’t have asked for a better cooperating teacher to be with. She has been extremely helpful and drops everything to help when I need it. She helps me prepare for my lessons and gives me much feedback after. I love teaching, I love being with the kids and connecting with them and I just love being in a learning environment. The kids all seem to like me so I don’t have a problem with any of them. They seem to respect me and are very friendly. Maybe because I am only four years older then them, but for the most part the kids have been fantastic. The reason I am posting is because there are some days where I feel like I am a bad teacher or I feel like I am incompetent. I have found that there are times where I have trouble explaining information. I understand the material, but there are times where I have a hard time explaining it to my students. I just hate the feeling of having my students stare back at me with blank faces. I feel like there are some days where I am confusing the hell out of them. There are also times where my cooperating teacher “butts” into my lesson to explain something better and it really brings me down and I get upset. I have worked very hard for three and a half years to become a teacher and now I am afraid that I am realizing, in my last semester as a senior in college, I will not become a successful teacher. Does anyone have advice? Maybe I’m just having a bad day
Hey dude, don't let it bring you down so much. There are things that we all need to work on. For me, it's classroom management and consistency.

You have an area that you want to strengthen, and it's something that I'm assuming you're willing to work on. One of the reasons I got into teaching was because of the saying "You don't fully understand something until you can teach it", and I wholeheartedly believe in that.

Your difficulty explaining something to a student may be because you have an intuitive understanding of it, and maybe your understanding is a little bit loose. However if you explicitly force yourself to think about how to best explain a concept before every lesson and what types of questions you can ask to lead a student to that understanding, you're going to really be solidifying that knowledge in your own head.

You really need to take the time to think in the shoes of your students. What do they already know, where might they get stuck, what type of language should you use to explicitly teach the concept. What kinds of activities would best fit your learning goals? This is the essence of teaching.

This is something you can work on and improve. When you're planning your lessons, think about those things, and write them down if you can. Your teaching will improve. I find that talking on the fly about a concept doesn't work for me and gets students confused as well, but when you stop and think about how you're going to deliver that instruction, it really helps.
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  #3  
Old 02-27-2013, 04:08 PM
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mopar mopar is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 10,977
USA
Kindergarten Teacher
This is something that every good teacher gets better at with time. No one can explain every concept their first year in the best way. That is why teachers reflect on their lessons and look for ways to improve.

Be glad that you cooperating teacher is there to guide you with a little better approach for the students. Take notes on what she does a bit differently and use that in your next lesson to reinforce the concepts.

With time you learn better wording, you better understand what your students know, and you develop many more tools for getting a lesson back on track.
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  #4  
Old 02-27-2013, 05:01 PM
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Myrisophilist Myrisophilist is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 898
Maine
High School Life Science
I just finished student teaching in December (HS Bio) and got a job in January (yay!). Explaining concepts clearly is something I definitely struggle with on a daily basis. But, like you, I realize this and I think that's a good place to start. We've all had teachers who are obviously smart but can't teach worth beans. If they don't recognize it, then they can't work on it.

One thing that helps me is explaining concepts multiples times (practicing!). I teach 2 sections of Bio and 2 sections of Honors Bio, so by the time I'm explaining a concept for the 3rd time I've pretty much got a mental script that I'm following. The repetition also helps me figure out what strategies "work" with the students and which phrases "click" with them. Sometimes an idea will get through to one class but not another.

To sum it up, practice. I think it will come with time.
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  #5  
Old 02-27-2013, 05:46 PM
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HeartDrama HeartDrama is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,397
SoCal
High School English
I agree, don't let it get you down. I had some moments like that during student teaching. I'm the absolute WORST at teaching grammar. The way I got through it was to basically own the fact that I was no good at it. I gave the kids a heads up that we were going to struggle through the lesson together and I told them I might occasionally ask the master teacher for some help, or he might chime in if he felt it was necessary. The students will respect the fact that you are admitting you aren't perfect, especially if they already like you.

You'll do fine!
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  #6  
Old 02-27-2013, 06:43 PM
teacher girl teacher girl is offline
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Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 257
Virginia
Special Education Teacher
If it helps any. I am student teaching right now too and I feel the same way. I have good days, but then I mess up and feel like the worst teacher ever. I had a day like that today. I almost felt like quitting or like teaching is for me, but most people I talk to say they hate student teaching. So I am hanging in there. I understand concepts but I hate explaining them, and If I am wrong about anything I feel like an idiot.lol.


but i try not to be so hard on myself. : )
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  #7  
Old 02-28-2013, 12:07 PM
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Furthuron Furthuron is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 130
California
Middle School English teacher
Student teaching is really tough, and I think it definitely weeds out those who aren't really dedicated. That being said, you will have good days and days where you feel like the biggest idioton the planet. Reflect, and be gentle with yourself. It sounds like teaching is for you, but like any other art, it takes practice.
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  #8  
Old 03-04-2013, 12:05 PM
kleeHOMBRE kleeHOMBRE is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 11
NY, Putnam County
Student Teacher
Thanks guys, all of your comments made me feel a lot better. Ive had many good days following this post. Its funny how one day can be terrible and another day can make be amazing
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  #9  
Old 03-04-2013, 04:26 PM
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Myrisophilist Myrisophilist is offline
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Maine
High School Life Science
Quote:
Originally Posted by kleeHOMBRE View Post
Its funny how one day can be terrible and another day can make be amazing
Story of my life!
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  #10  
Old 03-18-2013, 05:56 PM
blauren blauren is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 29
It's normal to feel incompetent at times and doubt your abilities. The best thing you can do is evaluate how effectively you explained a concept, then try to figure out how to improve that explanation for the next class. I always did better when I taught a lesson the second or third time. I've been subbing for a few years and have had numerous long term assignments and I think you learn something new everyday. You learn how to teach a lesson more effectively or how to handle a situation better. You will become a much better teacher with experience. Having your own classroom is what will really develop you as a teacher. I look back on my student teaching and feel like there was SO much that I didn't know that I've learned with experience.
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