B- student practicum

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by barronzp, Dec 19, 2014.

  1. barronzp

    barronzp Rookie

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    Dec 19, 2014

    I just received my B- in the student practicum. For a variety of reasons: lack of science co-teachers, lack of grading structure (no percentages attached to grading rubrics, etc.), I don't think the grade is fair. In fact, I think the school actually subjectively lowered the grade from what the teacher feedback rubric was.
    I have one good reference from one of the co-teachers during the first experience, but do not have the reference from the second--and final co-teacher. (I also have an excellent reference from another science teacher at the first experience, a tutoring service, and college faculty.)

    How bad is this situation? Should I try for a grade appeal? My school does not have any network, and by pushing the grade appeal (there were some accrediation and FERPA issues), I don't think there would be any negative fall-out.

    How is this going to affect employment? I am applying to the N. East and West Coast, which tends to be very competitive. Any advice?
     
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  3. barronzp

    barronzp Rookie

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    My non-practicum grades are excellent.
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Dec 19, 2014

    Can you provide more details about the situation?

    What did your evaluations look like? What were listed as areas where improvement was needed?

    What do you mean by saying that the school doesn't have any network and that there are FERPA and accreditation issues?
     
  5. barronzp

    barronzp Rookie

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    If you would like to know those details for personal interest, I'd be glad to send them to you.

    As far as employment searching goes, how bad will the B- in the teaching practicum be? I assume I will use the two teacher references from the earlier practicum and not include the latter teacher's reference? Is that a big issue? How so?
     
  6. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Dec 19, 2014

    I've only had one school ever ask to see transcripts when applying for jobs. Odds are nobody will see your grades.
     
  7. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    I think Caesar was looking for more details a little less for personal interest and a little more for, yknow, trying to help. You don't give much information here for us to go off of in order to give you solid advice.
     
  8. barronzp

    barronzp Rookie

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    Dec 19, 2014

    Sorry, I will try to go more in-depth. I have a high GPA, but a B- for my student practicum experience. In my state, there is a high school and a middle school experience. The B- counts for both experiences. There is no breakdown in the grade, oddly.

    One of the experiences was positive and I received a positive reference from the teacher I was with (another science teacher wrote an excellent reference.)

    The other teacher at a different school wrote a poor reference. (This experience resulted in the B-.)



    My questions (in the context of applying to the very competitive states of the North East, Upper Mid-West, and West Coast are:

    A. How bad will the B- hold me back? Because it is the practicum, I have heard it is the most important grade.

    B. I will not use the teacher that gave negative grade input and a poor reference. How bad will this impact my resume/portfolio?

    C. I will use the two positive references from the other school. (How much will this negate the absence of a reference from the second teacher that gave a poor reference?)

    D. I have positive professor and a tutor program reference.

    E. I have several science credentials.

    Thank you for your time :)
     
  9. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Dec 19, 2014

    Only you can decide if the grade you received is unfair and should be appealed.

    Looking at the comments that were given you at the end of your practicum, is it a possibility that some of the comments were warranted?
     
  10. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Job applications typically ask for the information from the cooperating teachers, as well as the contact information of the supervising teacher from the university. You won't really be able to hide the second cooperating teacher - they are going to ask for that contact information. If that teacher won't write a positive reference, it may matter. Similarly, since that grade is lower than normal, you have to wonder what your supervising teacher is going to say, as well. I do know someone who went down this road with a similar story and outcome. All I can really say is that four years down the road, there has been no permanent job offers, despite interviews that seemed to go well. This individual also had high grades over all, so very similar. Not the answer you were hoping for, I am sure, but it is relevant. Sorry.
     
  11. P Chang

    P Chang Companion

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    Dec 19, 2014

    Can you use your pen to change the B- to a B+ and call it a day? :whistle:
     
  12. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Dec 20, 2014

    I feel lucky. I got a PM and I didn't even read this topic until now.
     
  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Barronzp, it kind of depends on the school, pool of other candidates, how compelling you come across in an interview. My and others in my north Jersey area (very competitive) are quite influenced by GPA, multiple certifications, caliber of school attended...and probably would question a low score in ST. Good luck to you.
     
  14. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I highly suggest logging on to any school that uses Applitrack and looking at a blank application. You will find that they request the contact information from the cooperating teacher as well as your college supervising instructor. It will also give you a wonderful idea of other information they will be seeking. There will be a section for you to upload your letters of reference (LOR). It will be readily apparent if one CT has written you one and the other has not. It will come into clearer focus, from their perspective, if the supervising instructor from the college has either not provided a LOR or else has been less that glowing in what was written. These are things that will raise a red flag, possibly cluing HR to look closer at your transcript and grades. The person who I am aware of with a similar situation has applied in the Midwest and East Coast. That person went back to school for MED, and took a second Practicum in the new field, hoping to come away with strong references and more positive experience. I believe that more endorsements besides the master's were added as well. Will this be the thing that finally results in a full time job? I don't know yet, but I hope so. I would agree with czacza about NJ and the area in the tri state region. I hope that this person will be able to put the first less than stellar practicum behind them, since usually you list the most current degree and those recommendations and contact information. Your field can play into what happens in your situation, of course, as well as what kind of job/school you are willing to accept. There is a wide range of jobs out there, but many are low paying or in areas most applicants wouldn't consider. That part is strictly up to you. Once you have a full time job and those LOR in your arsenal, the college references become less important. Potential employers will be contacting previous/current employers to see if you are capable of meeting their needs and objectives.

    It isn't hard to find out what employers are looking for on an application - go to any large district and click on the employment or jobs button. A very high percentage of districts no longer take paper applications, so the online application should be something you get to know very well. Good luck in your job search.
     
  15. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Me, too!

    I was kinda put off by no introduction, just a bunch of questions, that would probably take 30 minutes to answer. :dizzy:
     
  16. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    If the questions were generic, perhaps the OP should post them here as the answers could benefit many. OP..I received a PM from you and will gladly answer later, but thinking if you asked these other two members the same/similar questions, the answers would be better posted here so that others who read the thread can also weigh in/gain info...
     
  17. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I did that, I responded that I had no idea where these questions came from and I wasn't even sure what he was asking (since there were so many specific questions). I suggested to post a thread where several teachers could respond (I hadn't read this thread at that time).
    Then I got a response with reducing the questions to about 2-3 :)
     
  18. bros

    bros Phenom

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    I responded to it because I read this topic a few minutes before reading the PM.
     
  19. barronzp

    barronzp Rookie

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    any input would be great! Thanks for the feedback.
     
  20. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    I just got a PM, too. Copied and pasted from an earlier post by OP.

    A. How bad will the B- hold me back? Because it is the practicum, I have heard it is the most important grade.

    Depends on the district.

    B. I will not use the teacher that gave negative grade input and a poor reference. How bad will this impact my resume/portfolio?

    Depends on the district.

    C. I will use the two positive references from the other school. (How much will this negate the absence of a reference from the second teacher that gave a poor reference?)

    Depends on the hiring committee.

    D. I have positive professor and a tutor program reference.

    Ok.

    E. I have several science credentials.

    Ok.
     
  21. The Fonz

    The Fonz Math teacher (for now...)

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    Dec 28, 2014

    Why did that teacher give poor reviews? Was it deserved?
     
  22. barronzp

    barronzp Rookie

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    Jan 26, 2015

    update

    As an update, the co-teacher in question gave a decent reference, lists things I did and gave some positive points and an endorsement but in a round-about way.

    However, the supervisor reference is poor--by far the poorest one, just lists stuff i did and in a round-about way does not endorse me.
    This is at odds with her observation reports. She's also the one that gave me the B-. (I just found out that the co-teachers have no official input in the grade...)

    I'm thinking of complaining to the department.
    Anyway to just make the reference go away? She's a senior citizen on her way out, hasn't taught in decades.
     
  23. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Just suggesting that you do some serious soul searching, trying to figure out the part you played in the situation, before approaching the university. If you can't make a solid case for a better grade beyond the age of the supervisor, then I would tred lightly. If you go in with accusations that you can't concretely prove, you will have no chance to change anything except possible ending up with an even less glowing LOR from your supervisor. Sometimes we learn hard lessons at great expense. Most universities will allow you to repeat a course, which gives you the chance to raise your grade and earn better recommendations. It delays your projected plans, but may be well worth the extra effort if you truly reflect on your failings and set about correcting them. For the most part, the first grade remains on your transcript, but doesn't count towards your GPA. Being successful the second time around would indicate you learned from your mistakes and made corrections. Besides getting better LORs, it shows that you care about getting it right, to be a better teacher. This is strictly your call, of course.
     
  24. bros

    bros Phenom

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    No way to make it go away - you can always choose not to use it. If it is in a file at your university, you could always submit a letter to be placed in your educational file to refute it (But that won't do much of anything except put your disagreement on record)

    Also, attacking for age isn't exactly the best way to go about things. You need actual proof of things they did or didn't do. Were they not timely in response to questions/materials that were emailed? Were they unwilling to provide advice when asked? You can't just go "They're old and just want to do the least work possible!" because if they wanted to do the least work possible, they'd give you the closest thing they could to a perfect grade without suspicion, if you truly warranted a B-.

    I had a supervisor who failed me on the field experience before student teaching. The entire semester, he was telling me how I was doing well, but he wanted to see me write things on the board, like "an actual teacher" (even though I had told him multiple times I was unable to write by hand due to a disability). The last day he came in for an evaluation, he told me he failed me, gave a whole list of reasons that he had never brought up before, then told me that he didn't think I should teach because teachers need to be able to write on the board. Luckily, after a 2 hour meeting, the university let me repeat the field experience after questions were brought up during the meeting about the supervisors actions (My adviser was very concerned by the fact that the supervisor had stated that I didn't progress the entire semester, but he never filed the paperwork stating that I was in danger of failing/was not doing well in the field and that none of what he was saying appeared until the final evaluation)
     
  25. barronzp

    barronzp Rookie

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    Mar 16, 2015

    It wasn't my intention to give the reasons for the bad LOR. In any event, the experiential dean wrote me a letter and the punative one is expunged.

    Still got the B-, I'm not sure how to address that little stinker. Any helpful, practical comments welcome:)
     
  26. a7410333

    a7410333 Rookie

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    I would advise you not to worry about it. Go in confident, back up your claims with actual experiences in class, and focus on the success you've had to date.

    Your B- grade isn't failing. If it comes up, emphasize that it was challenging, but you persevered and grown from it. Something tells me that this will only be a roadblock if you make it one.
     

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