Calling all teachers who have taken on a student teacher!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by stephanie90102, Jan 16, 2006.

  1. stephanie90102

    stephanie90102 Rookie

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    Jan 16, 2006

    I start student teaching in first grade tomorrow! Does anyone have any tips for me? Im so nervous, and I really want to do great job. Is there anything a student teacher in your classroom could do to "wow" you? Anything they shouldn't do? Any feedback would be appreciated! Thanks... Stephanie :eek:
     
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  3. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Jan 16, 2006

    Stephanie,

    I hope you have a great first day student teaching. My advice to you is this -- remember that you aren't there to "wow!" the teacher. Don't forget that one of the reasons you student teach is to learn from an experienced teahcer. Learn everything you can from HER. Sometimes the most important thing you will learn is what NOT to do when you get your own classroom. (You can learn valuable lessons even from the most unfortunate student teacher/teacher pairings.)

    I had a student teaching program that stressed humility -- and I have to tell you, the teachers I worked with love the fact that I wanted to learn about THEM, about what they do, and how they teach. As hard as it is, try to put away all the "I want to try this.." for just a short period of time, and really watch and listen.

    If you see something the teacher does that you think is working well, or that is spectacular, make sure to tell her. If you see something that isn't going well, and you have great suggestions -- well, keep them to yourself! at least until you have a great relationship with the teacher. How many of us want to hear what we are doing wrong by a novice? (Not many.) Having a student teacher in your class can be very stressful -- you have someone watching and questioning you all day long -- and teachers are used to having their own little kingdom inside a classroom.

    Now, I'm not saying be a lump on a log -- do anything you can to help in the classroom. After a bit, you will build a strong relationship with your teacher, and that is when you will be able to begin experimenting.

    One of my teachers told me that she often had student teachers who came in the very first day spouting off how they want to run their classroom, how they think this or that would work better, asking "Have you ever tried this?" and that it really ticked her off. She would often get defensive, and then the experience wasn't very positive. Some older teachers still view student teaching as "paying your dues." -- if you get a teacher like that, watch out! (Most aren't.. whew!)

    If she tells you something, LISTEN! One of mine told me that she arrived at the last possible minute in the morning, and that is when I should arrive. I got there a few minutes early, and was waiting outside the class when she got there -- and she was mad! She said that if I was waiting outside, it made her look like she was late, and to never let it happen again! I never did. We got along fine after that, although I would have much rathered being there more than 2 minutes before the students! I had to keep reminding myself that it was her classroom, and she was in charge.

    Of course, if you ask 100 teachers, you will probably get 100 different answers.

    Whatever you do, remember that student teaching is always a bit stressful. It isn't you! You aren't doing anything wrong. It is just the way it is. Take a deep breath, and remind yourself that, many years in the future, when you are a certified teaching and have your first student teacher in your class, that you will make her life pleasant and wonderful.

    Best wishes!
     
  4. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Jan 16, 2006


    I totally understand the teacher in this situation. I had a brand new parapro. in my mild autism class this year (graduated with a degree in horticulture), and after attending a 3 hour workshop on autism she came back spouting about all the things that I am not doing in my classroom. I had to sit with her and explain to her the reasons as to why I am doing things the way that I am. I felt a little ill-at-ease working with her for a few days as I was wondering what she had said during the workshop about her experiences in my classroom. After a couple of weeks working in my classroom, I asked her which of the strategies that she had learned in her workshop did she think I should implement in my classroom. Her answer: None of them.

    I really think that you should be an active learner in the classroom. Ask questions before you start making suggestions and talking about changing things. When I student taught, I did follow my cooperating teachers' lead and I shared my lesson plans/ideas with them before I did them. I did change the things they wanted me to -- it was their classroom, their students and they would be held responsible for anything that happened.
     
  5. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    Jan 16, 2006

    I spent my first 8 weeks learning exactly what I won't ever do. I learned the importance of staying organized by working with someone who didn't know what the word itself meant. I followed that up with a teacher who handed me to books and said "Go for it, you know what you're doing, I've seen you." I worked as a teammate with him and we got along great. We laughed when I messed up, he always asked me what I would do differently and if I said nothing it was ok because he knew I was being honest. Never did he tell me what I should have done, he trusted me to figure it out. He also gave me to opportunities to visit other grade levels and see how different classrooms were run so I had an idea of what else was out there. Show your teacher that you can be trusted and that you will truely reflect on your lessons. Be willing to do some grunt work, teachers do a ton and you need to be ready to take on a little more - your teacher has taken on a lot by taking you. Ask them everything you can, ask for copies of lessons, worksheets, activities, etc. I copied pages out of his popsicle stick puzzle book because it was such a good reminder. Good luck!! Enjoy yourself :)
     
  6. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Jan 16, 2006

    Most of my student teaching experience was wonderful also. One of my cooperating teachers was the 4th grade teacher that I wanted when I was in elementary school. She was as cool and wonderful as I thought when I was in elem. school.

    I also got a cooperating teacher who was my homeroom teacher in the 9th grade but moved to elem. school. I remember my friend and I would go over to his house and he would give us money to buy him a slurpee for him and one for us (when we were in the 9th grade). He lived across the street from me (a few houses over) and he drove me to school while I was student teaching in his classroom.

    I photocopied everything (within reason) that I could get my hands on or I collected extra copies.

    It was great to work with both a female and male teacher. They had wonderful students and great parents. It was sure a huge eye opener for me when I worked in other schools with real behavior problems and with very little resources. The only behavior problems I experienced while student teaching were students whispering to each other or passing notes while I was teaching.
     
  7. Veteran Teacher

    Veteran Teacher Rookie

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    Jan 16, 2006

    My one piece of advice is to be able to take constructive criticism. Remember, that you are there to learn. Anything that your cooperating teacher is telling you is to help you and make you a better teacher. I had a student teacher in the fall that had no idea how to take constructive cristicism. Everytime she was given a suggestion or an idea she would defend herself and her actions. She always felt like she had to tell me why she did what she did. It got to be really annoying. She rarely took any suggestions she was given, not even the ones from her supervisor from her university.

    Good luck and have fun!
     
  8. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jan 17, 2006

    Observe, observe, observe! As others have said, you are there to learn. I had a student teacher in the fall who was amazing; she will make a great teacher. she didn't set out to "Wow" me, but made it a priority to get to know and teach the students. She made herself a part of the classroom from the first minute she was there. She copied everything imaginable, made copious notes (as much about what to do as what not to do, I'm sure), and volunteered to help out in every way possible. This is a tremendous opportunity for learning--take every advantage of it!
     

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