Before I begin student teaching...

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by vivalavida, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. vivalavida

    vivalavida Companion

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    Apr 10, 2013

    I've been accepted into a student teaching program and will begin this August. I'm excited, yet also extremely terrified! I was recently observing in a classroom and students were asking me questions that stumped me! It made me feel so unprepared and incompetent as a future teacher. What advice do you have for someone about to begin student teaching? Luckily I have a few months to mentally prepare. :)
     
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  3. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    Apr 10, 2013

    What subject are you going to be teaching?
    Don't stress out too much about it. My suggestion is that you look at the state standards/common core standards for whatever subject your going to be teaching and start reviewing the material now. Might not even hurt to buy a cheap copy of whatever textbook your school is using off amazon and use that.

    I have a story that might make you feel better. When I was student teaching, I was teaching US History. One of the activities my CT had the students do everyday at the beginning of class was review for the graduation test by answering multiple choice questions on usatestprep.com using the smart board. I had to read random questions about US History and have the students answer them in front of the class. I was the one controlling the pen and selecting the answers. When my CT was doing it he would tell them the right answer if the students got the questions wrong. The first time I did it I got 8/10 questions wrong and the students thought I was a flake at first.

    After that experience on my first day I brought a textbook home and read the whole thing in like two weeks. I might have gotten 2 questions wrong the rest of the semester. No one expects you to know everything. I didn't even study US history in college(my focus was Europe). You do have to stay ahead of the students enough to where your able to teach the content.

    Oh and I had a AWESOME student teaching experience and got really good reviews. Always be open to criticism and make sure you improve/do the things your CT and university supervisor suggest.(mine made it clear the suggestions weren't suggestions, they were demands).
     
  4. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Apr 10, 2013

    This may sound weird, but don't be afraid to let your students know you don't have the answers to all of their questions. If they ask you something really probing and deep, let them know you don't have the answer on the tip of your brain. Have that student write down the question and give it to you at the end of the lesson. When you can, research the answer and deliver the information at the next opportunity to touch that subject matter. Let the students know the steps you took to find your answer. Teachers don't have to know everything, but they do need to know how to FIND everything. It models a good sense of curiosity.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 10, 2013

    Believe it or not, even elementary grade teachers get questions we don't know the answers to...my response is typically, "let's do some research on that together, ok?" and then I'll work with students to find websites or books to answer their questions...
     
  6. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Apr 10, 2013

    Students will always surprise you with the questions they ask. Some questions that I got recently that I wasn't able to answer is "Why does it take more heat to cook cookies at higher altitudes?" and "Why does gravity make things accelerate?"

    The first question was great because it relates directly to what we're learning.

    The second one was WAAAY too advanced. It has to do with general relativity and the curvature of space due to gravity. O_O
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Apr 10, 2013

    What kinds of questions stumped you?
     
  8. vivalavida

    vivalavida Companion

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    Apr 10, 2013

    Thank you, everyone, for your comments and advice! I will be teaching a foreign language, so their questions consisted of how to say certain words in the target language. The teacher I was observing is a native speaker and was providing the students with a lot of obscure vocabulary that I haven't even learned during my (almost) ten years of learning the language! They were also using a textbook that I didn't learn from as a student.

    I realize I will never know every word, but I feel as though I'll lose my credibility if the students keep asking me for words I don't know. I tried to help them search for the words in their dictionaries because I am very familiar with using a dictionary to find the proper translation. However, even dictionaries don't have everything!

    I'm worried about embarrassing myself in front of my future CT and students. I'm a bit of a perfectionist and it's hard for me to realize I can't know EVERYTHING! :)
     
  9. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Apr 10, 2013

    I also teach foreign language. It's just not possible, even as a native speaker, to know every word in a language. When students ask me about a word I don't know, I say, "Hmm....There's a dictionary right over there. Why don't you look it up?" They enjoy using the dictionaries. I hear a lot of "Whoa, did you know that the word for butterfly is..." whenever they're using the dictionaries.
     

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