Advice you would give to student teacher in the first weeks of school

Discussion in 'General Education' started by zmp2018, Aug 28, 2018.

  1. zmp2018

    zmp2018 Rookie

    Feb 12, 2018
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    Aug 28, 2018

    Hi, all:

    I just started my student teaching semester last Friday. We had a clerical day on Friday and Monday, and the first student day was today. The kids seemed nice and excited to start the year. I’m teaching middle-school English, so the personalities are so much different compared to the high-school students I previously taught.

    So far, my mentor has done a great job showing me around the school. I know where vital rooms are, and I’ve met a lot of teachers. They are all so friendly to me and have even given me some valuable advice. So far, we’ve told our share of jokes, and overall it’s been a positive experience.

    So, as the school year progresses and I continue into my experience over the next couple of months, what advice would you give me? I’m worried about classroom management for the most part. I always have a fear of losing control. I know this is a time of learning and improving, but I’m just really nervous about that aspect of the classroom.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2018
  3. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

    Dec 24, 2007
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    Aug 28, 2018

    When you take over and teach a lesson for the first time consider preparing a "discipline plan" along with lesson plan. In other words, it's too late to be up in front of the class right at the critical part of your lesson when two students decide this would be good time to sharpen pencils and you are caught off-balance, "What should I do about that?" I always had my STs prepare both, discipline and instruction, for each lesson. For example, the out-of-seat pencil thing happened to a ST who was "shocked" students would do such thing. Later during guided practice she walked by a student who called her "babe". She didn't know what to do. Consider brainstorming a list of all the possible "disruptions" you may encounter in a typical 50 minute period - from mild talking to neighbors to call-outs to nasty backtalk. You should come up with about 20. Prioritize the list from most common to student looking for a fight. (BTW - Talking to neighbors accounts for 85%; out of seat 10%; playing with objects (phones etc.) 5%.) Next to each disruption make a note of WHAT I'M GOING TO DO. Play it through in your head; get a friend to role play if you can. Idea is to be proactive and have a plan in advance versus reacting as things unfold in front of you. Here's a couple: (1) whiny backtalk - "Jeez! Do we have to do this? We did this last year!" -- I will ... (2) blaming backtalk - "I wasn't doing anything! She was talking to me!" -- I will...
    ozteach and rpan like this.
  4. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Jul 19, 2014
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    Aug 29, 2018

    More when than if something goes poorly, hold it together until students are gone for the day. Should you have a melt-down, do it behind closed and locked doors, or in the confines of your car or home. You do not want to be known as the teacher who can't control your own emotions. I watched this play out my first year, and it was terrible how the mentor teacher shared all of the crying and falling apart to everyone else in the immediate area. I felt that the mentor was wrong, but I also felt like the student teacher set themselves up for what followed by failing to remember that we all have bad days/lessons/classroom management fails. Coping in the face of defeat means finding a way to finish strong, no matter what failed in the middle. Hoping none of this will apply to you, but I have seen this happen since my first year, often enough to know it isn't entirely rare.

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